Regaining the smile you had before you lost a tooth has never been easier. Millions of people wear crowns and bridges to replace or augment damaged or missing teeth with a fixed prosthetic device. Whether it’s crowns or bridges you’re looking for, the experienced dentists at Dr. Lisa Heinrich-Null, D.D.S., are highly trained and ready to answer your questions. Call or schedule an appointment if you’d like to explore a crown or bridge. You can find Dr. Lisa Heinrich-Null, D.D.S., conveniently located in Victoria, Texas.
A crown is a piece of metal, plastic, ceramic, or porcelain that covers a damaged tooth by “capping” it. Crowns are designed in the shape of the original tooth and can enhance strength and appearance. The crown also acts as a protective covering once it's fitted over the original tooth so that the visible portion of the tooth is encased and sealed in place with dental cement.
Unlike a crown that fits over a tooth, a bridge is meant to cover a gap left by multiple missing teeth. This gap can eventually cause problems by allowing the remaining teeth to shift into the empty space where there was once a tooth. It’s a formula for a bad bite, gum disease, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants on either side of the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. Each side is anchored by the crown, while a replacement tooth is attached to the two crowns that make up the abutments on either side to fill the gap.
That depends. With crowns and bridges, you have a choice of materials. Dr. Heinrich-Null and her team can show you your choices and help you to weigh all your considerations, such as the location of the missing or damaged teeth, any aesthetic considerations, the relative strength of the crown or bridge, and the cost.
The materials that you and Dr. Heinrich-Null choose to use when making dental crowns or bridges can vary in strength, appearance and overall life expectancy.
There are four different types of materials used for dental crowns:
Dental bridges tend to be made from:
Each of these materials has its own advantages and disadvantages. Porcelain crowns and bridges can match the color of your teeth perfectly but are more susceptible to damage. Gold is strong and compatible with the human body. Finally, zirconia (from the titanium family) is strong, yet looks like ceramic, making it a popular all-around choice for strength and appearance.
Crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, but it’s also not unusual for them to become loose or even fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown is to practice good oral hygiene. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. Make sure to floss daily.
See your dentist or hygienist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings. Finally, to prevent damage to your crown or bridge, avoid extremely chewy foods, hard foods, and never bite down on ice.
Talk to Dr. Heinrich-Null and her experienced team about all the considerations that go into crowns and bridges. They can happily guide you through each step of the process to make sure you make the best choice to restore your smile. To schedule a personal appointment, call or visit online today.