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Bridges Vs. Crowns: Understanding the Difference

When dealing with damaged or missing teeth, your dentist might suggest bridges or crowns. But the two aren’t the same, and the best option varies based on your oral health and dental recommendations. While both help give you a better smile, they’re surprisingly different.

What Is a Crown?Photo by <a href="">Seb [ P34K ] Hamel</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>

Before explaining how a bridge works, it’s important to understand how crowns function. A crown works as a cap that goes over an existing tooth. The purpose is to hide a misshapen, cracked, worn, or otherwise damaged tooth. They also work well when your existing tooth can no longer support a filling. 

During the crowning procedure, your tooth’s outer layer is removed to allow the crown to fit securely over it. While they can be made of porcelain, gold, or a porcelain/metal mix, porcelain is usually the most popular option since it’ll best match your surrounding teeth.

When it comes to bridges vs. crowns, this is an important distinction. Crowns fix existing teeth versus replacing missing teeth. However, crowns play a pivotal role in bridge applications.

What Is a Bridge?

The easiest way to envision a bridge is to think of it as a partial set of false teeth. However, instead of a full set of removable dentures, dental bridges literally bridge the tooth gap created by one or more missing teeth. And once in place, bridges are not removable.

Understanding crowns first is essential since bridges use either crowns or implants to anchor the bridge in place. When crowns are used, they cap the teeth on either side of those you have missing, securing the bridge of artificial teeth in place. In some cases, implants are used if there isn’t an existing tooth viable for crown placement. 

Bridges vs. Crowns: Which Should You Choose?

Often, bridges and crowns both come up as treatment options when your dentist talks about repairing your smile. A good rule of thumb to remember is crowns are for damaged teeth, while bridges are used for missing teeth. However, crowns are used in conjunction with bridges to anchor them in place. So, for missing teeth, you’ll need both, a bridge with two crowns on either side. 

If you’re not sure about bridges vs. crowns, don’t worry. Your dentist will talk to you about your full range of options to see which best fits your needs and budget. 

Check out Avon Dental Care’s full range of restorative dental solutions to make your smile look better and keep your teeth healthier.

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