Dr. Walters can restore your smile and confidence when tooth loss strikes.
A dental bridge can replace one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges can help restore your smile, improve your speaking and chewing abilities, and raise your confidence levels.
A dental bridge uses surrounding teeth, known as abutments, to support a false replacement tooth, called a pontic. A pontic is like a crown, except it has no root. Abutments, which are your healthy teeth, will require crowns to stabilize them and make them strong enough to support the pontic.
The number of crowns you need will depend on how many teeth you are missing. Just one missing tooth means you will need three crowns to support your bridge – two pontics and one abutment. Together, they will create a three-unit bridge.
To determine the best course of action for your situation, Dr. Walters will consider:
- How many teeth are missing
- The location of missing teeth
- The amount of support given from each abutment tooth
- The amount of bone left below the surface in the root
- The size and length of the root for each tooth
Your bridgework will likely be split between two appointments.
- We’ll capture 3D images of your mouth during your first appointment and give you a temporary bridge while your permanent one is made.
- At your second appointment, we will cement your permanent bridge into place. Anesthesia will always be provided to minimize any discomfort.
After you received your bridge, expect a short adjustment period while you adjust to the feel of it in your mouth. Most patients report a simple transition process.
While incredibly durable and long-lasting, bridgework does require a little extra attention during your daily hygiene. Dr. Walters and our team will review care instructions and may recommend more frequent follow-up appointments if warranted.
What is a crown?
A crown is a secure covering that completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns remain above the surface, not affecting any existing root or bone. It will often be fitted to repair a cracked, chipped, weak or broken tooth, or one that is severely worn down.
A crown serves several purposes:
- Prevents decay
- Supports a weakened tooth
- Protects a tooth from breakage
- Fixes extreme wear
- Provides support and reinforcement
- Anchors a dental bridge into place
- Covers a dental implant
For children, a crown can also save a damaged tooth and protect it from further decay. Little teeth are not always able to support decay, damage, or even a filling. Crowns fill that need.
Dr. Walters will recommend the best crown material for your situation:
- Pediatric dentistry typically uses stainless steel crowns, simply because they are the most affordable for a temporary fix. As the child’s tooth develops, the tooth will eventually outgrow the crown and will need a more permanent replacement.
- Metal crowns are a popular choice for crowns in the back of your mouth. They are more affordable and durable compared to other materials, but their gold or platinum color is not aesthetically pleasing. For this reason, metal is typically reserved for out-of-sight issues.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal is one of the most natural-looking options available, but the quality pales in comparison to other materials. The durability is poor, often leading to chipping or breakage. The metal core may also show through the porcelain, creating noticeable dark lines within the smile.
- All-ceramic, also called all-porcelain, crowns are often the most popular option because of their natural appearance and their ability to cover metal. These crowns are used for the most visible parts of your mouth.
CEREC One-Visit Ceramic Crowns
Dr. Walters offers same-day, one-visit CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic) crowns. In the past, crowns took at least two visits, and the impression process was uncomfortable and messy.
Today, we recommend CEREC crowns for most of our patients who have tooth decay. If you are a suitable candidate for CEREC crowns:
- Our cutting-edge CAD/CAM imaging technology will capture and duplicate the intricacies of each tooth, perfectly mimicking the unique characteristics of your teeth.
- We’ll match the exact variant shading and shape of your teeth, creating a flawless smile with no distracting metal or color variances.
- Imaging allows for pinpoint measurements to comfortably accommodate both your bite and gum line.
- CEREC crowns last up to 15 years when maintained with professional and at-home care.
If you are missing teeth and think you might benefit from a bridge or crown, call us today: 614-662-2082.