What Are Dental Crowns?

A dental crown is a restorative dentistry procedure to repair a badly damaged tooth. It is a cap that fits over the entire visible surface of your tooth. It protects, supports, and conceals the damaged tooth. This is because it gives the tooth an entirely new visible surface, a dental crown can also be used in cosmetic dentistry to improve the appearance of damaged or discolored teeth.

Torrance, CA restorative dentist Dr. Webber might recommend a dental crown for a tooth that is:

  • Badly decayed
  • Cracked
  • Infected
  • Restored with a large filling that’s failing
  • Worn
  • Small
  • Unattractive

Usually, Dr. Webber recommends a dental crown when a tooth needs to be supported and/or protected. A decayed or cracked tooth, for example, might be in danger of coming apart without a crown to hold it together and bear some of the forces of biting and chewing. An infected tooth treated with root canal therapy needs the support and the protection of a crown that can help keep bacteria from attacking or invading the tooth.

In cosmetic situations, Dr. Webber only recommends a dental crown when a tooth needs to be built up significantly or needs repair as well as cosmetic improvement.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a method for using your natural teeth to support a replacement tooth. It works simply: a replacement tooth is attached to one or two dental crowns. This crown or crowns fit over adjacent teeth. The replacement tooth sits on your gums, ideally in a slight depression that helps it look like a full tooth.

In the past, dental crowns might have wires that linked the crowns to the replacement tooth. Now bridges are made as a single unit, with all connections hidden so that no one should be able to tell you to have a bridge.

A dental bridge is a fully fixed replacement tooth. It shouldn’t come out, and you don’t have to remove it to clean it. You can bite and chew normally, and you won’t have any restrictions on your diet.

Is a Dental Bridge the Right Replacement for Your Tooth?

Dental bridges are a good tooth replacement in the right situations. Usually, a dental bridge is a better choice to replace a single missing tooth than a removable denture. A dental bridge is an ideal choice when you have a missing tooth between two damaged but overall healthy teeth that would need crowns anyway. Then you can replace a tooth and repair damaged teeth all at once.

We also want to evaluate the bite forces at the place where the bridge will be. Because a dental bridge makes two teeth do the work of three, they aren’t appropriate where the bite forces are too high. In this case, we might recommend a dental implant, which supports itself.

Are You Looking to Repair or Replace a Tooth in Torrance, CA?

If you are unhappy with your smile because of the appearance or function of one or more damaged teeth, restorative dentist Dr. Webber can help. He can use bridges and crowns to repair or even replace badly damaged teeth. To learn if a bridge or crown is right for your smile, please call (310) 534-3477 today for an appointment at Simply Smiles in Torrance, CA.