Ask a General Dentist – When Is a Crown, a Bridge, or a Dental Implant Recommended?
Your general dentist is the right person to see when you need restorative work on your teeth. You can suffer tooth loss, which requires immediate attention. Other common problems that dentists treat include chipped, broken, or cracked teeth. These can all be both cosmetic and health concerns. Fortunately, your dentist has some options on how to restore your teeth, even in the most severe cases.
Common causes of tooth damage
The enamel layer of a tooth is the strongest substance in the body. Still, it is not indestructible. Often, damage can occur due to an accident or injury. A hard blow to the face can dislodge or harm a tooth. Biting into an object such as a utensil or a hard food can have the same effect.
Another way in which a person may need restorative help from the general dentist for a tooth is because of severe decay. A cavity could be large enough to threaten the health of the tooth. Infections could also develop and spread throughout the mouth. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily can prevent decay.
Crown: what it is and when it is the right choice
A crown is a device that covers the entire tooth. Usually made of porcelain or ceramic, it protects a weak tooth and stabilizes it. It is made to be the same shape, size, and color as natural teeth and will prevent further injury to the tooth. The general dentist will recommend a crown when the tooth is salvageable but when there is significant damage.
When the general dentist recommends a bridge
A dental bridge is another common option. It consists of a few different pieces and is used when the patient has lost a tooth. The dentist may also suggest this treatment when saving a profoundly decayed or damaged tooth is not possible. When a tooth is missing, the dentist will place an artificial tooth, known as a pontic, in its spot. On either side of the pontic, the dentist puts crowns over the natural teeth. This keeps the remaining teeth in their proper spots and prevents drifting.
Dental implant recommendations
A dental implant is a long-term tooth-replacement option. The general dentist will recommend this when the patient has one or a few missing teeth. It is also a good choice to restore the full function of the mouth and revive the person’s smile. Implants are made of titanium and can last for up to 20 years or more. The process involves several steps and can take several months of healing and getting used to the implants.
The right choice for the right situation
Even with diligent attention to good oral hygiene, you may still experience problems with your teeth. Mishaps can damage one or multiple teeth in your mouth, affecting the way you look and feel. Your general dentist will evaluate your needs and determine the right treatment. Crowns, bridges, and implants are all common, effective methods for achieving your cosmetic and health goals.
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