Most people think that dental crowns and bridges are simply meant to repair teeth. These restorative treatments can help you eat, drink, speak, and smile more comfortably if your teeth become damaged by extensive decay, infection, or trauma. While these advanced prostheses serve an important purpose for patients with these medical conditions, crowns and bridges can also enhance the appearance of the teeth. Dr. Craig Armstrong and our Houston dental team often custom make and place durable, attractive porcelain restorations to beautify our patients’ smiles. In the following blog, we explain how crowns and bridges can be an important part of cosmetic treatment.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that covers the entire tooth, from its chewing surface to the gum line. Dental crowns are similar to porcelain veneers in that these restorations can address a wide variety of aesthetic concerns, including:
Since they are larger prostheses, however, dental crowns provide more comprehensive tooth coverage than veneers, with the added bonus of protecting the tooth against future damage. To place a cosmetic crown, Dr. Armstrong will first assess your tooth and provide any necessary restorative treatment, such as filling cracks with bonding or performing root canal therapy to address an infection. Next, he will contour the tooth so it can hold a prosthesis, take an impression of it, and send this information to our partner lab, where skilled technicians will custom make it. During the two weeks it takes to create this cap, you will wear a temporary crown. Once your permanent restoration is ready, Dr. Armstrong will attach it to your tooth with strong bonding cement and ensure that it fits properly.
A dental bridge is a multiple-tooth prosthesis that consists of two dental crowns, placed over healthy teeth, with one or more artificial teeth “bridged” between them. We offer fixed porcelain bridges to fill the spaces left in your smile by missing or extracted teeth. Many patients prefer bridges because these prostheses can simultaneously restore their smiles and enhance the healthy teeth around the gaps. Dental bridges offer the same cosmetic benefits as crowns, but since they also replace missing teeth, they can also help you maintain a full facial appearance and stop surrounding teeth from shifting into a less ideal, unsightly position.
The process for getting a dental bridge is very similar to that of a crown. Dr. Armstrong will shape the two healthy anchor teeth so they can hold crowns, take impressions of them, and work with our partner lab to create a personalized prosthesis. As with a dental crown, you will wear a temporary bridge during the time it takes the lab to create your bridge.
Many patients are interested in pursuing dental crowns or bridges for cosmetic purposes, but you must meet certain basic criteria to qualify for these treatments. You may be a good candidate for a dental crown or bridge if you:
Our strong, tooth-colored porcelain crowns and bridges can help you preserve and improve your smile. Contact us today to learn more about these treatments or discover if they may be appropriate for you.