Crowns and Bridges

If you have damaged or missing teeth, you probably feel self-conscious about your smile. But there are other concerns you should be aware of, in addition to esthetics. When damaged or missing teeth are not repaired or replaced, you are putting the healthy teeth in your mouth at risk.

A damaged tooth that is not repaired can continue to deteriorate until it becomes a tooth that needs to be extracted. The space in your mouth that is left by a missing tooth can compromise the healthy teeth around it.

Dental crowns and bridges are permanent restorations that can give you back your oral health, ensure you can chew properly, and protect your surrounding teeth. If you have missing or damaged teeth, seek treatment right away. Call New Orleans dentist Dr. Richard Rathke to find out if a dental crown or bridge is right for you.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are tooth covers that fit over a damaged tooth and are then cemented into place to protect the remaining structure and restore function. Many people need a dental crown to repair a molar that has become fractured because of a weakened filling.

Another frequent use for dental crowns is to strengthen a tooth that has had a root canal. When the infected pulp of a tooth is removed, as it is in a root canal, the remaining structure becomes brittle. A dental crown protects the tooth and prevents further damage.

Sometimes dental crowns are also used to hold a dental bridge in place.

There are also cosmetic uses for dental crowns, such as covering up a tooth that is oddly shaped or stained and resistant to tooth whitening.

Dental Bridges

A dental bridge fills in the space that is left behind when one or more teeth is missing.

There is nothing like having a gap in your smile to make you feel embarrassed or judged, but there are also more serious ramifications of not replacing missing teeth. Your healthy teeth will begin to shift to fill in the space left behind. This will eventually compromise your bite and can cause undue wear to your healthy teeth. It can also lead to more tooth loss.

Dental bridges anchor to the teeth adjacent to the gap left behind by missing teeth; these are called the abutment teeth. The bridge itself is made up of false teeth to “bridge” the gap in your smile. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth, implants, or crowns.

A natural-looking bridge blends in seamlessly with your natural teeth, so your smile is restored—and so is your chewing function.

Do You Need a Dental Crown or Bridge?

Protect your healthy teeth by repairing or replacing damaged or missing teeth. Talk to Dr. Rathke about whether a crown or bridge can restore your smile and help you maintain your oral health. Call us today to make an appointment!