Roughly 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth; more than 36 million Americans don’t have a single tooth remaining. If you suffer from tooth loss, you’re not alone. Many individuals turn to dental features like crowns and bridges to help restore their smile. Dental Masters, with offices in the Ravenswood, Lincoln Park, and Belmont neighborhoods of Chicago, can help: Call today or schedule an appointment online.
Crowns and bridges are fixed prosthetic devices cemented onto your existing teeth or implants. Unlike dentures that you can take out and clean daily, only your dentist can remove crowns and bridges.
You usually get a crown to entirely cover or "cap" a damaged tooth or implant. Bridges, on the other hand, cover a space if you’re missing one or more teeth. Your dentist cements them to natural teeth or implants surrounding the area where the tooth once was.
Not only does the crown strengthen your damaged tooth, but it can also improve the appearance, shape, or alignment of your tooth as well. Your dentist can also place a crown on top of your dental implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure.
Depending on the placement of your crown, your dentist can use different materials. For more of an improved-aesthetic look, you can choose porcelain or ceramic crowns to match the color of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic, and ceramic.
Your dental professionals at Dental Masters recommend stronger alloys for back teeth. They often use porcelain bonded to a metal shell because it’s both durable and attractive.
Reasons you may want a crown include:
Dental Masters may recommend a bridge if you're missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause your remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces.
That results in a bad bite and causes imbalances that could lead to issues like gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. TMJ can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that help to with movement of your jaw.
To span the space where teeth are missing, your dentist cements bridges to your natural teeth or implants. These teeth are called abutments, which serve as anchors for your new bridge. Your provider then attaches a replacement tooth, called a pontic, to the crowns that cover the abutments.
Similar to crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist and the staff at Dental Masters can help you decide which material is best for you based on the location of your missing tooth -- or teeth -- its function, aesthetic considerations, and cost. They can match porcelain or ceramic bridges to the color of your natural teeth.
Call Dental Masters or schedule an appointment online to see if crowns and bridges can improve your smile.