When Are Dental Crowns and Bridges Necessary? Procedure and Aftercare

When Are Dental Crowns and Bridges Necessary? Procedure and Aftercare

August 1, 2023

Dental bridges and crowns are restorative procedures that replace missing teeth or repair teeth damage. These restorations effectively enhance your oral health, function, and aesthetics. While very common and effective, dental crowns and bridges serve different purposes. In this article, let’s discuss why you might need a dental crown vs. a bridge, their procedures, and tips for caring for and managing your restorations.

What to Expect During the Dental Crown Placement Process

Dental crowns or tooth-colored teeth caps that covers a weakened or damaged tooth, restoring its strength, shape, size, and appearance. In most cases, a dental crown has various purposes, including:

  • Repair tooth damage like chips, cracks, and breaks
  • Enhance the appearance of severely stained teeth
  • Strength and protect a weak or worn-out tooth
  • Protect a tooth after a root canal
  • Reinforce a tooth with a large filling
  • Cover a dental implant

Below is what you can expect during a dental crown placement process:

  • Initial consultation. The treatment starts with a consultation to examine your teeth and mouth to determine whether a dental crown suits you. It may involve taking x-rays and impressions of your teeth.
  • Tooth preparation. In the next step, the dentist will remove a small amount of the tooth’s enamel to create enough room for the crown. It is done under a local anesthetic to prevent any pain or discomfort.
  • Impressions. After tooth shaving, the dentist will take impressions or digital scans of the tooth and adjacent teeth. These are sent to a dental lab to create a custom-made crown.
  • Temporary crowns. While the custom crown is being fabricated, the dentist can use a temporary crown over the prepared tooth to maintain the tooth’s function and protect the tooth.
  • Crown Placement. Once the crown is ready, usually within two weeks, you’ll return to the dental office for the final placement. The dentist will remove the temporary restoration and test the fit and appearance of the custom crown. The dentist can adjust the crown to ensure a proper fit and aesthetics if necessary. If everything is good, the dentist will cement the crown permanently. The crown may be polished to achieve a smooth and natural appearance.

What to Expect During the Dental Bridge Placement Process

A dental bridge is a replacement restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. The bridge contains one or more artificial teeth supported by dental implants, dental crowns, or frameworks attached to the adjacent teeth.

The procedure of getting a traditional dental bridge involves:

  • Initial consultation: The process starts with a consultation with your dentist near me. The dentist will examine your dental health to determine whether a bridge suits you.
  • Preparing the abutment teeth: Under a local anesthetic, the dentist will remove a minor portion of the teeth’ enamel to create enough room for the supporting crowns.
  • Impressions: The dentist takes impressions of the teeth using a putty dental material or digital scans. These are sent to a dental lab where the bridge is fabricated.
  • Temporary restoration: While you wait for your custom bridge, the dentist can make and place a temporary bridge to safeguard the exposed teeth and gums.
  • Final bridge placement: On the last appointment, the dentist will remove the temporary bridges and test the fit and aesthetics of your bridge. Modifications can ensure proper bite and natural appearance. Once everything is ready, the dental bridge is permanently cemented in place.

Caring for Your Dental Crowns and Bridges: Maintenance Tips

Proper maintenance and care are vital to ensure the longevity and success of your dental crown or bridge. Below are some tips for maintaining your restorations:

  • Follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions. Follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions regarding oral hygiene, diet, lifestyle habits, and other things. Consult your dentist if you aren’t sure what to do.
  • Don’t ignore pain or ill-fitting restoration. Improper crown or bridge installation can cause significant discomfort or poor bite. Notify your dentist if something feels wrong or uncomfortable. The dentist can make adjustments to ensure proper comfort and bite.
  • Maintain excellent oral hygiene. Brush twice a day, rinse regularly, and floss at least once daily. Pay close attention to the gum line area around the dental bridge and crown.
  • Avoid abrasive dental products. Use a soft-bristled brush, if possible electric, and fluoride-based toothpaste. Avoid hard-bristled brushes, non-abrasive toothpaste, and alcohol-based mouthwashes.
  • Attend regular dental check-ups. Schedule regular check-ups for oral health assessment and professional cleanings. The dentist will also assess your restorations and address any potential issues.
  • Watch your diet. Be mindful about biting or chewing very hard, sticky, or chewy items, as it can cause your crown or bridge to chip, crack, or dislodge.
  • Avoid bad habits. Avoid damaging habits such as teeth grinding, chewing nails, and smoking. Talk to your dentist for a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth, crowns, or bridge from bruxism and high-contact activities or sports.

Are you Interested in Dental Crowns and Bridges in Sacramento, CA?

For more information about teeth crowns or bridges, contact Sacramento Natural Dentistry to book a consultation with our dentist in Citrus Heights.