Porcelain Crowns And Bridges
Porcelain Crowns Before & After PhotosView Full Gallery
What Are Porcelain Crowns?
Porcelain crowns are a popular dental restoration used to repair damaged or decayed teeth. Each porcelain crown is custom made for a natural look and fits over the affected tooth like a cap. The durable porcelain-based material can strengthen the tooth structure while also protecting it from further damage or decay.
What Are Dental Bridges?
A dental bridge can replace one or more missing teeth, restoring both the form and the function of your smile. The restoration is typically composed of a porcelain crown on either side of a gap with an artificial tooth attached in the middle. Many patients who are not good candidates for dental implants choose dental bridges as an effective missing tooth solution. Each dental bridge is carefully crafted to blend seamlessly with the surrounding natural teeth.
What Are the Differences Between Crowns and Bridges?
The primary difference between crowns and bridges is their function: dental crowns are used to strengthen and protect an existing tooth, while dental bridges are used to replace one or more consecutive missing teeth. That said, bridge treatment often involves the use of crowns, which are placed on top of the natural teeth surrounding the gap in your smile. These crowns are designed to anchor the bridge restoration in place for a stable, secure fit. Both treatments are common components of a full mouth reconstruction.
What Are the Benefits of Crowns and Bridges?
Both porcelain crowns and dental bridges are designed to improve the function of your teeth while enhancing the esthetics of your smile. When a tooth is damaged or decayed, a porcelain crown can preserve the natural tooth structure, conceal tooth imperfections such as chips or cracks, and cover any stains or discoloration. Dental bridges replace missing teeth, which can improve the strength of the bite, prevent unwanted movement of the adjacent teeth, reduce the risk of gum disease, and allow the patient to eat and speak with ease. During the consultation process, our cosmetic dentist, Dr. Andrew E. Skasko, will perform an oral exam, discuss your cosmetic goals, and determine your candidacy for porcelain crowns or dental bridges.
What Can I Expect in the Crown and Bridge Procedures?
Dr. Skasko uses innovative technology that allows him to create a digital mockup of your new smile. These digital images give patients the opportunity to “try on” their new smile before the crown or bridge is made. Previewing a smile design also facilitates better communication between the patient and our dentist about their cosmetic goals and expectations.
The first step of the porcelain crown procedure is to “prep” the tooth by removing any decay and shaping its structure, which will eventually allow the porcelain crown to be securely fixed in place. A digital impression will then be taken of the prepped tooth, which allows us to either create a single-visit crown using CEREC® CAD/CAM technology, or to send a mold to one of the world-class dental technicians we work with, who will fabricate your custom restoration. In both cases, porcelain crowns can be tinted to match the color of the surrounding teeth for an extremely natural-looking appearance. If the crown has been sent to a lab, a second appointment will be scheduled once it has been fabricated to complete the final restoration.
Since the replacement teeth of a dental bridge are attached to two porcelain crowns, the first step of the procedure is to prep the teeth adjacent to the gap, as detailed above. While a mold of the affected area of the mouth is sent to our dental technician, a temporary restoration can be worn. Once the permanent restoration is returned from the lab, the dental bridge can be attached, and your smile will be complete.
What is the Recovery Like for Crowns and Bridges?
The recovery period after a crown and/or bridge treatment will vary based on the specifics of your case. Patients receiving dental crowns may experience mild swelling and sensitivity for the first few days after treatment. Hard and sticky foods should also be avoided to prevent your new crown(s) from becoming dislodged. Most patients report that any discomfort is typically manageable with over-the-counter pain medication. Warm salt water rinses may also help reduce any potential swelling and inflammation.
Bridge patients typically experience a very similar recovery process to crown patients, with the biggest variable being whether or not tooth extraction was performed as a part of the treatment plan. In cases where a tooth or teeth are removed prior to bridge placement, recovery typically takes 7-10 days—although this can vary based on the location and complexity of the extraction(s). Patients should be sure to follow all of their dentist’s aftercare instructions to ensure that their extraction site(s) heal efficiently.
How Much Do Crowns and Bridges Cost?
The average cost of a single crown is approximately $1,400-1,900. Since each porcelain crown or bridge procedure is customized to the individual’s needs, the price will vary based on factors such as:
- Number of affected/missing teeth
- Location of the affected/missing teeth
- Dental technician and laboratory fees
- Overall complexity of the procedure
- Experience of the cosmetic dentist
- Geographic location of the practice
Additional FAQs About Porcelain Crowns and Bridges
Can You Whiten Porcelain Crowns and Dental Bridges?
Dental crowns and bridges are typically made of a non-porous material that is resistant to teeth whitening. Furthermore, using harsh chemical agents on your restorations has the potential to damage them. Therefore, it is advised that patients not attempt to whiten their crowns or bridges. That said, all of the restorations created at Elite Dental are designed to be stain-resistant, so they should remain whatever shade and color they were when they were placed. In cases where your crown now appears whiter than the surrounding teeth, our dentists may be able to help you whiten your natural teeth for a more vibrant overall smile esthetic.
How Long Do Crowns and Bridges Last?
With proper care and maintenance, porcelain crowns and bridges can last for up to a decade or more. In order to promote the longevity of your restorations, our dentists recommend brushing and flossing regularly while also being sure to attend your twice-yearly dental appointments. This allows your dentist to assess the condition of your crown(s) and/or bridge(s) over time while also making sure your oral health remains optimized.
How Do I Care for My Crowns and Bridges?
Dental crowns can generally be cared for just like natural teeth: regular brushing and flossing, a healthy diet, and twice-yearly professional cleanings should be sufficient to keep them in good condition. Dental bridges should be gently cleaned using a soft-bristled toothbrush and water twice a day. Depending on the type of bridge placed, your dentist can provide more personalized care instructions to help you maintain excellent oral health.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Bridges and Crowns?
Many dental insurance plans do provide coverage for crowns and bridges. You will need to review the details of your specific policy to determine what—if any—benefits you are eligible for. As needed, a friendly and knowledgeable member of our team can help you review your insurance information and file a claim based on the details of the treatment plan your dentist creates for you.
If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about how crowns and bridges can improve the look and function or your teeth, please contact Elite Dental to schedule your appointment.