Cost of Crown and Bridge Work*
Dental bridgework cost and crown cost varies depending on the materials used, where you live, and the amount of restoration work needed. Typically, porcelain bonded to gold crowns cost between $600 - $3100 per crown. New reinforced resin or bonded all-porcelain crowns cost more than other crown types because they require more skill from the dentist and the dental laboratory. An all-porcelain crown cost ranges from $1,000-$3,000 per tooth*.
Am I a candidate for Crown and Bridge Work?
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your teeth because they are damaged, decayed, or some are missing, crowns or bridge work may be suitable for you. However, your damaged tooth needs to have a preserved root to which the crown can be attached, and dental bridges need at least two preserved teeth or dental roots to be attached.
Crown and Bridge Work Definition
Crowns and most dental bridges are fixed prosthetic devices which are cemented onto existing teeth or implants. Crowns and bridges become necessary when there is not enough tooth structure remaining to support a filling, because of decay or tooth fracture. Unsightly, damaged teeth can be fully restored in cosmetic appearance and function with a crown or bridge work.
What is a Crown and Bridge Work Procedure?
If you are missing one or more teeth, this not only adversely affects your chewing ability, it also affects your facial structure, increases stress on remaining teeth and can give your cheeks a sunken appearance which makes you appear older. Crowns or bridgework can restore your tooth or teeth’s natural function and appearance.
A crown may be recommended if you have one damaged tooth, and bridge work may be used if you are missing one or more teeth.
A crown is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. Crowns strengthen the damaged tooth, whether it is damaged through fracturing or decay, and also improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown has many functions – it can be placed on top of a dental implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure and improve the function of the tooth; replace a filling if there is not enough tooth remaining
to re-fill the tooth; cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth or cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment.
Crowns can be made from porcelain or ceramic which can be matched to the color of your own teeth. Other materials used to make crowns include gold, metal alloys and acrylic, and are stronger than porcelain crowns. Porcelain can be bonded to a metal shell to make it stronger and as cosmetically attractive and closely matched to the natural teeth as possible.
Dental bridges are usually used to replace one or more missing teeth, and bridgework effectively works like and looks like a series of crowns. Bridges cover the space where the teeth are missing, and are cemented to the natural teeth or dental implants (aka abutments) surrounding the empty space. These teeth act as anchors for the bridge work. A replacement tooth (pontic) is attached to the crowns and the bridgework is fitted onto the abutments and cemented into place.
There is a choice of materials available for bridges, and the material that your dentist will use is based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), their function, appearance and cost. In common with crowns, porcelain bridges or ceramic bridges can be used to closely match the color of your natural teeth. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.
When you go to the dentist for your crown or bridge work, the dentist will first reduce the teeth in size using a drill so that when the crown or bridge is fitted, it will fit correctly. Your dentist will then take an impression using a tray and dental putty to provide an exact mold of the reduced tooth. If you are having a porcelain crown or bridge fitted, the dentist will use a tooth shade chart to determine the correct color which will closely match your natural teeth. The mold is then sent to the dental laboratory, and the crown or bridge is made using the impression, to your specifications. The dentist will fit a temporary crown or temporary bridge to protect the prepared tooth or teeth until your next appointment.
When your crown or bridgework is ready, you will return for your second dental appointment. Your temporary crown or bridge is then removed, the dentist ensures that the permanent one fits correctly, and the new crown or dental bridge is securely cemented over your prepared tooth or teeth. Tooth function and a beautiful smile is yours again.
Crowns and bridges are designed to last a long time, and following a thorough oral hygiene program after the crown or bridgework treatment helps to ensure that ensure that it lasts as long as possible. If the gum, teeth or bone holding and surrounding the dental bridgework or crown becomes diseased through poor oral hygiene, the crown or bridgework can become loose and fall out. See your dentist and/or oral hygienist regularly for check up appointments. To preserve the life of your new dental work, you should also avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects.
How is Crown and Bridge Work done?
During your initial consultation, your dentist will examine the condition of your teeth, gums and jaw to determine if you are a suitable candidate and discuss your expectations for your crown and bridgework with you.
After administering a local anesthetic to the area to be treated, the dentist reduces the size and shape of the tooth by grinding (filing) it to the correct conical shape. You may need to have a root canal treatment, where the tooth and root are drilled and cleaned, to ensure that no decay is present in the tooth which can lead to problems later on.
The dentist then makes an impression of the ground tooth, the adjacent teeth and the opposing teeth in the opposing arch using a tray and dental putty, which is pushed up or down onto the tooth or teeth to make an accurate impression of the area. This is then sent to the dental laboratory where the crown or bridgework is made in the materials specified. The dentist then fits a temporary crown or bridge which protects the treated tooth or teeth until you return for your next appointment.
At the second appointment, your crown or bridgework is ready to be fitted. The dentist ensures that the fit is correct, and then the permanent crown or bridge is fixed to the tooth with zinc-phosphate cement or a typ of resin. This part of the procedure is painless.
After the treatment, your teeth may be mildly sensitive to extreme temperatures for a few weeks. Ensure that you follow a good oral hygiene program to prevent the build up of bacteria on your teeth and gums which can become infected. Crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, provided you look after your oral health.
Questions to Ask a dentist about a Crown and Bridge Work procedure
Here is an essential check list of questions you may want to ask your perfectyourself.com dental professional:
- Am I a good candidate for Crown and Bridge Work?
- Are my described expectations realistic?
- How long will the procedure take?
- What kind of anesthesia or pain relief is used?
- What is your experience in performing Crown and Bridge Work?
- Can I see your qualifications?
- Ask to see any Crown and Bridge Work before and after photographs of recent procedures?
- What percentages of your Crown and Bridge Work patients have had significant post-treatment complications?
- How much will my Crown and Bridge Work procedure cost?
- Do you offer patient financing? (Flexible payment schemes for your surgery)
- Will you repeat/correct procedures if the agreed goals are not met? If this is the case, will I be charged again?
- Ask to observe the exact procedure you are considering before you decided to have surgery if you are unsure (this could be on videotape or in real life).
- What is the recovery and healing period for Crown and Bridge Work? When can I resume full normal activity?
- Have you ever had your malpractice insurance coverage denied, revoked, suspended
- Ask for and follow up on patient references (these can be invaluable to finding out what your surgeon is really like and the level of customer satisfaction he/she has received in the past)