Crowns and bridges are restorations used to treat decaying, fractured, and missing teeth. In the case of missing teeth, Dr. Schwartz also offers implants, but can install bridges for patients who would prefer or uniquely benefit from them.
Common Questions about Crowns & Bridges
What’s the difference between crowns and bridges?
Crowns are done when a necessary restoration is too large for a filling. Due to decay or a trauma-related fracture, covering the tooth can be more effective than filling it. In those situations, a crown is used. It sits over the tooth, restoring the surface and optimizing strength, function, and aesthetic.
Bridges are a traditional treatment for missing teeth. Implants are often a great option for this, but not every patient is a good candidate for implants. They rely on the strength and health of the jawbone. A bridge supports the replacement by relying on nearby healthy teeth.
Who needs crowns and bridges?
Patients requiring restorations too large to fill will benefit from the placement of crowns.
Patients with missing teeth, who are not eligible for implants or who would prefer not to get them, can request bridges for the replacements.
Dr. Schwartz can diagnose whatever condition you might have, and help you determine the best course of treatment.
What are crowns made of? Bridges?
Several different kinds of materials can be used for either crowns or bridges. Dr. Schwartz prefers zirconia, a kind of porcelain, as it is the strongest and most cosmetic option. However, some patients prefer gold or other materials, and Dr. Schwartz is happy discuss your preferred treatment options.
How do I care for crowns and bridges?
Dental hygiene is the most important step toward caring for and preserving your dental restorations. With any restoration, the weak spot is where the filling, crown, or bridge meets the tooth. That area is called the margin. The best way to keep the margin from decaying or going bad is to keep clean by brushing regularly and visiting Dr. Schwartz for routine cleaning. Dr. Schwartz’s office has an active dental continuing care department, helping patients keep their restorations clean and healthy for as long as possible. While a lot of hygiene and maintenance can be done at home, if a patient has received a lot of dental work, they’ll benefit from getting their teeth cleaned more frequently than the standard twice a year. Regular cleanings and good home care are critical to keeping restorations in good shape for as long as possible.
How long do crowns and bridges last?
This depends a great deal on maintenance, cleaning, and general dental hygiene. Outcomes vary depending on the individual. However, these restorations are strong, and they can last for a very long time in the right circumstances. There are always factors that can expedite decay, and unexpected traumas can damage restorations, but if someone has a well done crown, bridge, or filling it will last for many years.
Can you whiten crowns or bridges?
No. Once the color is selected, they will stay that color. You can polish some stains from porcelain, but you can’t use chemicals to change the color. If a patient wants to whiten their teeth, we recommend they do it before selecting their shade of porcelain. We can always match the porcelain to the rest of your teeth before installing a restoration.