Today’s crowns and bridges are made of durable, natural-looking materials that can be shaped and adjusted to provide a comfortable, secure fit, helping men and women feel more confident and more attractive following tooth loss. Plus, the materials used in crowns and bridges can be custom tinted so they blend beautifully with surrounding teeth, creating a healthy-looking, picture-perfect smile.

But as great as today’s crowns and bridges look – and as good as they are at restoring smiles and instilling confidence – they play a much more central role in helping patients preserve their oral health. Crowns and bridges also help protect your teeth by strengthening weakened teeth, maintaining your bite balance and preventing “root drift” and other issues that can increase your risk of decay and even future tooth loss.

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The Protective Benefits of Bridges and Crowns

Bridges and crowns work in multiple ways to protect and maintain optimal oral health. By covering a badly-damaged tooth, crowns can prevent tooth loss and extractions, whether used in conjunction with a “regular” filling or a root canal treatment to remove damaged or decayed pulp. Expertly-crafted restorations also help you maintain your bite balance so you can avoid uneven tooth wear, a common cause of headaches, jaw pain and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD).

Plus, bridges used to fill in “gaps” made by missing teeth help support neighboring teeth so their roots don’t shift and drift into the open space, helping to prevent root weakening that can lead to additional tooth loss in the future – a sort of domino effect triggered by the loss of just one single tooth. And of course, maintaining your natural bite balance also means you can continue to enjoy your normal diet without discomfort or difficulty.

Maintaining Restorations

There’s more good news: Thanks to advances in materials technology, caring for bridges and crowns is easy – as easy as caring for natural teeth. Brushing, flossing and seeing the dentist for routine cleanings and checkups is just about all it takes to ensure these restorations look great for years to come. Avoiding really hard foods and substances like ice and hard candies can help prevent chips and cracks or bridge failure – and it can help protect natural tooth enamel as well.

As baby boomers – and then gen Xers – continue to age, dental bridges and crowns will continue to play an even larger role in helping patients preserve their own natural teeth, their beautiful smiles and their self-confidence well into their senior years.