Fillings, Tooth crown And Bridges
Strengthening your Teeth
Passionate, Dedicated, Friendly
Enhancing Your Smile and Safety with Fillings, Crowns, and Bridges
We all know that healthy teeth will improve your smile, but they also protect you from gum disease and bone loss. Learn how fillings, crowns, and bridges can enhance both your appearance and your oral health.
What are Tooth Fillings?
Tooth fillings “fill” the area of a tooth after removing decay. Decay is caused by bacteria, and it must be removed so that it doesn’t infect the gums. But fillings can also be used to repair teeth that are broken, cracked, or worn down. Fillings provide structure to the damaged teeth and help support bone density in the jaw.
Years ago, there were not many options for the kind of material used to fill teeth. Today, patients have a lot of choices:
Composite fillings offer the best opportunity to match the tooth color of your existing teeth. Composites are able to bond to the tooth structure, and that helps to provide more support to the tooth. When teeth are chipped or cracked, composites are used because of their superb color-matching ability, and use of composites for filling allows for less of the tooth structure to be removed.
However, they’re not as durable as cast gold or amalgam. While cast gold and amalgam can last 10-15 years, composites are expected to endure for about five years. Composite material also takes longer to apply and is more expensive than metal alternatives.
What are Dental Bridges and Crowns?
Dental bridges are an alternative to removable partial dentures and are used to replace one or more missing teeth. They’re superior to dentures in that they allow for a more natural appearance, make it easier to eat and speak, and put pressure on the gums to protect against bone loss.
Dental crowns are caps that are put on top of severely damaged teeth – either because of extensive decay or damage due to another cause. They’re also used to cap the anchor teeth (called the abutments) that support a bridge. For those who are wondering, there’s no difference between a dental cap and a dental crown. They’re just two different terms to describe the same thing.
How is a Dental Bridge Attached?
You’ll need at least two appointments to be fitted for a dental bridge. During the first visit, the abutment teeth – those that surround the space of the missing tooth – must be prepared to accept the crowns.
The dentist will recontour the abutment teeth by removing some of the enamel. Then, the dentist will make impressions that are sent to a dental lab where the bridge, crowns, and pontic (the artificial tooth that replaces the missing one) will be manufactured.
While you’re waiting for the second appointment and permanent fitting, the dentist will give you a temporary bridge that will protect your teeth and gums. When the lab completes its preparation of the bridge, you’ll see the dentist to be properly fitted for it. It must sit in a way that aligns correctly with your bite and feels natural. A dental bridge is cemented in place, unlike a partial denture which can be removed by the patient for cleaning.
How is a Dental Crown Applied?
The process for preparing and applying a dental crown is similar to that of a bridge. The dentist will need to file and remove a portion of the enamel on the damaged tooth, and then make an impression of both the reshaped tooth and the surrounding teeth.
You’ll get a temporary crown while the dental lab is preparing the permanent one. When the permanent crown is ready, the dentist will cement it to your tooth. Follow-up visits may be required to ensure your bite is correct and doesn’t need further adjustment.
Will My Insurance Cover Cosmetic Dental Treatments?
Typically, insurance will cover a portion of restorative treatments. If the cosmetic procedure will correct a bite problem or is medically necessary due to decay, disease, accident, or injury, you should be able to receive some coverage from your insurance company. Insurance will not cover procedures that are only used to enhance aesthetics.
The team at Osseo Family Dental has a great deal of experience working with insurance companies and are skilled at submitting claims that accurately reflect how our cosmetic procedures will improve your health or prevent future damage.
How Much Do Dental Bridges and Crowns Cost?
The expense for crowns and dental bridges depends on the extent of work you need done and which materials you choose. Crowns can be made from metal, porcelain, resin, or ceramics. Your dentist will determine which material is optimal for you.
When dental crowns and bridges are medically necessary, you’re likely to get some coverage from your insurance company. Insurance often pays close to 50% of the cost. If you require help making up the difference, the staff at Osseo Family Dental can put together a payment plan or look into other types of financing options.
Dental fillings, crowns, and bridges are excellent ways to restore your smile when you have a cavity or need to have a tooth extracted. But they also keep your gums and jawbone healthy. If you think you may have a cavity or are looking for a solution to replace missing teeth, contact Osseo Family Dental to make an appointment right away.