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Can I Get Braces If I Have Crowns Or Bridges?

Are you wondering if you can get braces with a crown? We have the details here! Read along to find out more about combining dental work.

Last updated on

December 19, 2023

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Can I Get Braces If I Have Crowns Or Bridges?

You're considering braces, but there's a snag in your plan: you already have dental crowns or bridges. 

If you’re wondering if braces are still an option for you, the answer is a (possible) yes! And we're about to chew on every bite-sized detail.

Ready to learn more about the many braces options you can explore and how they can fit with your existing dental work? Let's fill in the gaps together.

What Are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns have been a staple in restorative dentistry for a long time. Crowns play an essential role in protecting and preserving damaged teeth. But what exactly is a dental crown?

A dental crown is akin to a “cap” placed over a damaged tooth. This cap is not just a superficial cover-up — it fully encapsulates the damaged tooth right down to the gum line, effectively providing a fresh, strong surface. 

Constructed from durable materials like ceramic, porcelain fused to metal, or gold, dental crowns are sturdy and designed to withstand the pressures of biting and chewing.

There’s a whole mouthful of reasons you may opt for a dental crown. For example, if a tooth is severely decayed or broken down due to trauma, a dental crown can come to the rescue. Crowns can also be used to protect teeth that are structurally weakened due to large fillings or root canal treatment. 

In cosmetic dentistry, crowns are used to cover discolored or misshapen teeth, helping to restore both function and aesthetics.

What Are Dental Bridges?

Now let's cross over to cover another type of dental device: dental bridges.

True to their name, dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge consists of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap (these anchoring teeth are known as abutment teeth) and a false tooth or teeth in between. 

The false teeth, known as pontics, can be made from a variety of materials, including gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials.

Just like crowns, bridges serve a dual purpose of restoring function and aesthetics. If you've lost one or more teeth, dental bridges can restore your ability to chew and speak properly. They also maintain the shape of your face, preventing it from appearing sunken due to missing teeth. 

In terms of aesthetics, bridges fill up the empty spaces in your mouth, restoring your smile and preventing your remaining teeth from drifting out of position.

Can You Have Braces With Dental Crowns or Bridges?

So, can braces coexist with crowns or bridges? In a nutshell, yes. However, it's essential to understand that this decision should always be made in consultation with your dental health professional.

Braces apply pressure to teeth to gradually shift them into proper alignment. With crowns, this generally isn't an issue. Crowns are made of sturdy material that can withstand this pressure. The primary concern is the adhesive used to attach the braces, but advancements in dental adhesive technology usually make this a non-issue.

With bridges, the situation becomes a bit trickier. Braces are designed to move teeth individually, but a bridge connects two or more teeth together, which can complicate the movement. 

The good news? Orthodontic professionals have techniques to work around these issues, such as using the bridge as a single unit.

How To Get Braces When You Have Crowns or Bridges

The process of getting braces when you have crowns or bridges begins with a comprehensive consultation. Your orthodontist will perform a detailed assessment of your oral health, evaluate the state of your crowns or bridges, and determine the best course of action.

Once you and your orthodontist have decided to proceed, fitting the braces will follow the usual process. The specifics, however, like the type of braces and the duration of treatment, will depend on your unique situation.

Throughout the process, regular check-ins with your orthodontist will be crucial. They'll monitor your progress, adjust the braces as needed, and address any concerns that may arise. Regular oral hygiene, coupled with specific care for your braces, will also be part of your new routine.

What Kind of Braces Are Right for Me?

There's no one-size-fits-all solution in orthodontics. The type of braces that will work best for you depends on your unique dental situation, your aesthetic preferences, and yes—whether or not you have dental crowns or bridges. 

Here, we explore some of the main types of braces available today, their pros and cons, and how they might interact with your crowns or bridges.

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type. They involve brackets that are glued to your teeth and linked by wires. Periodically, you'll visit your orthodontist to have the wires tightened, gradually shifting your teeth to the desired position.

  • Pros: They are the most economical option and can correct even the most complex orthodontic issues. They're also more resilient than other types, meaning fewer emergency repair visits.
  • Cons: They are the most noticeable type of braces and may cause some discomfort, particularly after adjustments.

When it comes to dental crowns, traditional braces can often work well. Thanks to advancements in adhesive technology, the brackets can be securely bonded to the teeth, including those with dental crowns. 

It's worth noting that moving teeth that are located under a dental bridge with traditional braces could be more challenging due to the interconnected nature of bridges. Your orthodontist will assess your specific case to determine the feasibility and discuss alternative options if needed.

Ceramic Braces

Meet the sophisticated sibling of metal braces — ceramic braces. They function in the same way as metal braces but swap the metal brackets for clear or tooth-colored ceramic ones. This allows them to blend in with your teeth, offering a more discreet orthodontic option.

  • Pros: Ceramic braces offer a less noticeable solution while maintaining the effectiveness of their metal counterparts. They're the perfect blend of aesthetics and functionality.
  • Cons: With a higher price tag and a susceptibility to discoloration if not maintained properly, ceramic braces require a little more investment, both in terms of money and care.

Just like traditional braces, ceramic braces get along well with dental crowns. The same adhesives that work for metal braces work equally well for ceramic ones. 

Yet, the issue of bridges remains the same due to the shared mechanics of braces. While individual teeth beneath a bridge can be harder to move, certain techniques can minimize movement or ensure that teeth move as a unit, retaining the integrity of the bridge.

Always consult with your orthodontist about your specific situation; they'll be able to recommend the most effective course of treatment.

Lingual Braces

Adding a twist to traditional braces, lingual braces come with a stealth feature: The brackets are located on the inside of your teeth. This design makes them virtually invisible, offering a highly discreet treatment option.

  • Pros: The leading advantage of lingual braces is undoubtedly their invisibility. You get all the benefits of traditional braces without the metallic smile.
  • Cons: The invisibility comes with its challenges. Lingual braces can be tricky to clean due to their location, may cause more discomfort, especially at first, and typically come with a higher price tag. Adjustments with lingual braces can also take longer, and in certain severe cases, they might not be the most suitable option.

Lingual braces can be used with crowns. However, they may pose a challenge if you have bridges, especially on the back teeth.

Invisalign

Invisalign represents a revolutionary approach to orthodontics, replacing traditional brackets and wires with a series of clear, custom-made aligners. You'll switch to a new set of aligners every two weeks, gradually guiding your teeth to their ideal position.

  • Pros: The aligners are almost invisible, providing a highly discreet treatment. You can remove them for eating and brushing/flossing, making them a convenient option. Plus, they generally cause less discomfort than traditional braces.
  • Cons: On the downside, Invisalign is typically the most expensive orthodontic treatment. They also require a high level of discipline, as you need to wear the aligners for 20-22 hours a day to ensure effective treatment.

When it comes to crowns, Invisalign aligners are designed to fit snugly over all your teeth, making them a suitable option. 

As for dental bridges, your orthodontist may develop a custom treatment plan that maintains the position of the teeth under the bridge while moving the surrounding teeth. This dual approach ensures the preservation of your bridge while achieving a better alignment of your teeth. 

Remember, your orthodontist will guide you in determining which type of braces is the best fit for you, taking into account your crowns or bridges if you have them. This discussion is an essential part of your journey to a healthier and more beautiful smile.

The Bottom Line

If you're ready to embrace the world of braces, there's no need for a crown or bridge to chip away at your enthusiasm. Whether you’re interested in traditional braces or a more invisible option, the advancements in orthodontic technology and the expertise of orthodontists allow for successful treatment even with existing dental work.

Now, brace yourself for the best news yet: quality dental care doesn't have to be financially out of reach. With Flossy, our pay-as-you-go service connects you with trusted dental professionals in your area, ensuring that you receive the expert care you need at an affordable price. 

By utilizing Flossy, you can save up to 50% on out-of-pocket costs associated with dental care, all without the need for insurance.

Flossy is committed to making dental care more accessible and affordable because a healthy and beautiful smile should never be a luxury but a right. Whether you need braces, routine dental check-ups, or any other dental procedure, Flossy has you covered.

So, don't let the presence of crowns, bridges, or lack of insurance hinder you from achieving the smile you deserve.

Interested in learning more about how Flossy can support your dental care journey? Explore our more resources, and book your next dental appointment with Flossy!

Sources:

Dental Crowns: Types, Procedure & Care | Cleveland Clinic

Dental Bridges: Types & Who Needs Them | Cleveland Clinic

Types of Dental Braces | News.Medical

Orthodontics/Braces - Health Encyclopedia | University of Rochester Medical Center

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