Crowns and Bridges

Teeth that are missing or damaged can have a real impact on your quality of life. You might feel self-conscious about smiling or speaking around others. It might also be difficult to chew your favorite healthy foods comfortably.

Whatever the reason for your missing or damaged teeth, Dr. Yuchen Sheng of Radiant Smiles Family Dental in Miami Beach, FL can restore your smile—and your quality of life.

We provide all-porcelain crowns and bridges to restore a cracked tooth, replace a missing tooth, or restore a dental implant. We use the best materials to mimic the color and texture of the natural tooth.

Dental Crowns

Dental Bridges

What is the purpose of dental crowns?

Dental crowns—or tooth caps—are commonly used for a variety of reasons, but primarily to repair a tooth that has been damaged or weakened. For instance, if you have a particularly large filling in one of your back molars, these can fracture over time. Because too much of the tooth has been treated to replace the filling, a dental crown is the best option to save the tooth, stop the spread of any more decay, and make the tooth structure strong again.

Another common use for dental crowns is as a restoration after a tooth has had a root canal. Once the live tissue—or pulp—has been removed from a tooth, this can leave the remaining structure brittle. Putting a crown over the tooth keeps it from breaking, ensuring that patients can chew comfortably again.

Sometimes dental crowns are used cosmetically at our Miami Beach, FL dental practice to cover up a tooth that has an odd shape or a stain that is resistant to teeth whitening. Crowns are also used sometimes to hold a dental bridge in place.

What can I expect with the dental crown process?

The process usually takes place over the course of two dental appointments. During the first appointment, we’ll prepare the tooth that is to receive the crown. This involves removing some of the tooth surface to make room for a dental crown to fit over it snugly. Then we’ll create a mold of the tooth that remains, which is sent to the lab for fabrication of your dental crown.

Dr. Sheng will place a temporary crown over your tooth to protect it for the next couple of weeks while you wait for your custom crown. You can chew on the temporary crown but avoid chewing anything sticky or hard as this is not cemented into place permanently.

When your custom-make crown is ready, you’ll come back to our office so Dr. Sheng can place the crown. Once you are sure it feels comfortable and you can bit down properly, Dr. Sheng will cement it into place permanently.

How long does it take to get a dental crown?

The process takes a couple of weeks and a couple of dental appointments. At the first appointment, Dr. Sheng will prepare your tooth and make a mold of it. You’ll receive a temporary crown while the lab manufactures your permanent crown. Fabrication usually takes two weeks, after which time you’ll back to our Miami Beach, FL dental office so we can cement the crown into place permanently.

What do dental crowns have to do with dental implants?

Dental crowns are used as dental implant restorations after the implant has integrated into the jawbone, fitting onto the top of the implant. Because dental crowns look and function very much like your natural tooth, your completed implant will blend in with your smile seamlessly.

How long do dental crowns last?

The all-porcelain dental crowns we place at our Miami, FL dental office are strong, durable prosthetics that are designed to last 10 or 15 years—or even longer in some cases. You can prolong the life of your dental crown by taking good care of it:

  • Brush and floss regularly, taking particular care around the crown itself
  • Avoid chewing on hard candies or on anything that is not food, including ice
  • Stay current with visits to the dentist for biannual checkups and cleanings so Dr. Sheng can ensure that the crown is not damaged in any way

Dental Bridges

When are dental bridges used?

A dental bridge is a restoration that is used when one or two teeth in a row are missing.

With a dental bridge, you are literally bridging the gap where you are missing teeth. The bridge attaches to the teeth—or dental crowns, if needed—on either side of the space in your mouth, filling it in. The bridge is made to look similar to your natural teeth, so it will enhance your appearance while also restoring your ability to chew properly.

Why do I need to replace missing teeth at the back of my mouth?

It might seem unnecessary to replace missing teeth that are not noticeable when you smile or speak. But restoring missing teeth is about more than aesthetics.

When teeth are missing—even at the back of the mouth where they might not be as noticeable—it can cause your other teeth to shift. This can create a host of other problems, such as wreaking havoc with your bite so that it is difficult to chew. This can also put undue pressure on your healthy teeth, eventually leading to more tooth loss.

How are dental bridges attached?

In most cases, dental bridges at our Miami Beach, FL dental office are made up of three sections, including an artificial tooth—also called a pontic—that is suspended between two dental crowns. The crowns are attached to healthy teeth on either side of the gap in your smile to support the bridge.

Is a dental bridge a permanent restoration?

A dental bridge is a fixed piece of dental prosthetics, so many patients prefer it to a removable partial denture. Only your dentist can remove a bridge, so in that sense, it is a permanent restoration. But like most restorative dentistry, you need to take care of your prosthetic to extend its life. Careful brushing and flossing around your dental bridge, as well as regular dental examinations, can help it to last for a decade or even longer.

Is a dental implant or a dental bridge better?

Both dental bridges and dental implants have the same end result—the replacement of missing teeth. But the two restorations go about it much differently.

A dental bridge is attached to two healthy teeth via dental crowns to fill in a space in your smile. A dental implant is surgically placed into your jawbone for permanent integration, with a dental crown placed on top. Both provide excellent options for replacing missing teeth and helping to protect your remaining teeth from shifting.

Whereas dental implants are permanent tooth replacements that can last a lifetime, dental bridges will not last that long, and they may need adjusting over the years as the shape of your jawbone changes. Dental implants will protect the bone from shrinkage, whereas dental bridges do not.

You can decide which option is better for you by making a dental appointment with Dr. Sheng at our Miami Beach, FL dental office.

What should I do if I want to get started with treatment?

Don’t let damaged or missing teeth affect your quality of life or negatively impact your remaining healthy teeth. If you need restorative dentistry such as a dental crown or bridge, or dental implant restorations, call Dr. Sheng today and make a dental implant appointment for a dental consultation at our Miami Beach, FL dental office.