model demonstrating how a dental bridge procedure works

The Differences Between Dental Crowns & Dental Bridges

If you need restorative dentistry to fix an issue with your teeth, chances are that you might need either a crown or a bridge. Here, we’ll explain the differences between dental crowns and dental bridges.

What Is a Dental Crown?

Dental crowns are tooth shaped coverings for individual teeth that are used to improve the appearance of teeth by strengthening it, shaping it, or changing its size. Often crowns are used when a tooth that needs restoration is by itself in the mouth. Also known as caps, dental crowns are made of a number of materials including gold and metal alloys (often used for the back teeth since they are a strong material), acrylic, and ceramic and porcelain (often used for crowns in the front of the teeth since they can be made to match the color of natural teeth).

What Is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is used to replace one or more missing teeth that are next to each other. Also known as a removable denture, a dental bridge is composed by creating a crown for the teeth on either side of the space where a missing tooth is and putting a false replacement tooth between these crowns. The appliance part of the dental bridge can be supported by healthy teeth, implants, or some combination of both.

How Is a Dental Crown Placed?

The first step in placing a dental crown is by numbing the tooth that needs the restoration itself as well as the gum tissue surrounding it. This is so that the tooth can be filed down to the chewing surface in order to make room for the dental crown to be placed over it. Next, your dentist will make an impression of the tooth that will be receiving the dental crown in order for a mold to be sent to a dental lab. There, your crown will be custom made just for you so that the crown fits perfectly over your teeth. While you’re waiting for your permanent crown to be made, your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown. In about two to three weeks, your permanent dental crown will be ready and your dentist will remove the temporary crown and cement in the permanent crown.

How Is a Dental Bridge Placed?

A dental bridge is placed over several visits to your dentist’s office. At the first visit your dentist will reshape any of the adjacent teeth that are on either side of the gap where the missing tooth is so that a crown can be fitted and the framework can be attached to the healthy teeth. However, if you don’t have healthy teeth surrounding the gap, you’ll need to get dental implants which will serve as the anchors for the bridge. Next, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth so that the crowns can be made. When the permanent crowns are made in a few weeks, they will be cemented into place.

Restorative Dentistry at Choice Austin Dental

If you are in need of restorative dentistry or have any other questions about the differences between dental crowns and dental bridges, contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.

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