Dental crowns and bridges are common treatments that improve your smile and teeth function. While both procedures are designed to restore damaged teeth, they have different strengths and drawbacks.
Read on to learn more.
What Are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown (also called a tooth crown or tooth cap) covers the entire visible surface of your tooth. It can be made from different materials, with porcelain often being the most popular choice. In addition to restoring a damaged or cracked tooth, crowns can also be used to improve the shape and color of your teeth.
Pros and Cons of Dental Crowns
- The materials used can resemble the color of your natural teeth.
- They can be used to cover fractured, damaged, misshapen, and broken teeth.
- Correct severe discoloration of teeth.
- They can last up to 15 years with proper care.
- They can protect the underlying tooth after a root canal treatment.
- They can be expensive.
- Your dentist needs to grind down a part of your natural healthy teeth.
- They may be durable but can be vulnerable to damage without proper care, requiring emergency repairs or replacement (see https://hellofamilydental.com/emergency-dentist/ for more info).
- You must visit your dentist twice or thrice to complete the process, which can be inconvenient for some people.
What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are designed to bridge the gap between two or more missing teeth. These prosthetic devices consist of an artificial tooth (or teeth) attached to two dental crowns, which hold the bridge in place and fill the gap created by missing teeth. Bridges can be made from different materials, including porcelain, gold alloy, and zirconia.
Pros and Cons of Dental Bridges
- They can replace minor tooth gaps.
- They can improve how you chew and speak.
- They help maintain your face’s natural shape.
- They help prevent teeth from shifting.
- They don’t require too much grinding of a healthy natural tooth.
- They cost less than dental implants.
- Invisalign (more information here) can be used as an additional treatment to correct teeth misalignment.
- They don’t preserve jawbone as dental implants do.
- They don’t last as long as implants and crowns.
- Maryland bridges can damage the existing teeth and are not durable.
- Implant-supported bridges take longer and cost more.
- They can be expensive.
What Are the Differences Between Dental Crowns and Bridges?
Used to restore a damaged, broken, or cracked tooth by covering it
Used to bridge the gap between missing teeth
$500 to $3,000 per tooth, depending on the material
The cost for a bonded bridge can start at $2,300, while an implant-supported bridge can start at $5,000
Up to 15 years, depending on the material and proper care
Up to 5 to 10 years, with proper care
When to Use Dental Bridges or Crowns?
The decision on whether to use dental crowns or bridges depends on your needs and the damaged tooth’s condition. Generally, you use a dental crown when the tooth has been severely cracked, broken, decayed, or requires root canals. On the other hand, if you have up to four missing teeth, bridges are usually recommended to replace them.
Most importantly, your dentist is the best person to decide which option is best for you. They can assess the damage and recommend the most suitable treatment. If you want to ensure that your teeth are in good health, schedule an appointment with your dentist now.