Do You Need a Crown or a Bridge?

A crowns or a bridge is often necessary when you’ve damaged or lost a tooth. But crowns and bridges are best suited to different situations. Here’s what you need to know about both and when they’re likely to be used. Call the dentists at Eagle River Dental if you feel you need a crown or a bridge.

What are crowns and bridges?

Crowns and bridges are prosthetic dental devices that are used when you have a damaged or missing tooth. Unlike dentures, crowns and bridges are permanent and can’t be removed. Your dentist attaches a crown or bridge to existing teeth or implants. Both crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, although sometimes they may need to be replaced.

What are crowns?

Crowns are also called caps and cover existing teeth. A crown can strengthen a tooth or improve its appearance, shape, or alignment. Crowns are usually made of ceramic or porcelain and are made to match your surrounding teeth. 

Crowns can also be made from stainless steel, resin, or gold or other alloys. Crowns made with porcelain over metal or gold are stronger than porcelain alone.

Your dentist may recommend a crown to do the following:

Most dental crowns require at least two visits. At Eagle River Dental, we sometimes have the option of doing same-day crowns using a CEREC® high-tech dental device. This device allows the dental team to make the crowns chairside for your convenience. 

What are bridges?

Bridges are sets of prosthetic teeth that bridge the gap created by missing teeth. Like crowns, they can be custom-made to match the color of your other teeth. Bridges are often anchored to the surrounding teeth. It’s important to have a bridge in place because missing teeth can cause an altered bite or cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

Bridges require at least two dental visits. At Eagle River Dental, Drs. Michael Crookston or Brett Kocherhans prepare the teeth that surround your missing tooth, sometimes filing them down to allow optimum room for the bridge. They may also take films or X-rays of your mouth to ensure the right fit. 

At the final visit, your dentist will secure the bridge to nearby teeth for permanent placement in your mouth.

How to care for your crown or bridge

Crowns and bridges are generally very strong. You should care for them as you do for your other teeth: with regular brushing or flossing. However, you may want to avoid certain foods that can damage your crown or bridge, especially sticky foods like caramels and chewy candies and hard foods and ice.

If you think you need a crown or bridge, talk to the dentists at Eagle River Dental. We can help you choose the right option for your lifestyle and your budget. Call us at 907-341-4315 or make an appointment online.

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