Maintaining a healthy-looking smile is easier said than done. Various oral issues such as external trauma, tooth discoloration, infections, gum diseases, missing teeth, etc. can ruin one’s smile. In such cases, oral restorations help get teeth back to their original form, thereby restoring both functionality and aesthetics.
Crowns and bridges are widely used by dentists to modify a person’s smile and improve the functionality of teeth and gums. Crowns look exactly like natural teeth but are hollow in the inside. They are used to cover the entire surface of damaged, worn out, cracked or weak teeth to restore their appearance and strength. Bridges are solid ceramic structures that resemble natural teeth. They are coupled with dental crowns on either side to provide the required anchorage.
Uses of dental crowns
- Whenever a tooth cracks due to external trauma or when you bite into a hard object, the crack exposes the central pulp to the microbes in the mouth. Crowns can be used to restore such teeth and prevent them from being extracted.
- When a tooth becomes weak after undergoing a root canal therapy, it tends to crumble under excessive stress. Bonding a crown to a weak tooth prevents its failure.
- Misshapen or chipped teeth seem out of shape, thereby ruining the aesthetics of one’s smile. By bonding crowns to them, the aesthetics of the smile can be restored to normal.
- Excessive space between adjacent teeth is a type of malocclusion called spacing. It is the resultant of a more extensive dental arch or drifting of teeth after losing a tooth. Bonding crowns to teeth can prevent such gaps.
Advantages of dental bridges
- Bridges offer the simplest tooth replacement solution. They do not require surgery or complicated treatment procedures.
- They are quite stable as they are held in place utilizing dental crowns on either side.
- They are highly durable. With proper care, they last several years and offer excellent functionality.
- They restore the ability to bite and chew food. Also, the phonetics would return to normal.
- Their appearance can be made to match that of the adjoining teeth perfectly.
The fabrication process of both crowns and bridges is quite similar. During the initial consultation, the dentist would screen the teeth for issues such as damage, wear, cavities, existing restorations, etc. Based on the observations made, the candidacy for the restorations will be determined. Next, a digital mold of the teeth will be taken to determine the size and the contour of the restoration required.
Once the scans are complete, the obtained data will be transferred to a computerized milling machine that helps build customized restorations. It only takes a few minutes for the fabrication to be complete, after which any final alterations to be made are carried out. The color and contour of the restorations would perfectly mimic the natural teeth, after which it would be bonded in place. Photosensitive dental adhesives will be used for this purpose, after which they will be hardened using a curing light. Finally, a bite test would be conducted to make sure the restoration doesn’t cause any discomfort.
Schedule an online appointment or call us at (408) 262-1710 to have a consultation with Dr. Lum.