Dental crowns and dental bridges are the cornerstones of restorative dentistry. For patients who are missing teeth or who have teeth that are decayed, cracked, infected, or otherwise damaged, their treatment will surely include dental crowns, dental bridges, or both.
This is not to say that all dental crowns and bridges are equal, however. At our San Antonio dental practice, Incredible Smiles of Texas, Dr. Chris Reger draws upon his years of experience and finely honed eye for aesthetics to create crowns and bridges that are as natural looking as they are strong, durable, and functional. Ultimately, his patients enjoy both improved oral health and a smile they can be proud of.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are restorations that are created to cover the entire visible surface area of a tooth. They are custom-crafted to complement surrounding natural teeth in terms of color, shape, texture, and size. Made of only the finest dental materials such as medical-grade porcelain, dental crowns help to preserve as much of a damaged tooth's natural structure as possible while restoring its strength and appearance and protecting it from further harm.
At our cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice, dental crowns are used in a variety of applications. Crowns can be used to:
- Conceal aesthetic damage such as severe discoloration
- Reinforce a tooth that has cracked or is at risk of cracking
- Strengthen a weakened tooth
- Seal and protect a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy
- Replace missing teeth by topping dental implants
With proper care, dental crowns can last for ten years or longer.
What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are used in the replacement of missing teeth. Comprised of between one and three artificial teeth, bridges are usually anchored to your natural teeth adjacent to a gap via dental crowns; however, they can also be supported by dental implants. Once in place, a dental bridge will literally bridge the gap left by a missing tooth or teeth, making your smile whole again and restoring strength and stability to your bite.
Benefits and Risks of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns offer a variety of benefits, both in terms of their aesthetic appeal and their ability to restore oral health. Among their benefits, dental crowns:
- Allow you to keep as much of the healthy structure of a damaged tooth as possible, which is always preferable to extraction
- Help to strengthen and stabilize the bite
- Can alleviate pain stemming from a structurally weak or cracked tooth
- Are virtually indistinguishable from surrounding natural teeth
- Can last for a decade or longer with proper care
Risks associated with dental crowns are rare and, when they do arise, are usually simple to correct. In rare circumstances a crown may become dislodged; however, in the unlikely event that this happens, your crown can usually be recemented.
Benefits and Risks of Dental Bridges
Like dental crowns, dental bridges offer a multitude of both cosmetic and oral health benefits, including:
- Replacing a missing tooth or teeth, dental bridges help to prevent the teeth adjacent to a gap from shifting out of their optimal positions
- Bridges return strength to the bite and help to resolve problems with eating and speaking that are associated with missing teeth
- The replacement teeth used in bridges are crafted to blend beautifully into a patient's smile
- Fixed bridges will not slip or shift out of place, unlike partial dentures
The potential disadvantage of having a dental bridge placed is that, traditionally, they are anchored via crowns to the healthy natural teeth adjacent to a gap. This requires the natural teeth to be structurally modified in order to accommodate the crowns, which compromises their strength and integrity. This disadvantage is avoided by patients who elect to have a dental implant placed instead of a bridge..
Learn More about Dental Crowns and Bridges
If you have any questions about the dental crowns and bridges available at Incredible Smiles of Texas, or you would like to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Reger, please contact our dental practice today.