Claire V. Williams, DMD
General Dentist & Family Dentist located in St Louis, MO
Missing teeth don’t have to be obvious if you get a dental bridge. Dental bridges replace your lost tooth with a natural looking prosthetic one that uses the bordering healthy teeth as support. At the practice of Claire V. Williams, DMD, in St. Louis, Dr. Williams creates custom dental bridges that fill in teeth gaps to give you a full, healthy smile. If you’re dealing with a cracked tooth, a heavily discolored tooth, or another kind of tooth damage, dental crowns might be the best way to protect your tooth and avoid extraction. At the practice of Claire V. Williams, DMD, you can get custom porcelain/ceramic crowns that merge naturally and beautifully with your other teeth. Click the online appointment maker or call the office in St. Louis to schedule your visit today.
Crowns and Bridges Q & A
What is a bridge?
A bridge is a way to replace missing teeth. Bridges can replace just one tooth or several teeth, depending on your needs.
There are several types of bridges, but the main consideration is whether you want a removable bridge or a fixed one. Removable bridges click into your mouth and use metal wings to clip to your nearby natural teeth for support.
Dr. Williams attaches permanent bridges below your gums or within your jaw. Another option for a permanent bridge is a crown bridge. This type of bridge consists of a replacement tooth that connects to crowns on the two neighboring teeth.
When should I consider a dental bridge?
You may want to consider a dental bridge if you need only a few tooth replacements, but not enough to make you a good candidate for partial dentures. A bridge is often a good idea when you're missing teeth because it restores your appearance, helps you eat normally, and keeps your other teeth from shifting.
What is the dental bridge process like?
The exact process varies depending on what type of bridge you're getting. Usually, the bridge process starts with an exam and X-ray imaging. This allows Dr. Williams to determine whether your surrounding teeth and jaw are healthy enough to support a bridge.
Once you've decided which type of bridge is best for you, Dr. Williams prepares your teeth for the bridge and makes an impression of your mouth. Dr. Williams may place a temporary bridge for you to wear until your permanent one is ready.
In your next appointment, Dr. Williams installs your new bridge. If it's a removable one, Dr. Williams shows you how to attach and detach it, and gives you care instructions. If it's a permanent bridge, Dr. Williams installs it surgically or cements it into place.
How do I take care of my new dental bridge?
With a detachable bridge, you generally need to clean it every night and continue your regular brushing and flossing routine on your natural teeth. When you have a permanent bridge, you still need to brush and floss normally, but take a bit of extra time to floss gently around the bridge.
What is a dental crown?
Dental crowns are sometimes referred to as caps because they cap your whole tooth, enclosing it in a custom covering. Crowns are usually made from porcelain or ceramic, which are good choices because they’re tooth colored and blend in well with your other teeth. Crowns are mainly used for protection and strengthening, but they can also be used for cosmetic reasons.
When do I need a dental crown?
Dr. Williams may suggest a crown in several different situations, including:
- Protection for a cracked tooth
- Restoration and protection for a broken tooth
- Cover for a tooth with a large filling
- Protection for a tooth following a root canal
- Concealing a badly discolored tooth (if tooth whitening can’t help)
- Concealing and restoring a misshapen tooth
A crown is often the best way to keep your natural tooth while giving it the extra stability you need.
What is the dental-crown process like?
There are usually a couple parts of the dental-crown process. First, Dr. Williams performs any necessary procedures on your tooth. This may include filling a cavity, doing a root canal, or some other type of restoration work.
After that, Dr. Williams prepares your tooth for a dental crown by taking off a tiny amount of enamel. This gives your tooth the slightly rougher surface it needs to keep the dental crown in place. Dr. Williams then creates an impression of your tooth and sends this to a dental lab that makes the dental crown to your tooth measurements.
You may wear a temporary crown for a couple of weeks while the lab makes your permanent crown. You’ll have a separate appointment for Dr. Williams to place your new permanent crown using a thin but strong dental cement. After that, your tooth is strong and sturdy so you can use it just like you did before it got damaged.
How do I take care of my new dental crown?
There’s actually no special care needed for your new dental crown. Brush and floss diligently each day, and don’t forget your regular checkups with Dr. Williams. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste (a good idea even if you don’t have crowns!) to ensure that you don’t scratch the porcelain or ceramic.
To replace your missing tooth in a natural way, call the office of Claire V. Williams, DMD, or book an appointment online today.