You’ve probably heard of dental crowns and bridges, but you may not know what they are. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! When you need dental crowns or bridges in Edmonton, here is some helpful information about the procedures and what to expect afterwards.
What Are Crowns?
Crowns use porcelain caps to replace the tops of your teeth. Often, damaged and decayed teeth require new covers in order to stay healthy. Crowns replace all but the base of the tooth and can preserve teeth next to a ground down or missing tooth. Your family dentist will match the crowns to the natural colour of your teeth.
The general dentist usually requires 2 dental visits to install a crown. First, the general dentist needs to prepare the tooth or implant for the crown. The general dentist will grind and shape the tooth so that the crown can be fitted over it. Then, the general dentist makes an impression of tooth and surrounding gums, which is then sent to a dental laboratory so that the crown can be created. The general dentist fits a temporary crown over the tooth, until the permanent crown is ready. During the second visit, the general dentist will remove the temporary crown and cement the finished permanent crown onto the tooth.
Crowns may generally last about 5-8 years, and with good oral hygiene most crowns may last longer. Certain habits such as fingernail biting, chewing ice, and grinding teeth can do damage to the crown, and should be avoided.
What Are Bridges?
Bridges use a false tooth and 2 crowns on either side to replace lost teeth. The false tooth stands the empty socket, while the crowns attach to the teeth to each side of the gap. This seals the empty space and gives the bridge the support it needs to last.
Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth
Replacing missing teeth will restore your ability to properly chew and speak besides its cosmetic advantage; in addition, the space caused by the missing teeth may allow the surrounding teeth to shift into that area. This shifting could cause a misalignment in your bite that can result in problems with your jaw joint. These shifted teeth are harder to clean, making them more susceptible to gum disease, decay or even additional tooth loss.
The Dental Bridge Treatment
It normally takes 2 or more visits for your dentist to complete your bridge. On your first visit the supporting teeth, which are typically the ones on either side of the missing tooth, are prepared. This is done to make room for the crowns that will slide over the supporting teeth. These crowns also serve as holders of the pontic, which is the missing tooth's replacement.
Next, an impression of the supporting teeth is made so a dental laboratory can custom fit the bridge. Finally a temporary dental bridge is inserted to protect the supporting teeth as well as the space between them.
On your second visit the permanent bridge is placed and adjusted to insure proper fit and function. If the fit of the bridge is satisfactory your general dentist will proceed with permanently cementing the bridge into place.
Dental Bridge Post-Treatment Expectations
After the successful completion of the bridge you may feel some discomfort, mild pain when biting or sensitivity to temperature changes for a few days. As advised by your general dentist, you can take over-the-counter pain medicine, such as Advil that contains ibuprofen, to alleviate the discomfort. If these symptoms persist more than a few days, visit your dentist.
Cleaning Your Dental Bridge
The longevity of your dental bridge depends in large part on the quality of the material in the bridge, as well as your oral hygiene, diet and the health of the supporting teeth and gums. Please ask your dentist for proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Call 780-466-2161 to schedule a procedure.