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Dental Crowns, Bridges & Implants: What’s the Difference?

As we age, our teeth become more susceptible to damage, decay and disease. There are also many lifestyle choices that may affect your chances of damaging your teeth or experiencing a dental emergency, such as playing contact sports. Missing or damaged teeth can affect the overall appearance of your smile, reducing self-esteem and confidence. Both dental emergencies and tooth loss through poor oral care, illness, or aging can result in decreased satisfaction with your smile and self-consciousness about the appearance of your teeth. Many people aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to repairing or replacing lost or damaged teeth. There are several potential treatments that are widely available, including crowns, bridges and implants. However, we are often left wondering, what are the differences between the available treatments? How do I know which is right for me? 

In this blog post, we will describe the main differences between crowns, bridges and implants and the types of tooth damage and decay they are able to treat. We will then provide additional information on how you can access cosmetic dentistry in Vaughan through the expert team at Mackenzie Dental Centre. 

What’s the difference between dental crowns, bridges and implants?

Dental crowns, bridges and implants are all procedures designed to treat damaged teeth in various stages of decay. The main difference is that dental crowns and bridges are used to treat existing teeth, whereas implants are required when the entire tooth and root are either missing or need to be removed due to extensive damage. Crowns and bridges are similar in that they both involve a cap over the natural tooth. A crown is simply a single cap over a given tooth that may be used to improve discolouration or protect from further damage or decay to a tooth. A bridge involves two crowns placed on existing healthy teeth that border a missing tooth. These two crowns are then used to stabilize the bridge which replaces the missing tooth. This can help improve straightness and longevity of the teeth surrounding the gap. 

In the case where a single tooth is completely missing, a dental implant will be used to replace the tooth. This may involve first extracting the damaged tooth and root and then replacing it with an implant, or simply using an implant to replace an already missing tooth. An implant is designed to replace missing teeth, with the look and feel of a natural tooth. This can help improve tooth straightness and the overall appearance of your smile. 

In general, your dentist will determine which of these three techniques is appropriate for your dental needs and aesthetic goals. For cosmetic dentistry in Vaughan, Mackenzie Dental Centre can provide you with any of these procedures as well as additional services to improve the overall appearance of your smile. 

How will my dentist in Vaughan replace my lost or damaged tooth?

Depending on the extent of the damage and the number of lost or damaged teeth, your dentist will determine what procedures are appropriate to restore your smile and overall oral health. If you have a tooth that is minimally damaged, but the actual root is still in place and healthy, your dentist will remove the damaged area of the tooth and replace it with a crown. This crown will match the appearance of the rest of the tooth and sit on top of the natural root in order to protect the remainder of the healthy tooth. If you have a tooth with extensive damage or signs of decay, your dentist may decide to completely remove the tooth and root via an extraction procedure. They will then replace the tooth with a full dental implant. This involves a manufactured tooth with the look and feel of a natural tooth, allowing the implant to maintain the structural integrity and appearance of your smile. 

If you are completely missing a tooth, but the area is bordered by two healthy teeth, your dentist will likely install a bridge. This procedure involves placing a crown on each of the teeth bordering the gap, in addition to a bridge that will fill the space. The bridge will reduce caving and spacing in the smile to help improve the appearance and longevity of teeth.

No matter what the issue, your dentist will work with you to determine the extent of the damage, decay or disease and plan the appropriate procedures. Depending on your age and oral health, you may require multiple procedures than can sometimes be completed all at once. Make sure you talk to your dentist about your concerns and discuss with them your aesthetic goals for your smile. You dentist will be more than happy to determine the procedures that are best for your budget, goals and current tooth condition. 

Are implants, crowns and bridges painful?

For most cosmetic dental procedures, your dentist will provide moderate sedation through general anaesthetic to ensure the process is painless. For cosmetic dentistry in Vaughan, general anaesthetic can be used to ensure that your dental work will be an easy and pain free experience. If you are concerned about the procedure, talk to your dentist to learn more about the process and what is best for your overall oral health. The majority of cosmetic dentistry does not cause significant discomfort, and your dentist can provide moderate sedation where they determine it to be necessary.

For cosmetic dentistry in Vaughan, Mackenzie Dental Centre can help provide you with comprehensive dental care, from identifying your needs to completing any necessary procedures. Dr. Llyod Pedvis and his expert team provide an array of procedures for cosmetic dentistry in Vaughan, including crowns, implants, bridges, Invisalign braces and teeth whitening. We are currently accepting new patients and are always happy to help you achieve you best possible smile. For more information on our team or our services, contact us at 905-417-8700. There is no better time than today to start your journey towards a happier and healthier smile.

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