Crowns vs. Bridges: Which is Right for You?

dental bridge

When you need a tooth repaired, there are a few options. Two of the most popular ones are dental crowns and bridges.

While these dental repair solutions are similar, there are some significant differences between them.

What is a Crown

A crown covers the entire exposed portion of an existing tooth. A dental crown treatment is used when there is damage or some other problem with the tooth. The crown is a permanent fix that is cemented over the existing tooth. This new crown can be used in the same way as a normal tooth. This means that there is no need to change anything about the way you eat, brush, and floss your teeth.

A crown is a good solution for the following situations:

  • Missing middle of a tooth — If a large portion of the middle of a tooth is missing, say due to a cavity, a filling, or a procedure such as a root canal, a dental crown treatment provides a proper solution.
  • Fractured tooth — A crown provides an excellent fix if a tooth is split and in danger of completely coming apart due to biting action. The crown fits over the tooth to keep the fractured tooth together.
  • Danger of breaking below the gumline — If a tooth breaks below the gumline, there’s a good chance that it can’t be repaired and requires removal. A crown can be placed over the tooth to prevent this from happening.
  • Missing a cusp — A cusp is the pointed edge of a tooth. If this part is removed due to a break or cavity, it may not be able to be repaired by a filling. In these cases, a crown is an appropriate fix.
  • Misshapen teeth — A crown can be used to fix misshapen teeth or teeth that need straightening for aesthetic or dental health purposes. The crown is fitted over the misshapen tooth to resolve the problem.

What is a Bridge

A bridge is made up of connected crowns in a row of three or more. If a tooth is missing entirely, a crown is a good option. A bridge is a permanent dental restoration that joins an artificial tooth or crown to adjacent teeth. The middle crown is supported by the outer crowns, creating a bridge that fills the former gap.

Which one to Choose

The easiest way to determine whether or not you need a crown or a bridge is this: if the tooth can still be used, a crown is a good option. If the tooth is gone or needs to be removed, a bridge is a better option. Either way, your dentist or a dentist at a dental bridge clinic will advise on your best option.
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