Crowns and Bridges in Winston-Salem
Serving the Winston-Salem community
It is easy to take healthy teeth for granted. Even if you have been taking good care of them, there may come a time when wear and tear take their toll, and you lose a tooth or suffer dental damage.
Dr. Jeffrey J. Tibbs has been creating high-quality, durable dental restorations for over 30 years. We customize crowns and bridges that restore your smile, your confidence, and your ability to speak and eat comfortably.
If you are dealing with tooth loss or damage and aren’t sure if a crown or bridge is right for you, please call our office to arrange a consultation with Dr. Tibbs. He will evaluate your needs, explain why treatment is necessary, and present your options. When you understand what’s happening with your oral health, you can make confident decisions about the direction of your treatment.
All-porcelain dental crowns
- Why do I need a dental crown?
- What problems does a dental crown solve?
- What steps are involved in getting a crown?
- How do you use crowns with dental implants?
- How often do I need to replace my crown?
- How should I take care of my crown to make it last longer?
- What does a dental bridge do?
- How do you attach a dental bridge?
- Are dental bridges permanent?
- Which is better, a bridge or a dental implant?
Why do I need a dental crown?
When a tooth has suffered too much damage to be repaired with a filling, we will usually recommend a dental crown. Since crowns are designed to surround your natural tooth, they restore strength and function. We offer all-porcelain crowns, so your new crown also improves your appearance and blends seamlessly with your smile.
What problems does a dental crown solve?
There are several situations where we might recommend a crown as your best option:
- Severe decay has compromised a tooth to the point where a filling doesn’t provide sufficient protection.
- A tooth has already had multiple fillings, and a crown is needed to protect it from further damage.
- Teeth become brittle after root canal treatment, so we will usually recommend a crown to protect it and restore function.
- You have had a dental implant placed, and a crown is needed as a finishing touch to restore appearance and function. Since our porcelain crowns conceal your tooth, we can also use them for aesthetic purposes such as improving shape, size, or color.
What steps are involved in getting a dental crown?
The first step is a comprehensive exam with Dr. Tibbs so he can assess your needs and decide if a crown is the most appropriate choice for you. We then place your crown following these steps:
- Remove any decay and prepare your tooth to receive the crown
- Take impressions of the prepared tooth to create a model
- Use the model to create your temporary crown
- Send the model and specifications to a custom dental lab that fabricates your crown
When your crown is ready in about two weeks, you will return to our dental office where Dr. Tibbs performs the following steps:
- Remove your temporary crown
- Try the new crown on your tooth to check for fit
- Check your bite to ensure your teeth meet correctly
- Polish the crown and cement it to your tooth
Before you leave with your new crown, Dr. Tibbs will instruct you not to eat anything for 30 minutes following placement and to avoid hard or sticky foods for the next 24 hours until the cement sets.
How do you use crowns with dental implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that’s placed surgically in your jaw and takes the place of the lost root. As the biocompatible implant heals, it fuses with surrounding bone and tissue in your jaw and becomes part of your dental structure, just like a natural root.
Once the implant heals completely, we attach a restoration. If we are replacing a single tooth, we use a crown to restore appearance and function. If multiple teeth are missing, we may recommend a bridge or full or partial denture. The crown restoration is the portion of the tooth that people will see, and we use all-porcelain material to create crowns that blend seamlessly with your smile.
How often do I need to replace my crown?
With a commitment to practicing excellent oral hygiene and maintaining routine dental exams and cleanings, a porcelain crown can last as long as 15 years. In some cases, they can last even longer.
How should I take care of my crown to make it last longer?
Getting a dental crown is an investment, and you owe it to yourself to protect it, so it lasts as long as possible. Remember that while your crown won’t get a cavity, the tooth underneath it can. Follow these basic but important steps to keep your teeth healthy and your restoration intact:
- Avoid biting down on nuts or hard candy that could damage or loosen your crown
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once. Ask our hygienist for tips if you need to “brush up” on your skills.
- Keep regularly scheduled dental exams and cleanings at our Winston-Salem office so we can check your crown to make sure it’s secure and look for signs of underlying decay or gum disease.
What does a dental bridge do?
Losing a tooth can be difficult to deal with. Aside from feeling self-conscious about the noticeable gap in your smile, you may also have trouble eating and speaking comfortably.
A bridge is a dental prosthetic that we customize to fill the open space left by a missing tooth. It serves the purpose of restoring your appearance and resuming the function of the lost tooth.
How do you attach a dental bridge?
We typically create bridges as a three-piece unit that includes an artificial tooth (pontic) suspended between two crowns. The crowns are attached to healthy teeth on either side of the open space and provide support. The result is a complete smile that allows you to go back to eating your favorite foods and smiling with confidence.
Are dental bridges permanent?
Like any other type of restoration, a dental bridge has a lifespan. If you commit to excellent oral health by brushing and flossing daily and keeping routine appointments for exams and dental cleanings, your bridge may last as long as ten years.
The bridge itself is a prosthetic and cannot get a cavity, but decay or gum disease can compromise the anchor teeth to which the bridge is attached. Depending on the damage, we may need to replace the bridge, so it’s wise to do everything possible to keep your smile healthy.
Which is better, a bridge or a dental implant?
Bridges and implants both serve the same purpose – replace a missing tooth – but each goes about it in a very different way.
- A bridge is a prosthetic that includes an artificial tooth (pontic) suspended between two crowns. The crowns are attached to the teeth on either side, and the pontic sits in the open space.
- A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed surgically in your jaw and allowed to heal. During a process called osseointegration, the implant fuses securely with the bone and tissue that surround it. When the process is complete, we attach a restoration like a crown, bridge, or denture to restore function and appearance.
There are several advantages to choosing an implant instead of a bridge. Unlike a bridge that sits on top of your gums, the implant stimulates surrounding tissue to prevent deterioration of your jaw bone which is common with tooth loss. Maintaining healthy bone in your jaw prevents gum recession and possible loss of neighboring teeth.
Something else to consider when deciding between an implant and a bridge is longevity. A bridge needs to be replaced every 5 to 10 years, but an implant becomes part of your dental structure. And the crown we use to restore the implant can last 15 years or longer with excellent oral care.
Dental crowns and bridges with your Winston Salem dentist
Want to learn more about what dental bridges and crowns can do for your smile? Are you looking to improve your oral health? You're in luck -- your Winston-Salem dentist is here. Call Dr. Jeffrey Tibbs today to book an appointment for a consultation.