Missing teeth are a common problem. In fact, the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP) reports that 178 million Americans are missing at least one. Missing teeth can damage your self-image and self-confidence. Beyond appearance, missing teeth can also make it more difficult to eat and can put you at increased risk for infection. There are several options to help correct missing teeth. Dental crowns and dental bridges are two permanent solutions that can help restore your dental health and your smile.
Dental crowns and bridges are an alternative to removable options such as dentures. Dental bridges and crowns are placed in your mouth to stay. They look and function just like your natural teeth. The right choice for your mouth will depend on a number of factors such as how many teeth are missing and the overall health of your gums and jaw.
A dental crown is sometimes called a dental cap. It is used in a few different types of dental procedures. This includes:
The first step in a crown procedure is adjusting the shape of your existing tooth or placing a dental implant. Teeth that are damaged can be filed down and reshaped to prepare for the crown. The dentist will then make an impression of your tooth. The impression will be used to make a crown that will be attached to your reshaped tooth using dental cement.
A dental implant is a small post that is placed into your gum. It acts as an artificial tooth root. A crown is created to fit into the space and is then secured to the post. Crowns can be made of metal, ceramic, or porcelain. They can last for a long time if they’re well cared for.
A dental bridge can replace a missing tooth. Bridges use your existing teeth as anchors to fill in gaps. Your artificial tooth will be placed in between the two surrounding teeth. It’s helpful to have healthy teeth around the area of your missing tooth. This makes it easier to have a bridge placed. If your surrounding teeth aren’t healthy, having dental implants placed before your bridge procedure is an option.
The first step to a bridge is reshaping the two surrounding teeth. They’ll generally be reduced in size to allow room for your new bridge. A mold will then be taken off your teeth and used to create a bridge. You might get a temporary bridge to wear while your permanent bridge is being made. Your permanent bridge will be attached to your surrounding teeth and will cover the gap. Dental cement will be used to keep your bridge in place.
You’ll need to take a few more steps if you need dental implants. You’ll need to have the damaged teeth removed and have implants inserted into their places. Your implant crowns will be shaped so that your bridge can fit over them. You’ll need to wait for your implants to heal before your bridge can be placed.
The cost of your crown or bridge procedure will depend on the specifics of your case. For example. If you need to have implants placed before you’re able to have a bridge, or if you need crowns on multiple teeth. Generally, bridges are more expensive than crowns. Bridge prices range from about 1,500 to $5,000. Conversely, crowns normally cost between $600 and $1,500. Your dental insurance might cover some of these costs.
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