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Crowns vs. Bridges: What Is the Difference Between Them?

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Fixing damaged or missing teeth looks different for every person. There are many factors to consider, including the cause of the damage, how many teeth have been affected, your budget, and your desired outcomes and aesthetic goals. Depending on your unique circumstances, your dentist may recommend dental crowns or dental bridges as potential treatment options. 

The two procedures are similar but serve different purposes. Crowns help protect what is left of your natural teeth, while bridges help replace avulsed or extracted teeth. In order to help you understand their exact differences and which option may be the best for you, Journal Square Dental has put together a guide to help you understand both procedures, their unique benefits, and any general expectations. 

Understanding Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are fixed dental appliances made of metal, ceramic, or porcelain. The crown covers the entirety of the natural tooth, which has often been shaved down or operated on to rid any rot or decay. There are numerous reasons you may receive a dental crown, including a cracked tooth, a root canal, or rot due to gum disease like periodontitis. Dental crowns act as a cap that fits directly over your natural teeth and looks and functions exactly like your neighboring teeth. Biting, chewing, and speaking are all unhindered, and your dentist will ensure the color and look is similar to that of the rest of your mouth. 

Crowns can be used as support for bridges or other forms of larger tooth replacement procedures, like the All-on-4 procedure. They are custom made for each client and can help protect what is remaining of their natural teeth. The process will take more than one visit, as your dentist will need to shave down your teeth, take a mold to help create your cap, and then install it and ensure it does not affect your bite. They require regular, normal maintenance including daily brushing, flossing, and regular checkups. Crowns are an irreversible process, as your shaved down tooth is unable to grow back. 

Understanding Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are used to replace missing or extracted teeth. Crowns will be used to anchor in the tooth replacement, which is made of metal, ceramic, or porcelain. The procedure will take at least two visits, and the bridge will hold for roughly 10-15 years if treated properly with professional cleaning. The process sees the teeth surrounding your missing tooth being reshaped to be fitted with dental crowns. These teeth are known as abutment teeth. The fitted crowns will serve as anchors and will help bridge the gap by firmly securing your new replacement in the middle. 

Bridges are a great way to replace missing teeth and are a more cost-effective alternative to dental implants, which can be quite expensive and take a long time. The healing process can take a few days, and you may experience some mild bleeding, swelling, and discomfort as your gums get used to the bridge. 

Schedule an Examination With a Dedicated Dental Professional Today

A surefire way to make an educated decision about what restorative dentistry procedure is best for you is to speak with a knowledgeable dental professional today. Dr. Haig Rickerby of Journal Square Dental has proudly been a member of the New Jersey Dental Association since 1987 and has had his firm for over 25 years. Our top priority is your smile and everything that comes with making it something you are proud to show off. 

To begin the process of devising your specific plan of treatment today, please don’t hesitate to call our New Jersey office at (201) 431-0288 or use our online contact form.