Crowns and Bridges

Crowns and Bridges

A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, and strength. On the other hand, a bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge consists of crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap -- these two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth - and a false tooth/teeth in between. 

Dental Crowns

A crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that covers a tooth, restoring its shape, size, and strength as well as protecting it from further damage. The material a crown is made from can vary from metal to ceramic, depending on the patient’s needs and preferences.

There are several reasons for needing a crown. The most common reason is to protect a weak or cracked tooth. However, crowns can also be used to improve the appearance of your smile by covering discolored teeth that don’t respond to whitening treatments. Dental crowns may also be used in conjunction with dental implant procedures to hold a new artificial tooth in place while healing occurs. 

Additionally, dental crowns are often used to anchor fixed bridges that replace multiple missing teeth in a row. A dental crown is often used to replace a large filling when there is not enough remaining tooth structure to support it. It can also be used to cover a tooth that has been treated with root canal therapy to protect and prevent it from fracturing. The crown can also replace an aging or damaged tooth, helping to restore strength and function.

After the procedure, patients can expect a crown to last anywhere from five to fifteen years, depending on a number of factors, including proper oral hygiene habits and oral care routine. We recommend regular flossing and brushing to maintain healthy teeth and gums, as well as seeing our dentist in Greenbelt, MD, every six months for a cleaning and exam. 

If you are particularly prone to clenching or grinding your teeth at night, you may need to wear a protective mouth guard to prevent damage to your new restoration.

Dental Bridges

A bridge is a dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. Two dental crowns are placed on either side of the gap created by the missing teeth, with a pontic in between. From these abutment teeth, the pontic extends to replace the missing teeth. The pontic is typically made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. 

Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth in a row. They consist of two crowns placed over the existing teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge is then bonded to these teeth and fills in the empty space. 

If you are missing a single front tooth, our dentist in Greenbelt, MD, may recommend an implant-supported crown rather than a dental bridge. This is because implants are more securely attached and will not rely on any surrounding natural teeth for support.

Dental bridges are custom-crafted in a laboratory to fit your mouth precisely, so you never have to worry about having a poorly-fitting restoration. Each bridge is constructed from lifelike porcelain or zirconia materials, which are incredibly durable and can mimic the appearance of natural enamel. 

Porcelain can also be tinted to match the shade of your surrounding teeth for a seamless appearance. Zirconia offers an even more natural-looking alternative as it is made without any metal components. However, this material is slightly more prone to wear than other alternatives.

Both bridges and crowns are custom-made to match the color of your natural teeth and blend in with your smile. They can help revitalize the appearance of your smile and are also functional restorative dentistry treatments that can help protect the health of your smile.

Want to learn more about our dental procedures? Call us at (301) 321-9966 or visit our dental office located at 7501 Greenway Center Dr Suite 260, Greenbelt, MD 20770.

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