Crowns and Bridges

Dental Bridges and Crowns

Dental Crown and Bridge Salt Lake CityAs technology advances, medicine continues to take strides with it – and dentistry is certainly no exception to that.  Cosmetic dental procedures and treatments that were once viewed as extremely difficult and risky are now commonplace and standard in the industry.  Dental bridges and crowns are two such treatments.  If you’re interested in finding the best cosmetic dentistry Salt Lake City has to offer to perform a bridge or crown, Kim Roberts DDS is here to help you create and maintain the smile you deserve.

What is a dental crown?

It doesn’t take much to crack or chip a tooth, and a dental crown is a treatment that allows you to fix the problem without replacing the tooth with an artificial one.  A crown is a firmly-placed cap on a tooth that blends in with the other teeth.  A good dentist will place a crown that looks completely natural and allows you to speak and chew naturally, having no impact on the aesthetics of your mouth or its functionality.

A dental crown helps you in multiple ways.  Firstly, when you receive a crown you are hiding your chips or cracks, making your mouth and teeth look as they normally would.  The more important function of a crown is protecting your teeth from further damage that will come if your chips or cracks go untreated – just like a chip in a windshield, it will only get worse if it isn’t fixed quickly.  In this sense, dental crowns are both a restorative procedure since it prevents additional damage, but also cosmetic since it improves the appearance of your teeth and smile.

What’s the dental crown procedure like?

You’ll always want to go through a preliminary examination before moving forward with the treatment to make sure your dentist determines the best course of action for the procedure.  Dr. Kim Roberts always puts your best interest in mind and will carefully evaluate all your options and provide insights that will make your decision as easy as possible.

After your initial examination determines that a dental crown is the best course of action, a dentist will prepare the tooth or teeth by carefully filing down the sides and top of the tooth crown, only filing the minimum amount required. This will create adequate space to place the porcelain crown on top of the damaged tooth and allow it to blend in perfectly with the surrounding teeth.  As is the case with any major dental treatment, you will be administered an anesthetic to make sure your experience is as comfortable and pain-free as possible.  

You’ll receive a temporary crown on your tooth once the prep work is finished, because the permanent crown may take two or three to complete in the dental lab.  Once the porcelain crown is completed you’ll need to schedule an appointment to for your dentist to place the crown on top of your damaged tooth.  Your dentist may want to schedule some follow-up visits to make sure there are no complications with the newly-placed crown.  

What’s a dental bridge?

Let’s revisit the analogy of a crown being compared to fixing a chip in a windshield.  If a crown is chip repair, a dental bridge is like replacing a windshield that is beyond repair.  When your tooth is severely damaged, often times there is no other option than to extract that tooth and replace it with either an artificial tooth (called an implant) or a dental bridge.  Unlike an implant, a dental bridge isn’t anchored to the jawbone.  Instead, it is anchored to the surrounding teeth.

Most prosthetic teeth are made from porcelain, which is a firm, creamy substance that is also the material used for crowns.  Dentists will mold the porcelain to create a new prosthetic tooth that matches the look of the surrounding teeth.  It’s very difficult for anyone to notice the difference between 100 percent natural teeth and a prosthetic.

The reason the term “bridge” is used is because the new prosthetic tooth/teeth act as a bridge to cover a gap in the mouth.  To use another analogy, let’s pretend the gap left by your missing tooth or teeth is the San Francisco Bay.  Your porcelain prosthetic tooth is the Golden Gate Bridge, but you can’t just throw it over the water without it being secure and anchored.  One of your teeth adjacent to your tooth gap is San Francisco, while the other is Oakland – both acting as anchors to secure the bridge.  The two anchor teeth will need to receive a new crown, which requires them to be filed down to create the required space for a porcelain crown.  Crowns are both very stable and permanent, creating an ideal support for your dental bridge.   

What should I do?

If you’re not sure whether a bridge or crown is right for you, Kim Roberts DDS is here for you.  Dr. Roberts will put you and your health first when giving you an examination and make sure you get the best possible dental treatment Salt Lake City can offer.  Give us a call today at 801-424-3500 to schedule an appointment with our friendly staff!