Which is Better for Your Dental Case? A Crown or Bridge?

posted byMuse Dental 08/12/2020

Crowns and bridges are prosthetics that aim to restore the appearance of teeth if a tooth has been damaged or is missing.

Unlike expensive surgical procedures like implants, crowns and bridges provide a semi-permanent solution to missing teeth.

Crowns and bridges are secured to the teeth in the mouth and allow a patient to continue their daily routine, however, they are not as sturdy as an implant.

And, unlike dentures, crowns and bridges remain in the mouth unlike they need to be re-secured.

This article will cover:

What is the difference between crowns and bridges?

In order to best understand whether you need a crown or a bridge, let’s explain the differences between them.

A crown is a cap placed on a broken or damaged tooth to help restore it. Crowns help prevent the need for an extraction or dental implant and provide patients with a beautiful smile.

A bridge takes the place of a missing tooth by anchoring a prosthetic tooth to the other existing teeth in the mouth. This helps restore the look of a patient’s smile without the need for surgical procedures.

Reasons Someone Would Require a Crown

There are multiple reasons a patient would need a crown to restore their tooth:

  • Even if a tooth is not fully broken, a crown can be used to hold it together. For example if a tooth is cracked, the crown will improve its strength and structure

  • Cracked teeth are susceptible to decay. A crown would help prevent this decay and becoming weaker

  • If a filling has been placed in a tooth to get rid of a cavity but there is not enough supporting tooth left, due to decay or breakage, a crown can be placed on the tooth to give it more structure

  • Although we will go into more detail about dental bridges later in this article, crowns can be used to support dental bridges

  • If a tooth is disfigured or discolored due to decay, for example, a crown can be placed on it to restore its appearance.

  • Crowns are often used for cosmetic purposes, making the teeth look more symmetrical and natural

In most cases, these reasons are applicable to children who are also in need of a crown, such as decay or the need to support a filling.

Types of Crowns

Depending on your needs, there are different types of crowns you can get. Most crowns are permanent, although temporary crowns are also available.

The first type is stainless steel, which is often used in temporary cases and on children’s teeth. The stainless steel crown functions as a temporary crown until the real crown is ready. Or, in the case of pedodontics, the stainless steel crown is fitted to the baby tooth and naturally falls out when that tooth falls out.

Stainless steel crowns are the most cost-effective when compared to custom-fit crowns.

The next type of crown is the metal crown, the most durable choice. However, they are the most expensive and are usually only placed on teeth in the back of the mouth because of their obviously metallic color.

Another type of crown is the porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, which are the best for visible teeth as their color can be changed to match the surrounding teeth.

However, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can wear down surrounding teeth, or wear down or chip themselves, revealing the metallic color underneath.

Finally, there are all-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns which can also be made to match the color of surrounding teeth.

Reasons Someone Would Require a Bridge

There are multiple reasons why a patient would choose to restore their smile with a bridge:

  • If the patient is missing one or more teeth, a bridge can fill in these gap to create a more natural-looking smile

  • A bridge can also help a patient speak and eat more easily if a missing tooth is hindering their ability to do so.

  • Missing teeth can affect the shape of someone’s face, however a bridge can help restore that structure

  • Finally, a bridge can keep adjacent teeth from shifting into the space a missing tooth has created. If a tooth falls out or is removed, the surrounding teeth adapt, which can cause a shift in the patient’s smile or bite. A bridge would prevent this.

Types of Bridges

In order to best suit the needs of specific dental cases, there are different types of bridges.

The first type of bridge is the traditional bridge, which is used when the patient has teeth on either side of the open space.

The next type of bridge is a cantilever bridge, which is used when the patient only has one tooth to secure the bridge. However, this type is not as secure as other options and is therefore not used in the back of the mouth where it may be displaced from biting or chewing.

Another type of bridge is the Maryland bridge, which is made of a prosthetic tooth that has metal wings attached to the back of it, which are then secured to the adjacent teeth. This solution is perfect for those who have healthy adjacent teeth and requires little adjustment to these surrounding teeth. However, Maryland bridges are not as effective for those with deep bites or crossbites.

The next type of bridge is the composite bridge, which is a temporary type of bridge. This solution requires the dentist to fill the missing space with composite and is therefore not as secure as other options.

Finally, there are implant-supported bridges that can securely replace multiple teeth without having to shave down the adjacent teeth.

Conclusion

If you are looking to restore your smile with a bridge or crown, schedule an appointment with the dentists at Muse Dental today!

Here at Muse Dental, we want to help you maintain a beautiful smile with the best care possible.

We’d love to have you for a checkup at Muse Dental Group with Dr. G. Bardakjian. He will evaluate your oral health and will ensure your crown or bridge is done with the utmost care.

Your smile is in great hands at Muse Dental Group!

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