Tooth loss is a problem that affects all people, whether young or old. It leaves you with gaps in your mouth that could affect its functionality, your look, and feel. Fortunately, solutions are available today to replace lost teeth and improve your confidence. Dental bridges and crowns are an excellent solution for missing or damaged teeth. If your teeth have irreparable damages due to an injury or diseases like periodontitis or dental decay, your dentist will recommend extraction. You could benefit from a restorative procedure that includes a replacement of the missing tooth to ensure that all your teeth are strong and functional.

For a more comprehensive dental examination and help with restoring missing teeth in Whittier, talk to The Whittier Dentist. We have a team of highly trained general dentists that are always ready to restore your smile.

Overview of Restorative Dentistry

No one imagines that one day they will have damaged teeth. Yet, people experience these issues every day due to various factors like injuries, dental decay, and gum disease. Your once healthy and strong teeth could start falling off sooner than you could have imagined. When that happens, it is crucial to think of restorative dentistry and its benefits.

The loss of a tooth should not be the end of your beautiful smile and functional mouth. Missing teeth does not mean you will never enjoy eating the foods you have enjoyed for years. Restorative dentistry gives you a second chance to have a complete set of functional and beautiful teeth.

Our teeth are naturally healthy and strong. The enamel of a human tooth is quite strong. It keeps your teeth in great shape even after years of use and misuse. However, something could happen along the way to cause your teeth severe damage, and the only solution available is extraction. For instance, overconsumption of sugary foods and failing to keep your mouth clean could cause bacterial growth in your gums and between your teeth. The continued growth of this bacteria could eat into your teeth, causing severe decay. Treatments like dental filling can salvage decayed teeth. But if the damage is severe, your dentist will recommend extraction.

Doctors recommend daily habits that will keep your teeth healthy and strong. For instance, brushing your teeth at least twice a day will keep the harmful bacteria from growing in your mouth. Flossing at least once a day will remove any food particles stuck in your teeth, which could promote bacteria growth. You must regularly visit a dentist to have your teeth checked and cleaned. Your dentist will identify dental issues from their onset and treat them before ultimately damaging your teeth. Dental cleaning also rids your teeth of any buildups that could cause dental decay.

However, people still experience dental issues that cause them their teeth. That is why restorative dentistry is essential. Your dentist will do his/her best to save your natural tooth if it is damaged. But if that is not possible due to the extent and nature of the damage, dentists will recommend extraction. That will take care of the pain you could be experiencing and also protect the adjacent teeth from damage. Your dentist could also recommend a restorative procedure to reinstate the lost tooth/teeth.

Missing teeth affect you in several ways. They could affect how you eat, bite, speak or even smile. It is challenging to pronounce some words when some of your teeth are missing. Chewing will be difficult if you have lost some molars or premolars. Your confidence will be affected since you cannot smile or socialize like you used to do when your teeth were healthy and strong. Restorative dentistry includes a series of oral treatments and procedures to replace lost teeth and repair damaged ones. The kind of treatment your dentist recommends depend on the type and extent of your dental issue.

Crowns and Dental Bridges

Crowns and dental bridges are prevalent restorative procedures in dentistry today. They work differently and are recommended based on the dental issue you are experiencing.

A dental crown could help if your tooth/teeth are decayed or damaged beyond repair by composite materials. Dentists install dental crowns on teeth to restore their look, strength, and functionality.

A bridge is recommended for you if you have missing teeth. Bridges come with two crowns and artificial teeth.

Bridges and crowns restore a patient’s natural feel and look and boost their confidence after dental damage or loss.

An adult human being has two sets of sixteen teeth on their upper and lower jaw. Each tooth in these sets has its function. If a person has missing or damaged teeth, it could affect the look and functionality of the other teeth. That is the essence of restorative dentistry. It mainly restores the functioning of your teeth. A dental crown or bridge could help restore the lost functions due to damaged or missing teeth.

Damaged teeth are also very painful. For instance, if you were in an accident or were injured and part of your tooth was broken or fractured, it could be excruciating. Severely decayed teeth are also painful. They could cause your face to swell. Restorative procedures resolve other issues that come with missing or damaged teeth. Treatment will take away your pain, swelling, and discomfort that could affect your general wellbeing.

Replacing a missing or severely injured tooth prevents further loss on your jawbone. The longer you take with a missing tooth, the more your jawbone is lost. Quickly replacing a missing tooth will save your jawbone and leave it as strong as before. Additionally, a lost jawbone could affect your facial appearance. That will impact your self-esteem. A complete set of teeth gives you the facial appearance and beauty you enjoy every day. You will likely lose your beauty once your teeth start falling off. A quicker intervention is necessary to keep your face looking and feeling good.

Thus, if you have damaged or missing teeth, it could be time to seek the advice and guidance of a competent general dentist. You could benefit from a dental crown or bridge, depending on the nature and severity of the damage.

What are Dental Crowns?

Crowns are designed caps placed at the top of a damaged tooth to look, feel, and function like a natural tooth. When a tooth is severely damaged, it will not function the same as a healthy tooth. It could also affect the functioning of the adjacent teeth. Dental crowns are used to restore decayed teeth to keep their natural part and at the same time reinforce them for more strength and better functionality.

Some damaged teeth lose their strength, shape, size, and appearance. It could be due to a fracture after an injury, or dental decay. A competent dentist will cement a dental crown over the damaged tooth, fully enclosing the tooth's visible part above the gumline. The crown restores what the damaged tooth has lost, whether the size or shape.

Here are some of the benefits that dental crowns provide:

They Protect Weak Teeth

If your teeth are injured in an accident or your teeth are severely decayed, they could be too weak to function normally. A weak tooth will not chew or even bite. Its strength could deteriorate with time, and eventually, your only choice would be to have it extracted. Dental crowns protect teeth like those. Instead of losing the entire tooth, your dentist will protect it using a crown. It will hold the remaining part of your natural tooth together to give it the strength, shape, and functionality it could lack.

They Restore Broken Or Worn Down Teeth

A broken tooth loses its shape and functionality. A dental crown will restore it into shape and size and enable it to function as it should. It could be challenging to smile, bite or chew with a broken tooth. The breakage will also leave the tooth susceptible, such that a bit of pressure could ultimately damage it. A dental crown will save your tooth and protect it from further damage. It will restore the function and shape of the broken tooth, leaving you with a naturally-looking tooth.

They Cover And Support Teeth With Large Fillings

Dental fillings help restore teeth that are severely decayed. Dental decay leaves large cavities on a natural tooth, where food particles could stick and cause more damage to the tooth and the adjacent teeth. Fillings cover up those cavities and restore the form and function of the tooth. However, dental fillings are not enough if only a tiny part of the tooth remains after decay. Dentists will use larger fillings to cover the cavities and restore the tooth, but that does not help much. A dental crown could help cover and support the tooth, to restore its shape and function.

They Keep Bridges In Place

Dental bridges replace multiple missing teeth. They usually have two dental crowns, one on each end.

Adjacent teeth anchor the bridge. They are then trimmed down and capped with a dental crown. A replacement tooth is then attached to the crown to form the bridge.

They Cover Mishappen Or Severely Discolored Teeth

Mishappen or discolored teeth could affect how you socialize or feel about yourself. You cannot speak or smile confidently when your teeth lose shape or color. Dental crowns solve this problem. They can cover mishappen or discolored teeth to give your teeth a natural look and shape. That will boost your confidence and restore your esteem.

They Protect Dental Implants

If you have had a dental implant installed in the place of a missing tooth, your dentist will temporarily use a dental crown to cover it before the final restoration of your missing teeth. It takes time for the implant to heal. During that period, your dentist could recommend a crown to cover the crown and make it appear as if all your teeth are intact. After that, you will receive artificial teeth to complete the restoration.

They Are Used As A Cosmetic Modification

Dental crowns can improve your look and feel. When used as a cosmetic modification, they will enhance your beauty and boost your self-esteem.

Dental Crowns for Children

Children can also receive dental crowns for various reasons like:

  • When their baby teeth are decayed and cannot support a dental filling
  • When their teeth are at risk of decay
  • When a child requires a dental procedure but cannot stand general anesthesia due to their age, behavior, or medical history

Types of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns come in all shapes and sizes. The common types are:

  • Stainless-steel dental crown — Is a temporary option and could protect your tooth as your dentist works on a permanent dental crown
  • Metal crowns — Are more solid and durable but not appealing to most people due to their metallic color
  • All-resin dental crowns — Are affordable but not strong and durable. They can easily crack and wear out.
  • Porcelain-fused-with-metal — They are a favorite of many patients, though they are a little pricey. Their advantage is that they could be prepared to look and feel like natural teeth. No one needs to know you have a dental crown after their installation.

The many options could leave you confused and undecided on the right dental crown to go for. You can speak to a competent dentist to determine their pros and cons for more informed decision-making.

Dental Bridges

Bridges create a bridge between two or more missing teeth. They have two dental crowns on the two sides of the bridge and artificial teeth for every gap of the missing teeth. The adjacent teeth to the missing teeth act as anchors for the bridge, called an abutment. The artificial teeth used to replace the missing ones are called antics. Dentists make antics from materials like gold, porcelain, metal alloys, or a blend of any of these materials. Sometimes natural teeth are used to support dental bridges. Other times dental crowns are designed and installed for that purpose.

Here are reasons why dentists recommend dental bridges:

     1. To Restore Your Smile

It is a challenge to laugh and enjoy life when your teeth are missing, especially the front teeth. You will constantly worry about what other people will think or even say about you. That is why most people retreat from social life once they lose their teeth. It affects your confidence and self-esteem. That is an issue that you can fix with a dental bridge. It restores your smile and confidence and also boosts your esteem. You can start enjoying life after dental bridge installation.

     2. To Restore Facial Appearance

Damaged or missing teeth will affect your face’s appearance. Replacing missing teeth restores your facial form and feel. That, too, will boost your confidence and esteem.

     3. To Avoid An Irregular Bite

The teeth on your upper and lower jaws must match when you bite down. That could be a challenge when you have missing teeth. It could lead to a bad bite and a myriad of other dental issues that come with a bad bite, including wearing out of your remaining teeth. Dental restoration keeps all your teeth in line, promoting the correct bite. You will no longer have to worry about bad bites and their consequences.

Types of Bridges

The field of dentistry is quickly advancing with new technology. As a result, we have many types of bridges to choose from. A competent dentist will know all about them, their benefits and drawbacks, and how best to help your situation. Here are some of the standard options today:

Traditional Dental Bridges

In this type of dental bridge, a dentist creates a crown for adjacent teeth on both sides of the lost tooth/teeth and a pontic between them. These are the main types of dental bridges in the industry today. Some are made from ceramic, while others are from porcelain fused to a metal.

Cantilever Bridges

These are used in places with only one adjacent tooth to the missing teeth/tooth. It means that the pontic will only fix on one side, which is the only side that will support the bridge with an artificial tooth and dental crown.

Maryland or Resin-Bonded Dental Bridges

They are mainly used to replace missing front teeth. These bridges are primarily of metal, with porcelain infused into the metal. The pontic, in this case, is fixed to adjacent healthy teeth. The bridge comes with metal or porcelain wings on its sides to fix behind the neighboring teeth for support.

When You Could Require Dental Bridges and Crowns

Sometimes bridges and crowns go hand-in-hand to solve a problem that either cannot fix. Here are circumstances when you could require both for a complete restoration:

When you Undergo a Root Canal

A root canal is necessary when your severely-damaged tooth is painful due to an infection or inflammation in its pulp. Your dentist must remove the inflamed pulp to rid you of the pain and prevent further damage. If your tooth is not seriously damaged, you could just receive a dental crown to reinforce it and restore its functionality and strength. But if the dentist removes the affected tooth, he/she will install a bridge and crown to restore the lost structure and tooth.

After the Installation of Dental Implants

Implants are the best solution for lost teeth. They provide a solid foundation for artificial teeth, leaving you with stronger and more functional teeth after dental loss. Dental crowns are necessary after installing an implant to shield the implant’s top and restore the functionality and look of the missing tooth. When your implant receives a crown, you will eat, bite, chew and even laugh as if you had all your teeth.

You will need dental implants, bridges, and crowns if you have lost two or more teeth in one location. The bridge and crown will support your artificial teeth on the upper part of the gum line, while the dental implant supports them below the gumline so they can serve you even for a lifetime.

Caring for Your Dental Crown and Bridge After Installation

After every dental procedure, proper care is necessary to keep away the treated and other dental issues that could emerge. Installation of a crown and bridge is a necessary dental procedure. Thus, you must commit to ensuring that your mouth heals properly and your installations serve you for a long time.

Proper oral hygiene is a sure way of keeping your teeth and mouth healthy. It consists of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once. It will keep your dental crown and bridge in perfect condition for a long time and your remaining natural teeth healthy. Be sure to clean and floss around the bridge or crown to avoid bacterial growth where the new installations meet your remaining teeth.

Additionally, ensure you visit your dentist regularly for cleaning and checkups at least twice a year.  Professional dental cleaning keeps harmful bacteria away from your teeth and gums. Regular checkups help your dentist identify any issues from the onset and treat them before they escalate.

Your dentist can also provide a list of dos and don'ts after the installations to help keep the bridge or crown strong for a long time. For instance, your dentist could ask you to stay away from hard foods like ice and candy as they could damage your new installation.

If you take care of your dental crown and bridge well, it could serve you well for over fifteen years. However, the service time will depend on the degree of pressure they will be exposed to. If you are in the habit of biting fingernails, grinding teeth, or chewing ice, you could damage your crown or bridge sooner than later.

Find a Crown and Dental Bridge Expert Near Me

Dental restoration procedures give you a second chance to enjoy healthy and strong teeth after losing your teeth. Bridges and crowns are some of the installations you could opt for, depending on the issues you are experiencing. It helps to partner with a well-trained and experienced dentist to ensure that the installations are correct. For more information about bridges and crowns in Whittier, CA, talk to us at 562-632-1223. Our goal at The Whittier Dentist is to restore your smile and confidence.