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Crowns and Bridges
July 27th, 2014 by Dr. Watson

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, American adults over the age of 35 are missing an average of at least three teeth (not including wisdom teeth)! That number jumps to almost six for adults aged 50 to 64. If you are a Jackson resident who fits into these categories, don’t panic! Dr. Jim Ed Watson is an expert in the practical and proven techniques of fitting crowns and bridges.

It’s hard to imagine that so many folks in Jackson have lost a handful of teeth. Despite all the talk about cavities, the real culprit is periodontal disease (gum disease), which accounts for the vast majority of lost teeth. Dr. Jim Ed Watson reminds us that the best defense against gum disease is a hearty routine of flossing and brushing supported by regular cleanings at Jackson Center for Smiles, but someday most of us will blow out our birthday cakes with fewer teeth than we’d like. That’s where crowns and bridges come in.

What are Crowns?

The term crown refers to the top part of the outer layer of the tooth. As a dental fixture, a crown is placed over this part of a weak, decayed, or damaged tooth to add stability to the tooth and/or any other dental fixtures one may have. They can be made from a number of different dental materials to serve various cosmetic and functional needs. By strengthening the chewing surface and reinforcing areas that may have been eaten away by cavity-causing decay, crowns provide an excellent anchor for other appliances and help restore the beauty and function of your smile.

What are Bridges?

As the name implies, bridges fill gaps between natural teeth with artificial teeth. As Dr. Jim Ed Watson would say, they are known as permanent or removable dental restoration appliances. Bridges are commonly used in conjunction with crowns, for added support, but they are usually reserved for Jackson folks missing two or more teeth. By filling out gaps, bridges help improve your bite, which helps restore your smile and the overall health of your mouth. Bridges are usually made from a mix of porcelain, metal alloys (think silver fillings), and/or gold. While fixed bridges tend to be more stable than their removable counterparts, they also cost more. However, removable teeth are very popular at parties!

How I do know if I need crowns or bridges?

If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be a candidate for crowns and/or bridges. Even if you have gaps that don’t compromise your smile, your dental health can still be affected. Missing teeth can ruin your bite alignment and even the density of your jawbone! Dr. Jim Ed Watson wants all Jackson residents to have excellent dental health and be proud of their smiles, so give Jackson Center for Smiles a call to find out more about how crowns and bridges can help you.