They say that a smile can brighten up an entire room. But, if you’re suffering from missing teeth, then smiling may be the last thing in the world you feel like doing. A crown and bridge is one way to correct this problem. Today’s dental bridgework is more resilient and attractive than ever before, thanks to new materials and techniques that ensure patient comfort and beautiful results.
How a Crown and Bridge Works
Just as its name implies, a dental bridge spans the space left by a missing tooth. Treatment typically occurs over two appointments. During the first session, your dentist will gently reshape the teeth on either side of the gap. These will be used to support the restoration. You will receive anesthetics to ensure your comfort throughout the process.
Your dentist will create an impression of the reshaped teeth. This will be used by the dental lab to create the actual bridge. You will leave the first appointment wearing a temporary crown.
Once the custom-made crown and bridge is complete, you’ll return to your dentist’s office for placement. Dental adhesive will be used to ensure a tight and secure fit. It’s very important that the prosthetic match the teeth as closely as possible, both for your comfort and for the success of the restoration.
It might take a few days for you to adapt to your new bridgework. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen can usually manage any discomfort you may feel during this time. Once the adjustment period is over, you can enjoy your usual diet and show off your enhanced smile to the world.
What Is an Implant-Supported Bridge?
Sometimes the condition of the patient’s teeth does not permit a traditional crown and bridge. In such cases, your dentist may recommend an implant-supported bridge instead. This approach uses small titanium fixtures embedded in the jawbone for its strength, making for exceptionally strong and beautiful bridgework.
Will the Crown and Bridge Look like My Natural Teeth?
Some patients worry that their bridgework will stand out from their natural teeth. Fortunately, new materials and techniques make this problem extremely rare. Modern crowns are usually made from all porcelain or porcelain-fused to-metal. Today’s digital imaging technology allows the lab to match the color of the restoration to the exact shade and contours of your existing teeth. Most patients report that their new bridgework blends in perfectly with their smile.
Caring for a Crown and Bridge
A dental bridge relies on the adjoining teeth for its resilience. For this reason, it’s important to brush, floss, eat a sensible diet, and see your dentist for regular cleanings and exams. When properly cared for, a crown and bridge can last well over 10 years, sometimes for a lifetime.
Your smile is one of your most precious possessions. Don’t let missing teeth ruin it. Talk to your dentist about a crown and bridge and other forms of restoration during your upcoming appointment. You’ll soon be on your way to better health and a happier life.
About the Author
Dr. L. Scott King is an accomplished dentist with decades of experience in his profession. He recently received the Lifelong Service and Recognition Award from the Academy of General Dentistry in honor of his expertise and devotion to patient care. You can reach his office online or by calling (318) 325-4600.