Crowns and Bridges in Kirkland, WA
Are you living with the nuisance and discomfort of missing or broken teeth? Dental crowns and bridges at our Kirkland, WA dental office fill in uncomfortable gaps between teeth and restore your smile to good health and full function. Dr. Jen Kim helps her patients by offering attractive, natural-looking crowns and bridges that blend in perfectly with your teeth.
Also referred to as dental restorations, crowns and bridges today look more natural than ever before. You can have a beautiful, flawless smile, and no one has to know you have had any work done. The materials Dr. Kim uses blend uniformly with surrounding teeth for a discreet, unnoticeable repair.
- The Problem with Broken and Missing Teeth
- The Difference between Dental Crowns and Bridges
- The Advantages of Dental Crowns and Bridges
- We Use Natural-Looking Materials
- Placing a Dental Crown or Bridge in Two Appointments
- Cosmetic Uses for Dental Crowns
- How to Care for Your New Dental Crown or Bridge
The Problem with Broken and Missing Teeth
Aside from the cosmetic issue, broken or missing teeth also impact your overall oral health. When a tooth is damaged, pain often follows and affects your quality of life. If it hurts too much to eat the healthy foods your body needs, malnutrition can be a real concern.
Missing and severely damaged teeth also put extra strain on remaining teeth, which causes them to wear down faster and develop chips and fractures. Eventually, you may lose additional teeth. Missing teeth can affect the quality of your speech, and over time, loss of bone in your jaw can cause the shape of your face to change.
Repairing and replacing broken or missing teeth takes the pressure off your other teeth and restores them to full functionality. The result is that you’ll be able to smile, laugh, and speak comfortably and confidently once again.
The Difference between Dental Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns are caps that cover the entire surface of your tooth. Your dentist in Kirkland, WA would usually recommend a dental crown if a cavity is too big for a filling, or if you have a cracked or broken tooth. Damaged or decaying teeth are usually in need of a dental crown to help protect and support them.
If you want to replace one or more missing teeth, Dr. Kim might recommend a dental bridge. This restoration literally “bridges” the gap in your smile by joining dental crowns to adjacent healthy teeth with an artificial tooth suspended between them.
The Advantages of Dental Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns strengthen and protect your tooth, which prevents or eliminates the need for tooth extraction. We also use dental crowns with dental implants to restore appearance and function. This replacement tooth is long-lasting and looks completely natural.
We often use dental crowns to secure other restorative dental work, including bridges, partials, and dentures. To replace several teeth in a row, we place crowns over teeth adjacent to the space left by the missing teeth. Then we use a bridge or other type of dental prosthetic to fill in the gap.
Crowns and bridges fit snugly and neatly in among your regular teeth. You clean and care for them in the same way you do your natural teeth. These dental restorations are durable but they can crack if placed under extreme pressure, so don't use your teeth for anything other than chewing food!
We Use Natural-Looking Materials
If you know someone with an older crown or bridge, you may have noticed that a dark line reveals their dental work right at the gum. Modern crowns and bridges are made using natural-looking materials like porcelain that eliminates this noticeable line.
Your restorative dental work will blend in with your natural teeth instead of giving away the secret to your beautiful smile.
Placing a Dental Crown or Bridge in Two Appointments
In most cases, Dr. Kim can place a dental crown or bridge in just two visits to our Kirkland, WA dental office.
First Visit - Preparing the Tooth
The first step is to prepare the tooth or teeth that we’re treating by slightly altering its shape and size. Next, we’ll take dental impressions of the prepared teeth that we use to make a model of your teeth. Dr. Kim will help you choose a custom shade for your new restoration so it will blend naturally with surrounding teeth.
We then send the model and color specifications to a custom dental lab where skilled technicians prepare your dental crown or bridge.
Second Visit - Placing Your Dental Crown or Bridge
Your restoration will be ready in about two weeks, and you will return to our Kirkland, WA dental office to have it placed on your teeth. Whether it’s a dental crown or bridge, Dr. Kim will check the restoration to ensure it sits correctly and that it doesn’t interfere with your dental bite.
The final step is to polish your new restoration and cement it securely in your mouth. If you are proactive about your oral hygiene and you keep up with dental exams and cleanings, your dental crown or bridge can last as long as 15 years.
Cosmetic Uses for Dental Crowns
The focus in dentistry today is as much on aesthetics as it is protecting and maintaining good oral health. That’s because the aesthetics of dental materials have improved, and today we use them to enhance the appearance of your smile.
State-of-the-art materials like porcelain and ceramic mimic the natural luster and sparkle of a healthy tooth. Since a dental crown conceals your natural tooth, there are several ways we can use them to improve your appearance:
- Protect chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
- Cover a discolored tooth
- Fill in uneven gaps and spaces between teeth
- Reshape or resize a tooth to blend seamlessly with your smile
We often use dental crowns to solve these problems as part of a larger treatment plan. Placing a dental crown does require altering your natural tooth, so Dr. Kim may determine that porcelain veneers are a healthier, more conservative solution in your case.
How to Care for Your New Dental Crown or Bridge
You just had your new crown or bridge placed, and you couldn’t be happier! Your new restoration should give you many years of service if you care for it and your oral health correctly.
- Be scrupulous with your oral hygiene at home. Your crown or bridge won’t get a cavity, but the anchor teeth below them can. Keep your teeth and gums healthy by brushing at least twice a day and flossing once.
- If you suspect you grind your teeth while you sleep, ask us about a custom nightguard to protect your teeth and your dental work.
- Avoid eating hard or crunchy foods or chewing on ice, both of which can crack or break your dental restoration
- Stay current with your oral hygiene visits and routine dental checkups. During these appointments, our dentist in Kirkland, WA will check your crown or bridge to make sure it’s secure and in good condition.
Everyone is unique, but dental crowns and bridges have been known to last as long as 15 years. Commit to taking care of your restoration and your oral health, and you’ll get good use out of it for many years to come.
Call Us to Schedule an Appointment
You can get dental crowns to help stabilize a weakened or broken tooth, or to be part of a dental bridge that fills in the gap left by a missing tooth. Contact our Kirkland, WA dental team to schedule an appointment to see what your tooth restoration options are!