Why Dental Crowns Are Used with Dental Bridges

If you are missing a tooth in your mouth and decide to have it replaced with a dental bridge, your dentist will likely have to attach it in place with the assistance of dental crowns. A dental crown is like a cap for a tooth, and dental crowns are often used to save teeth that are severely decayed. For a bridge, you will need one or two crowns, simply because a bridge cannot stand on its own. Here are a few things to understand about bridges and crowns.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

When a tooth is missing, a dental bridge is one option for replacing the tooth. The other common alternative is a dental implant. A dental implant has many benefits over a bridge, but implants are not always an option, which is why a lot of people choose bridges instead of implants. If you do not have enough jawbone, an implant may not work. In addition, getting an implant can take six to seven months, or longer, to get from start to finish. If you do not want to wait this long, a dental bridge is a good option.

A dental bridge is made up of an artificial tooth, which is called a pontic. The pontic is not placed directly in your mouth, though, because it needs something to attach to, and this is why dental crowns are also used. The pontic is made and attached to one or two dental crowns, which are designed to fit over the teeth next to the missing tooth.

What Types of Bridges Are Available?

There are several types of dental bridges dentists can use to fill in gaps from missing teeth, and the most common type is called a traditional bridge. This type of bridge includes a pontic and two crowns. The two crowns are made for the teeth on each side of the gap. When this is placed in your mouth, it will fill the gap you have but it will also affect the two teeth that are holding the pontic in place. Traditional bridges are extremely strong and durable, simply because they are held in place with two crowns.

The other type of bridge used quite often is called a cantilever bridge, and this type is used when the tooth that is missing is the furthest one back in your mouth. In other words, the gap you have will not have a tooth on both sides. It will only have a tooth on one side of the gap. For a cantilever bridge, your dentist will make a device that contains the pontic, and this will have one crown attached to it. This one crown will hold the artificial tooth in place so that the gap is no longer in your mouth.

Can You Get a Bridge if You Are Missing Multiple Teeth?

If you have two or more teeth missing in your mouth, your dentist might be able to fix the gaps with dental bridges, but it will depend on your situation. The dentist will have to examine your mouth to see if the teeth next to the gaps would be strong enough to hold the bridges in place.

If not, the dentist may suggest an alternative option. For example, fixing multiple missing teeth with partial dentures is often a good suggestion. Partial dentures are typically removable, and they can be used to replace several missing teeth. Dental implants are another option your dentist might talk to you about.

Taking care of your teeth is important if you want to keep them, and the use of dental crowns is very common for many different tooth problems. If you would like to learn more, contact a dentist today or click here for more information.