Today’s dental patient is extremely fortunate to have a number of restoration options available. In the 1700s dentistry consisted largely of living with your dental problem until it progressed to the point that a barber pulled the offending teeth – without anesthetic. Restoration was basically a set of crude dentures.
Dental treatment has advanced tremendously. Now patients in Phoenix, AZ and surrounding areas have many modern treatment options including dental bridges and crowns. Dr. Sameet Koppikar and his hygiene team at Biltmore Dental Center share this information to help you keep your dental restorations looking great and functioning well for a long time.
A bit of background on bridges and crowns
You may have heard a crown referred to as a cap. That’s actually appropriate, since it covers the visible portion of a tooth, much like a cap covers your head. A crown is usually made of lustrous porcelain that matches natural tooth enamel. A dental crown provides protection and strength for a tooth that has suffered trauma or has had a large area of decay. Crowns are also a vital part of dental bridges.
A bridge consists of crowns on teeth adjacent to the space left by a missing tooth (or up to three consecutive missing teeth). These crowns hold a pontic, an artificial tooth, in place to fill the gap. While dental implants are considered the standard of care for replacement missing teeth, dental bridges are still a sound alternative for many patients.
Caring for bridges and crowns
A crown or a bridge represents an important investment in your smile, oral health, and gastronomical enjoyment. Preserve that investment by caring for your mouth and your new dental restorations properly:
- Brush your teeth at least in the morning and before bedtime (after every meal is better). Use a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to reduce buildup of plaque on and around your restoration and natural teeth.
- Finish with a swish of antibacterial mouth rinse to eliminate stubborn bacteria around restorations.
- Flossing is critical, so be sure to take care of it nightly. Ask Dr. Koppikar for a demonstration on proper flossing technique and how to floss under a bridge. If you aren’t comfortable using a flosser, you may want to consider a dental irrigation device to keep teeth and gums healthy.
- Avoid sticky and very hard foods and biting on non-edible objects. Taffy, bubblegum, ice, peanut brittle, pens, and fingernails can dislodge or damage crowns and bridges.
It only takes a few minutes each day to care for your mouth, and it can dramatically increase the lifespan of your crown or bridge. For more tips on oral care, schedule a visit with Dr. Koppikar at Biltmore Dental Center. The number is (602) 954-8200 .