Why do I need a dental crown or fixed bridge?
Over time our teeth begin to weaken and become more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks, discoloration, etc. If you feel your smile isn’t what it once was, crowns can help you recover your smile. If your dentist notices that a tooth is decayed or seems weakened/cracked, a dental crown may be necessary to make sure that there are no additional problems with the tooth. In cases like this a filling or bonding will not be sufficient.
A fixed bridge is simply two dental crowns, or abutments, on either end of a missing tooth to hold a pontic, which is the new tooth that replaces a missing tooth.
We can design your new crown or fixed bridge in Holly Springs or Raleigh at Klooster Family Dentistry.
How long does it take to make dental crowns or fixed bridges and what’s involved?
The process of designing a dental crown or fixed bridge in our Holly Springs or Raleigh dental office usually takes two visits. During your first visit, you will be given a local anesthetic so that you do not experience any discomfort. We then proceed to obtain a mold of your teeth to fabricate a temporary crown or bridge. We also obtain a shade of your teeth, so that the crown or bridge can match the shade of your natural teeth.
Our doctors reshape the tooth being treated in preparation for a dental crown to be placed over it. In some instances, where the tooth structure is too weak or compromised, a material is added to strengthen the tooth. This procedure is called a core build-up. It serves the dual purpose of replacing missing tooth structure and strengthening the tooth to help prevent further breakdown or breakage.
In the case where we are replacing a missing tooth, your existing teeth are used to literally create a bridge to cross the area where your tooth is missing. The process of creating a bridge is very similar to creating a crown. The only difference is that typically two teeth are prepared instead of one.
Once the teeth have been reshaped, an impression is obtained of the prepared and surrounding teeth. This impression is sent to a dental lab where the lab technician designs a crown or bridge that is beautiful, durable and functional. We then fabricate a temporary appliance, which will be cemented in place until your new crown or fixed bridge is ready.
You will return to our office in 2-3 weeks so we can deliver the beautiful new crown or bridge. Crowns and bridges are durable and we guarantee them for five years, but in most cases they can last as long as 10 to 15 years. You should care for it as you would any of your other teeth with regular brushing and flossing.
Does dental insurance cover a dental crown or fixed bridge?
Dental insurance usually covers some portion of the cost for a traditional crown or dental bridge, in Holly Springs at our dental office, we help you through this process. How much is covered depends on your plan. Oftentimes insurance carriers will only cover a fixed bridge or removable partial denture if the missing tooth was extracted while covered by the present dental plan. You can check with your insurance provider to determine your coverage.
Some insurance plans cover crowns at the benefit level they allow for major services and prosthetics. Other plans may cover single crowns at a somewhat higher level. There may be a deductible and copay with the amount determined by the insurance contract. Some plans do not cover crown services at all. In addition, benefits may be limited or not available at all, depending on annual maximum and plan limitations, such as frequency of service and reason for crown placement or replacement.
As with many dental services when you have a dental plan, it is often best to predetermine treatment for an estimate of your out-of-pocket costs.