Dental crowns and bridges help to replace missing teeth and improve the look and function of existing teeth. They are two of several treatment options that Dental Restorative Group may recommend to restore your smile.
During an initial consultation at our practice, your doctor will talk with you about the advantages of each approach and help you choose the treatment option that fits your needs. Because we have expertise in a variety of methods, we can typically find a solution that balances durability, aesthetic improvement, and expense.
An Overview of Crowns and Bridges
A dental crown is a cap that fits over your existing tooth. The crown is mean to restore the shape, size, appearance, and function of your original tooth. Crowns can also connect to dental implants: man-made tooth roots that your doctor places surgically in the area of missing teeth.
A dental bridge is a set of three or more crowns connected to one another. The two crowns on the ends—the “abutment teeth”—anchor to either your existing teeth or to dental implants. The crowns between these anchors—the “pontics”—bridge the gap where teeth are missing.
Crowns and Bridges vs. Dental Implants
Patients in Belmont, Cambridge, and Greater Boston can restore their smile with crowns and bridges placed on natural teeth. The procedures are well established and tend to be more affordable than receiving dental implants for each missing tooth. However, crowns and bridges don’t have some of the benefits that dental implants provide:
- Your doctor will need to reshape your existing teeth to place crowns and bridges. Dental implants don’t require reshaping since they take the place of a missing tooth.
- While crowns and bridges are very durable, dental implants tend to have greater strength and stability.
- The area around pontics may experience bone resorption over time, creating a gap between the crown and the gums. Dental implants help to prevent bone resorption.
As a Dental Restorative Group patient, you will receive transparent and detailed guidance. Our doctors will give you the time and information you need to choose the right treatment option.
What to Expect: Crowns and Bridges Supported by Natural Teeth
Getting crowns or a bridge is a bit simpler with natural teeth than with dental implants. Over two visits to Dental Restorative Group, your doctor will reshape the teeth that will support the crowns or bridge abutments. For some of the patients we serve in Belmont, Cambridge, and Greater Boston, this means filing down the structure of their teeth. Other patients require tooth fillings.
The more closely a crown fits the tooth structure, the stronger and more durable it will be. Dental Restorative Group’s on-site dental laboratory and technician can quickly create crowns that closely match the surface of teeth, providing higher quality and speed in your treatment.
You will receive temporary crowns or a temporary bridge until the permanent ones are complete. Once they are ready, your doctor will place them and test to make sure your bite is natural and comfortable.
What to Expect: Crowns and Bridges Supported by Implants
For implant-supported crowns and bridges, patients have a series of procedures at our offices in Belmont, Cambridge, or Arlington. Here is an overview of the process:
- In an initial surgery, your doctor will place the implants within the jawbone. The number and location depend on whether you are receiving crowns, bridges, or both.
- Over the next several months, the implants will bond more closely with the bone in your jaw, giving them greater strength and stability.
- In a second procedure at Dental Restorative Group, your doctor will expose the implants. A few weeks later, the doctor will attach metal posts (abutments) to the implants and take an impression of your gums. You will also receive temporary crowns or a temporary bridge.
- Our practice will use the impression to fabricate your permanent crowns / bridge. Your doctor will place and test them in a follow-up visit and make any necessary adjustments.
Regardless of whether you receive a crown or bridge on natural teeth or implants, Dental Restorative Group’s procedures can improve your smile, make eating more comfortable, and provide you with a high-quality experience in our care.