Dental Crowns and Bridges
If you have a damaged or missing tooth, you may need a dental crown or bridge to fix or replace that tooth. These are non-removable, artificial tooth caps that function like a real tooth.
What’s the difference between dental crowns and dental bridges?
If you need to cap a single damaged or decaying tooth (or if you require a single dental implant), then you’ll need a dental crown. On the other hand, if you have one or more missing teeth, then you may require a dental bridge. (However, we prefer dental implants.)
A dental bridge is like a bridge: where a span of artificial teeth are supported by two dental crowns on each end. The floating tooth sits atop the gums where the missing tooth/teeth are. The supporting crowns on the ends of a bridge can be affixed to existing teeth or can be attached to dental implants.
These tooth replacements can help you maintain your oral health. Missing teeth that isn’t replaced can lead to your adjacent teeth to shift and collapse, which then alters your bite–leading to TMJ disorders, gum disease, facial changes, and more.
When a crown covers a damaged, fragile or decayed tooth, it is usually to help restore your original tooth’s size, strength, shape, and appearance. If you are missing a tooth, a crown may be placed with a dental implant. The American Academy of Dental Implants states that 3 million Americans have dental implants, and this number is increasing by 500,000 every year.
Although dental crowns can repair damaged teeth, the function of dental bridges is to replace one or more missing teeth. Replacement teeth (called pontics–floating teeth) span the space between the caps where the teeth are missing.
Like dental crowns, your bridge has a variety of materials to choose from. Your dentist is in the best position and can advise you on the selection of materials according to your personal needs. However, both of you need to consider and discuss multiple factors, such as the visibility, cost, strength, and appearance of the teeth.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.