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Gum disease and decay may lead to the need to extract a tooth. These conditions can also cause your teeth to become weak and worn. In such instances, it is imperative to replace the missing structure of the tooth to restore chewing ability as well as aesthetics as in the case of anterior (front) teeth.
Dental crowns and bridges replace the decayed part of tooth structure, or hold a replacement tooth in place when it is not possible to save the original tooth. Dental decay and gum disease are among the most common reasons for tooth loss, and crowns and bridges are two of the most common forms of restorative dentistry.
Other benefits crowns and bridges offer our patients include:
- Maintaining proper alignment of the teeth
- Preventing facial sagging
- Ensuring health of jaw joints
Understanding Dental Crowns
If your tooth is missing part of its structure, your dentist at Fiedler Park Dental may recommend placing a crown on top of it. Think of a crown like a cap for your tooth. Before placing the crown, your dentist shapes and prepares your tooth to ensure an excellent fit. Deep decay and protection of a tooth after a root canal are the most common reasons we recommend a crown.
A dental crown protects remaining tooth structure, improves the appearance of your smile, and restores your mouth to full function. For back teeth, our dentists use a tooth colored or metal ceramic. However, we understand most people are more concerned about front teeth that show every time they smile. In such cases, we always recommend a tooth-colored ceramic material for your crown. You may also need a crown to support a clasp on a partial denture, or if a tooth is very worn.
What to Expect with a Dental Bridge
A bridge consists of two or more crowns that your dentist joins to a replacement tooth. If you’re missing a single tooth or consecutive teeth on the same arch, a dental bridge is a popular replacement option. Your dentist attaches the supporting hardware to each of the neighboring teeth to hold the replacement teeth in place. You may need a dental implant to provide support to the dental bridge for back teeth, or in cases where the surrounding teeth are missing or not strong enough to provide needed support.