Teeth are important things. We use them to chew our food, to help us speak properly, and to give our face its shape. They also play an important role in our self-esteem. When we have a beautiful smile, we feel more confident. That’s why it’s so important to take care of our teeth.
But sometimes, despite our best efforts, our teeth don’t stay as healthy as we want them to be. They can be damaged by decay, breakage, or infection. When this happens, we may need to get crown bridges.
Some people even just want to get Invisalign braces for purely aesthetic reasons. No matter the reason, it’s important to understand what crowns and bridges are, and what they can do for you.
Understanding what these treatments are is the first step to making an informed decision about your smile. So, let’s take a closer look at crowns and bridges so you can have a better understanding before you go talk to your dentist.
The Bad Things That Can Happen to Your Teeth
Now, you may or may not be someone that takes really good care of their teeth. You may brush and floss every day, or you may not. You may eat a lot of sugary foods, or you may not. Whatever the case, it’s important to know that there are things that can happen to your teeth, even if you take good care of them.
For example, here are a few things that can happen to your teeth:
- Teeth can be broken by biting down on something hard, by getting hit in the face, or by other trauma. This is actually super common and one in eight Americans have at least one chipped tooth, according to the American Dental Association.
- Decay happens when the enamel of your teeth breaks down. This can be caused by plaque, bacteria, and acids in your mouth. It can also be caused by not brushing and flossing regularly.
- Infections can happen if decay is left untreated or if there is an injury to the gums. The infection could spread to other parts of your mouth or even to your jawbone. These infections can be life-threatening.
- Tooth loss:
- Tooth loss can happen because of decay, infection, or injury. It can also happen as we age. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, by the time we are 50 years old, 70 percent of Americans have at least one missing tooth.
These are just a few examples of what can go wrong with your teeth. As you can see, even if you take good care of your teeth, there are still things that can happen to them. That’s why it’s important to know about crowns and bridges.
It’s definitely an unfortunate thing that so many people have to deal with bad teeth. In fact, around 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth right now. And about 40 million of those people are missing all of their teeth.
These numbers are pretty staggering, and they just go to show how common it is to have bad teeth. But there is hope! Thanks to modern dentistry, we have options like crowns and bridges that can help us keep our smile looking good, even if we have lost some teeth.
How Crowns and Bridges Help
Crowns and bridges are arguably some of the most important advancements in dentistry. They have helped millions of people regain their confidence by giving them back their smiles.
So, how do crowns and bridges help? Well, let’s take a look at each one individually.
- A crown is a “cap” that is placed over a damaged or misshapen tooth. It can be made out of porcelain, metal, or ceramic. It is bonded to the natural tooth and covers it completely. This helps to protect the tooth from further damage and also improves its appearance. Crowns are often used after a root canal procedure because they help to strengthen the tooth and prevent it from breaking.
- Bridges are false teeth that are used to fill in gaps caused by missing teeth. They are usually made out of porcelain or ceramic and are held in place by being bonded to the natural teeth on either side of the gap (known as abutment teeth). Bridges can restore your smile and make it easier for you to eat and speak properly again.
- These are basically like mini crowns that cover just a portion of your tooth rather than the whole thing like traditional crowns. They can be made out of porcelain, ceramic, or gold. Inlays and onlays are used to restore a tooth that has been damaged by decay or breakage.
- Implants are basically fake teeth that are surgically implanted into your jawbone. They are made out of metal and they have a false tooth (known as a crown) attached to them. Implants are usually used to replace one or more missing teeth.
These are just some of the most common types of crowns and bridges. Implants aren’t technically either of these things, but they are often used in conjunction with them. There are also other types of crowns and bridges that your dentist may recommend, depending on your individual case.
No matter what type of crown or bridge you decide to get, the goal is always the same: to improve the appearance and function of your teeth. Crowns and bridges can help to restore your smile after decay, infection, injury, or tooth loss. They can also help to prevent further damage from occurring.
If you need a bridge or crown, there’s a good chance that your dentist will recommend that you get one. But it’s important to remember that these are just recommendations. The final decision is always up to you.
Your dentist may also recommend other treatments, like braces or veneers. But ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for your smile. Your smile is your passport to the world, so make sure you take care of it.
Worst Case Scenarios for Bad Oral Hygiene
Now, you might be wondering what the worst-case scenario is for bad oral hygiene. We’ve looked a bit at what it could look like even with taking care of your teeth, so let’s look at what can happen if you don’t.
There are a lot of ugly, not very good at all things that can happen to your teeth. For example:
- Oral cancers:
- According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, about 48,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with oral or throat cancer this year. This is a very serious disease that can lead to death.
- Gum disease:
- Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can cause tooth loss, pain, and other problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 47% of adults in the US have some form of gum disease.
- Tooth decay:
- Tooth decay is caused by plaque and bacteria on your teeth. It can lead to holes in your teeth (cavities), pain, and other problems. The CDC estimates that 91% of adults aged 20-64 have had cavities at some point in their lives.
- Dental caries:
- Dental caries are another name for cavities. They are caused by tooth decay and can lead to pain, sensitivity, and other problems. According to the CDC, about 78% of Americans aged 15-44 have had dental caries at some point in their lives.
- Severe gangrenous disease:
- This is a very serious condition that can occur if gum disease is left untreated. It causes the gums to become infected and can lead to death if not treated promptly.
These are just a few of the many conditions that can occur if you don’t take care of your teeth. As you can see, there are some pretty serious consequences to neglecting your oral hygiene. That’s why it’s so important to brush and floss regularly, and to see your dentist for regular checkups.
If you do start to experience any problems with your teeth, it’s important to seek treatment right away. The sooner you get help, the better chance you have of avoiding more serious problems down the road.
So please, take care of your teeth! They’re important for more than just aesthetics; they’re essential for good health too. See your dentist regularly and brush and floss twice a day! Your smile will thank you for it later on in life.
Keeping Your Teeth Happy
Having teeth is a lot of responsibility. You have to brush and floss them every day, see your dentist for regular checkups, and eat a healthy diet. But even if you do all of these things, there are still things that can happen to your teeth. That’s why it’s important to know about crowns and bridges.
Crowns and bridges are two important treatments that can help to improve the appearance and function of your teeth. They can be used to restore your smile after decay, infection, injury, or tooth loss. So if you ever find yourself in need of one (or both), don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist about it!