Our teeth are really remarkable. They are highly durable and are designed to last us a lifetime. If we care for them properly, they can easily do that. But even if we’re not as careful with them as we should be and they get damaged, they can still last a lifetime with the support and protection of a dental crown. Our existing teeth can even be used to fill in for one that’s lost by supporting a dental bridge.
If you have a damaged tooth that could use the support and protection of a dental crown, please call (361) 851-8274 or email the Corpus Christi Center for Cosmetic Dentistry today for an appointment with a Corpus Christi cosmetic dentist today.
When Dental Crowns Are Used
Dental crowns are used when a tooth is significantly damaged by decay, wear, or stress, or if it needs a lot of alteration to achieve your cosmetic goals. Common situations where a dental crown is used include:
- Significant decay leads to weakening of a tooth
- A large filling in a tooth fails
- A tooth has become infected and needs a root canal
- Reshaping a tooth to straighten the smile without braces
- Cosmetic applications where crowns don’t provide enough support
- Supporting a dental bridge
A dental crown can take a tooth that has failed and might otherwise need to be extracted and turn it into a fully functioning tooth again. You get a second chance with a tooth, and with a dental crown, your restored tooth can last for decades.
All Ceramic Dental Crowns: Strength and Beauty
In the past, dental crowns were often made of metal — gold was the preferred choice, but other metals were used, too — but now we have the option of using tooth-colored dental crowns to restore your teeth not just to complete function but also to a completely natural appearance.
A dental crown is a sheath that can be placed over your damaged natural tooth, giving it a completely new surface. With all-ceramic dental crowns, this new surface can be just as attractive as your natural tooth— or even more so. The dental crown provides protection for the damaged tooth by covering it, and support by bracing it where it is weak. The natural tooth root remains anchored in the jawbone, supporting the tooth root in turn.
Ceramic dental crowns are now so strong that they can be used any place that metal crowns were used in the past. They don’t have any metal — not even a metal underlayer — so they give the best appearance of any dental crown available.
Understanding Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are a tooth replacement alternative to dental implants. Dental bridges are an older technology, so they’re not as good as dental implants, but they still have a number of good benefits.
A dental bridge is composed of two parts: one or two artificial teeth to replace the one or ones you lost, and one or two dental crowns, most commonly two with one on either side of the missing teeth. These crowns are placed over your teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth. Your natural teeth then support the artificial teeth.
Benefits and Limits of Dental Bridges
Dental bridges used to be considered the best option for tooth replacement, and they still offer some great benefits:
- Fully anchored to your teeth so they don’t have to be removed to be cleaned
- Allow you to eat most or all foods
- Very natural in appearance
With dental bridges, you should be able to eat your normal diet. There are almost no foods your dental bridge shouldn’t be able to handle–as long as you’re chewing actual food and not objects like fingernails or pen caps. Dental bridges also look natural when they’re first installed, though that can change over time. They can last for a decade or more, but they are not as long-lasting as dental implants.
However, they have some limitations that make them second to dental implants in many situations:
- Not anchored in the jawbone, so they don’t prevent bone loss and gum collapse
- Require modifying neighboring teeth
- Can put teeth under excessive stress, leading to the failure of a natural tooth
- Can be hard to clean under
- Have a shorter lifetime than implants
Although dental bridges might initially look good, they don’t support or stimulate your jaw and gums, which means that these can collapse under the bridge, creating an unattractive space in the long-term.
But if you don’t have enough jawbone to support a dental implant where you lost a tooth or don’t want to go through surgery, dental bridges may be your best option. To learn which is the best tooth replacement option for you, please contact the Corpus Christi Center for Cosmetic Dentistry today for an evaluation by a Corpus Christi cosmetic dentist.