The daily wear and tear imposed upon your teeth on a daily basis eventually shows in your smile. Perhaps you have a few missing teeth, a broken tooth or gapped teeth. Whatever your teeth reveal about your journey, it might be time to consider whether you can benefit from a smile rejuvenation. This is especially true if you are one of the millions of Americans suffering from TMJ disorder. If you have already been diagnosed, then you might like to know how dental crowns and dental bridges may be helpful in treating your TMJ.
What is the difference between a crown and a bridge?
A crown is a cap made from porcelain that is used to cover and protect a tooth that is either broken or damaged. Whether the problem is a cracked tooth or just one that is badly decayed, the natural tooth is first filed down and all decay removed. Once the natural tooth is prepared, the tooth crown is placed on top of it. This cap acts as a shield, restores the tooth to its natural-looking appearance and helps to protect the tooth from further damage.
A dental bridge does exactly what the name implies. It is a prosthetic tooth designed to match your own teeth, and it bridges a gap left by a missing tooth, or teeth. These tooth bridges are custom-made to fit your mouth and are anchored between existing healthy teeth to hold it in place.
How are crowns and bridges used as TMJ treatment?
Missing teeth that are not replaced may cause neighboring teeth to shift from their original position.
This drifting is one of the reasons that a bite may change. We can fit a dental bridge for you, which, can help to prevent your teeth from shifting. If you already have problems with your bite, however, they may also help to realign your bite to a correct position. In turn, this may relieve or even resolve your symptoms of TMJ.
A misaligned bite may also occur as the result of cracked teeth. The teeth no longer fit together properly and this often leads to a habitual grinding of teeth. This bruxism, as it is also called, then causes additional stress on the TM joints. Left undiagnosed and untreated, it may also affect the bite. Well-designed crowns that are made to fit over your broken teeth can protect your natural bite. If there are already symptoms of TMJ, a properly fitted crown may help to resolve them. The bonus benefit in either case is, of course, a smile restoration.
How do I know if a crown or bridge can help resolve my TMJ?
We can determine whether a dental crown or bridge will be useful in treating your TMJ after completing a thorough examination. If you have missing, cracked or broken teeth and are already experiencing symptoms of TMJ, make an appointment for an evaluation or a complimentary consultation. After reviewing the results of your examination, we will recommend the best course of treatment to address your specific concerns.