What You Need to Know About Dental Crowns and Bridges
Missing or damaged teeth can be a serious issue for our patients, and here at Majidian Dental, we take them very seriously. Fortunately, our crowns and bridges can help you restore your smile. Here’s what you need to know.
What are Dental Crowns and Bridges?
Dental crowns and bridges are a great option for restoring missing or badly damaged teeth. In addition to making your smile look like new, crowns and bridges will help patients with chewing and speaking.
A dental crown is used when a tooth has a very large filling that exceeds its structure, a tooth had root canal therapy, or for cosmetic reasons. A crown can be installed over a tooth as a cap or attached to a dental implant to replace missing teeth.
Dental bridges are used in cases where there is more than one missing tooth. Bridges consist of one or more replacement teeth that bridge the gap that was created when the original tooth or teeth were lost. Bridges are secured using either abutment crowns on each end or permanently installed precision metal mechanisms.
How Will They Look?
Dentists work to ensure your dental crowns and bridges blend in seamlessly with your existing teeth and will function like natural teeth. Each part of a dental bridge is custom-designed to make sure it looks natural and performs correctly.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
Getting a dental crown or bridge usually requires at least two visits to the dentist. In the first visit, the dentist will make an impression of the teeth which are then sent to a dental laboratory. A temporary crown may also be installed at this time.
Once the crown or bridge is ready, the patient can return to make sure it fits properly and have it placed.
3 Stages To A Root Canal Treatment
If you have a toothache, more sensitive teeth, swollen gums, or other signs of tooth decay, you may have an infection caused by bacteria inside your tooth. Our dentist at Majidian Dental might tell you that you need a root canal treatment to eliminate this infection.
The goal of a root canal is to eliminate the infection and make it less likely that it will come back. Root canal treatments can save an infected or badly damaged tooth, so your dentist doesn’t have to pull the tooth out to fix the problem and relieve your pain (which is a much more complex and costly procedure).
Even though we know it’s not ideal to have to go to the dentist more than once, it’s necessary to finish all three stages of root canal treatment and make sure your tooth is completely free of infection.
Here are the three steps that will make up your root canal:
Stage 1: Evaluation and First Clean
In this first step, your tooth will be looked at to ensure you need a root canal. Then, the tooth will be cleaned to get rid of the bacteria that are causing the infection.
After our dentist numbs your tooth, they will cut a small hole in the top so that the root canal can be thoroughly cleaned. This will include using antibacterial solutions to rinse and apply medication.
Before moving to stage two, a temporary filling will be placed in your tooth.
Stage 2: Clean-up and Medications
The second part of your root canal treatment may be done the same day as the first part, but it may also be done a week or two later.
At this stage, the root canal is cleaned more thoroughly to get rid of any bacteria that may still be inside the tooth. Our dentist may also take x-rays to check the length of your root canal and make sure that the whole canal is cleaned.
To treat the infection, our dentist will also put medicine on the tooth.
Stage 3: The Filling
Once the root canal is completely free of bacteria and your symptoms have gone away, it’s time to fill it. This usually happens 4-6 weeks after the second stage of your root canal treatment.
Before the root canal is sealed, special rubber points are inserted into the root canals to fill them. Depending on the damage to your tooth and the situation, you may have a temporary filling or a permanent one put in.
If you think you might need a root canal, it’s important not to put off your treatment. A root canal is one of the best ways to treat an infected tooth and get rid of the painful symptoms you’ve been having. Call Majidian Dental to learn more or schedule an appointment.
A Good-Looking Path to Better-Looking Teeth: Invisalign® and SureSmile®
Braces can feel like a bit of a contradiction. You want a clean, straight smile, but you first have to wear a highly visible device on your teeth for months on end. You want a well-aligned bite, but for a while braces make some day-to-day tasks, such as brushing your teeth and eating some foods, more difficult.
Fortunately, for those who want to show off their pretty pearly whites as they go AND show off the results of their realignment as soon as possible, one option is clear plastic removable aligners such as Invisalign aligner systems.
The Benefits of Clear Aligners
Clear aligners, as their name suggests, are clear plastic devices intended to straighten your teeth over time. They are nearly undetectable by observers. Not only are they more difficult to see (getting you closer to being able to show off that perfect smile), but they can be taken out temporarily when needed, allowing you to brush your teeth or eat without distraction.
The Clear Aligner Fitting Process
For most clear aligners, including Invisalign® and SureSmile® systems, your dentist will take a mold of your teeth and send it in. From there, orthodontic experts will determine the difference in positions between where your teeth are and where you want them to be and will create several stages of aligners to gradually move your teeth into the desired position. You’ll have to wear the aligners most of the time—about 22 hours a day. At certain points in the process, as your teeth change position, you’ll move on to the next device, switching them out until your teeth are right where you want them to be.
Alternatively, there are kits you can order to take a mold of your teeth at home. This is an overall less expensive process, but you aren’t likely to achieve the same results and you lose the benefit of your dentist’s expertise. Clear aligners may not be the best solution for you, so it’s best to consult your dentist beforehand even if you decide to go this route.
How to Pay for Clear Aligners
Depending on the degree of work your teeth need, clear aligner treatment can cost between $3,000 and $7,000. While this is expensive, there may be options to help make this more affordable.
Many dentists offer payment plans, which allow you to split a large bill into smaller payments over time. This makes payment much more manageable for some people and can be useful in emergency situations when you don’t have time to save money for the treatment before you begin.
Of course, if you can save money ahead of time, that’s probably the better option. If you’re planning to save up for an Invisalign clear aligner treatment or something similar, you may want to consider opening a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA). Accounts such as these allow you to take a certain amount of money out of your paycheck, pretax, to pay for some expenses—including, in some cases, clear aligners. The types of accounts you’re allowed to open and the amount of money you can put into them will vary depending on your situation, so talk to your bank or another financial professional about your options.
For those who can use them, clear aligners such as Invisalign systems can be the least intrusive solution for straightening teeth. It’s nice not to have to worry about the looks and inconveniences of traditional braces! The initial cost of clear aligners may seem daunting, but options are available to help pay for them.
If you have any questions about clear aligners or other methods of straightening your teeth, please give us a call at 701-235-8402. We’ll be happy to walk you through your options and help you find the best possible solution for your smile.