Missing teeth cause more than just a gap in your smile. They can also lead to shifting placement for the rest of your teeth, gum disease, or jaw dysfunction. Looking at tooth replacement options isn’t just a cosmetic dental service; it’s also vital for protecting your oral health.
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns and bridges are dental tools used to manage and treat missing and damaged teeth. When a tooth exhibits damage, Dr. Chavez may recommend the use of a crown — a prosthetic tooth that sits on top of your damaged tooth and replicates the look and feel of your natural tooth. Preserving your teeth in your mouth always takes priority.
However, depending on the extent of the damage, Dr. Chavez may determine that removing the tooth (or teeth) is in the best interest of your long-term oral health. In such cases, he may then recommend the use of a bridge to maintain your bite, comfort, and oral wellness.
Bridges are typically used to fill in gaps when one or more teeth are missing. A bridge is a single connected piece, even when it comprises multiple prosthetic teeth. Like crowns, bridges are designed to look and feel like your natural teeth. Both crowns and bridges are cemented in place, not removable.
Caring for Your Crown or Bridge
While crowns and bridges look and feel like natural teeth, some additional precautions must be taken to preserve and care for them. Brush your teeth regularly to maintain oral health, and continue to floss regularly as well, taking more care and being more gentle around the crown or bridge.
You should be able to eat and drink normally once your prosthetic teeth are in place and healed, but during the first 24 hours after the procedure you should avoid very hot foods, sticky foods, and chewing gum. You should also take the extra precaution of chewing on the opposite side of your mouth to ensure you don’t disrupt the crown or bridge while it is in the process of settling into place.
Call our office to schedule an initial consultation and Dr. Chavez will get you on the path to great oral health and a smile that promotes wellness and confidence.