In an ideal world, everyone’s natural teeth would remain healthy and whole for a lifetime. Unfortunately, though, decay, trauma, or infection may cause severe damage to teeth or cause the teeth to be lost altogether. In such circumstances, a dental crown or bridge may be the ideal restorative treatment. These custom-made prosthetics have the potential to make your smile look, feel, and function like new! This page discusses what these restorations are and how Dr. Kar can help you experience their many benefits.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that fits over the entire visible portion of a tooth (everything above the gum line). Dental crowns in Allen may be made of various materials, including porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, and gold. A crown can be used to:
There are a few types of dental bridges, but the most common type is a three-part restoration that includes two crowns and a pontic (artificial tooth). The two crowns get placed on the teeth on both sides of the location where a tooth is missing (the abutment teeth). The crowns support a pontic between them in order to “bridge” the gap.
A traditional dental bridge is able to replace 1 – 3 missing teeth in a row. If the tooth loss is more extensive, or if the missing teeth are at various locations throughout a dental arch, a different type of restoration might be the better option. For example, your dentist in Allen may recommend an implant-supported bridge or denture to fully rebuild your smile.
The process for non-implant-supported crowns and bridges begins with tooth preparation. Dr. Kar will have to modify your teeth so they will fit well beneath their crowns; this usually involves filing the teeth down or filling them in. We use local anesthetic (and sedation in some cases) to make sure patients are comfortable during this part of the process. Once the teeth are prepared, our team will take detailed images and impressions of your mouth. Dr. Kar will use that data to design your restoration. As a prosthodontist, he has an in-depth knowledge of how to create prosthetics that look and function like real teeth, and that will not interfere with your natural bite.
Once Dr. Kar designs your restoration, a dental laboratory will fabricate it according to his specifications. In the meantime, you will wear a temporary restoration to protect your prepared teeth. When your permanent crown or bridge is ready, Dr. Kar will verify its fit before he cements it into its designated place.
If you’ve never received a dental crown or bridge before, you might have questions about your upcoming treatment. That’s why our team is happy to provide you with detailed answers to your most common questions below! Of course, feel free to reach out to us directly if you have another question that is not mentioned. We want nothing more than for you to feel confident about your upcoming restorative treatment and/or tooth replacement.
Dental crowns only need to be brushed and flossed just like natural teeth to stay healthy for many years. You’ll need to brush twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss at least once a day to remove plaque and food debris from and in between the crown. You’ll also want to avoid biting down on extremely hard or sticky substances as this can cause the crown to crack or come loose. If you grind your teeth, make sure to use a nightguard.
It’s not uncommon for dental crowns to last anywhere between 10 and 15 years before needing to be replaced. However, this is only the case if you take proper care of your crown and make sure to perform daily oral hygiene. Dental bridges can also last well over 10 years when performing routine at-home care and maintaining visits to our office for checkups. However, bridges can last substantially longer if paired with dental implants.
Yes you can. It is true that the crown itself cannot develop decay because it is made from inorganic material (in most cases porcelain), however, the natural tooth can still develop decay if you don’t practice good oral hygiene. The same is true for traditional bridges, which rely on natural teeth to hold it in place. In these instances, it helps to purchase an interdental toothbrush to keep the underside of crowns and bridges clean.
Dental bridges maintain a small amount of space directly underneath it where food debris and plaque can still develop. If you’re able to remove the bridge, which is often the case for partial bridges, you should do so to keep it clean. If not, it helps to purchase either an interdental brush or a water pick to keep this area as clean as possible.
Treatment to receive either a dental crown or bridge does not cause discomfort for one key reason. Dentists will always provide enough local anesthetic to ensure no sensation is felt during the modification of existing tooth enamel and placement of either the crown or bridge. However, you may notice some mild discomfort after the anesthetic wears off. Any tenderness you experience following your treatment can be easily managed with over-the-counter painkillers.