At Super Smiles of Burlington, we’re proud to provide you with high-quality dental crowns and bridges conveniently located near you. Our highly trained team of dental experts and hygienists are led by Emilie Miller, DMD, and work tirelessly to ensure your dental upkeep is as simple, convenient, and comfortable as possible.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is essentially just a cap that replaces a large portion of your tooth when its been damaged by a cavity or from a fracture. The cap, or crown, replaces your natural tooth in size, shape, and even color, allowing it to blend in and look perfectly natural next to the rest of your teeth. A dental crown can even increase the strength of your tooth and greatly improve its appearance.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A traditional dental bridge is a false tooth held in place by two dental crowns, one on either side of a missing tooth, which creates a “bridge,” filling in the gap where your missing tooth was. In addition to a traditional bridge there are also three other varieties which are very similar but vary in small ways.
A cantilever bridge uses only one tooth to anchor the bridge, for instance. While a Maryland dental bridge uses your two teeth on either side of the gap but instead of utilizing crowns, a framework of metal or porcelain is used to hold it in place. The third variety is an implant-supported bridge where instead of crowning the teeth on either side of the gap, they’re pulled and replaced with implants which support the bridge. This last variety is the most expensive and time-consuming option, requiring at least three visits and as long as a couple of months to complete, but may be the best option for your needs. Dr. Miller will discuss all the options with you and together you’ll decide what’s right for you.
When Would I Need a Dental Crown or Bridge?
Both dental crowns and bridges are used to restore your smile but can also serve other important functions crucial to your dental and overall health. If, for instance, you have a cavity that’s too big to fill, or if your tooth is cracked or broken, or maybe just shaped incorrectly or has discoloration, a crown will replace the damaged tooth. Crowns are also the perfect solution for covering a tooth which has had a root canal treatment in order to protect it.
While bridges are primarily used in conjunction with crowns to replace missing teeth for aesthetic purposes, they’re also used to correct or restore the way you chew, your speech (which could be affected by the loss of a tooth), and to keep your other teeth from shifting position, which can alter the shape of your face and your smile.
What’s Involved in the Procedure?
On your first visit, Dr. Miller and her team will start by numbing the area to be worked on to ensure your comfort. After you’re prepped, she’ll contour, or shape, the tooth or teeth requiring the crown by removing parts of the tooth, including any decay, to allow for the crown to fit over the top of it. Next, she’ll make an impression of the teeth in order to make a cast for the crown or bridge, which will be sent out to a dental lab for creation. You’ll be fitted with a temporary crown or bridge afterward to protect the teeth and allow you to eat normally. It generally takes about two weeks to get the permanent crown or bridge made, at which time you’ll come in for your second visit to have it placed.
While you’re fitted with a temporary crown or bridge, be sure to avoid sticky or overly chewy foods that could cause it to pop off. You may also find your teeth are extremely sensitive to hot and cold beverages and you may wish to avoid them.
If you’re having a bridge procedure, Dr. Miller will use temporary cement to hold your bridge in place so you can test it out and make sure it’s fitting right, and on the third visit it will be cemented in place permanently after any adjustments have been made.
How Much Does a Dental Crown or Bridge Cost?
A dental crown’s price is largely determined by what materials are being used, but a portion of the cost is usually covered by your insurance. Crowns can range in price anywhere from $800 to $1,800.
A dental bridge is generally more expensive than a crown since it usually employs one or more crowns, as well as the bridge tooth. As with crowns, dental insurance will usually cover a portion of the cost. Again, the price largely is determined by what materials are used but also depends on how many teeth are being bridged and crowned. Due to the large variety of bridges and materials, they can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000.
D. Miller will work with you and your insurance company to determine what treatment options are right for you and your smile.