Dental crowns and bridges are two common prosthetic devices that replace missing teeth and improve oral health. Dental crowns cover a damaged tooth, while dental bridges replace one or more missing teeth using adjacent teeth for support. Good oral health is crucial for overall health and well-being. Choosing the right dental solution is essential for maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile.
This article will compare dental crowns and bridges and discuss their advantages and disadvantages, helping you choose the right solution for your needs. Whether you want to restore the function and appearance of your smile or maintain good oral health, understanding the differences between dental crowns and bridges is important in making an informed decision.
Summary of the Article
- Dental crowns and dental bridges are two common therapeutic options for improving oral health and restoring the function and appearance of missing or damaged teeth.
- Dental crowns are caps that cover damaged or decayed teeth, providing a new surface and protecting the underlying tooth structure. Crowns are made of various materials, including porcelain, ceramic, metal, or a combination of materials.
- Dental bridges are prosthetic devices that replace missing teeth, filling the gap and restoring the bite’s function. Adjacent teeth, dental implants, or both can support bridges.
- When choosing between dental crowns and bridges, it’s essential to consider factors such as the location and type of damage or missing teeth, cost, longevity, durability, maintenance requirements, and aesthetic appearance.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are prosthetic devices used to cover a damaged or decayed tooth. Crowns are designed to restore the function and appearance of a fractured tooth, providing a protective outer layer that covers the entire visible surface of the tooth. Dental crowns can either be temporary crowns or permanent crowns.
Typically, a temporary crown is placed on the prepared tooth before a follow-up appointment a few weeks later to install the permanent crown. Individuals who experience pain while biting or chewing may require a dental crown. Dental crowns are custom-made to match your natural teeth’ shape, size, and colour, ensuring a seamless and natural-looking result.
Types of Dental Crowns:
- Porcelain or ceramic crowns:
Are made of strong, tooth-coloured material. These crowns are ideal for front teeth and offer a natural-looking result.
- Metal crowns:
Made of gold alloys or other metals, they are strong and durable, making them ideal for molars.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns:
These crowns offer the strength of metal and the natural-looking appearance of porcelain, making them a popular choice for visible front teeth.
- Resin crowns:
Made of tooth-coloured material that matches its neighbouring teeth, these crowns are a more affordable option for restoring damaged teeth.
Dental crowns, like any other dental procedure, come with both advantages and disadvantages.
- Restores the appearance and function of a damaged tooth.
- Protects a damaged tooth from further decay or injury.
- Provides a long-term solution for restoring oral health.
- It can be made to match the colour of your natural teeth.
- The process of getting a crown can take several visits to the dentist.
- Crowns can be more expensive than other dental restorations.
- Crowns may need to be replaced over time.
Suppose you have a damaged or decayed tooth. In that case, your dentist may recommend a dental crown as a long-term solution for restoring your oral health and improving your smile. Dental crowns are recommended for a variety of reasons, including.
- To cover a damaged or decayed tooth.
- To protect a weak tooth from breaking.
- To restore the appearance of a misshapen or discoloured tooth.
- To support a tooth with a large filling.
- To cover a dental implant after the surgery and act as an artificial tooth.
- To strengthen a tooth that had a root canal.
What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are prosthetic devices that replace missing or misshapen teeth and restore oral health and function. Fixed partial dentures, commonly called dental bridges, are used by dentists to fill the gap left by missing teeth. Unlike dental crowns, which are placed over an entire tooth, dental bridges comprise two or more dental crowns attached to adjacent teeth or dental implants. These crowns serve as anchors for the false tooth or teeth, called pontics, placed in the gap left by missing teeth.
Types of Dental Bridges
- Traditional bridges:
A traditional bridge is the most common type of bridge. It comprises two dental crowns attached to adjacent natural teeth and a false tooth in between.
- Cantilever bridges:
Similar to traditional bridges, they are bound to only one instead of being attached to two adjacent teeth.
- Maryland bridges:
Maryland bridges are a type of dental bridge made up of a false tooth attached to adjacent teeth using a metal or resin framework.
Like dental crowns, dental bridges also have advantages and disadvantages that you should consider.
Benefits of dental bridges include:
- Improved oral health:
Dental bridges can help restore oral health by preventing the remaining natural teeth from shifting or moving out of place.
- Improved appearance:
Dental bridges can help restore the appearance of a smile by filling in gaps left by missing teeth.
- Improved function:
Dental bridges can help restore the mouth’s function by allowing a person to chew and speak properly.
- Invasive procedure:
Placing a dental bridge requires the reduction of adjacent teeth, which can be invasive.
Dental bridges must be replaced every 5 to 15 years, requiring regular dental visits for maintenance and cleaning.
Dental bridges can be expensive, especially compared to other dental treatments.
Dental bridges are recommended for people with one or more missing teeth who want to restore their oral health and appearance. Dental bridges are also recommended for people with trouble speaking or chewing properly because of missing teeth. While the permanent dental bridge is being crafted, your dentist may provide you with a temporary bridge to wear until the final one is ready.
Dental bridges may also be recommended to prevent the remaining natural teeth from shifting or moving out of place. Before deciding on a dental bridge, a person must schedule a dental consultation to discuss the best treatment option.
Comparison Between Dental Crowns and Bridges
Several options are available when restoring missing or damaged teeth, including dental crowns and bridges. Both dental crowns and bridges are designed to help improve the appearance, function, and overall health of your teeth, but they are different in their approach and materials.
Dental crowns are placed over the existing tooth to protect it from further damage or to improve its appearance. On the other hand, a dental bridge replaces missing teeth by using the surrounding teeth as anchors for the prosthetic device. The procedure for dental crowns typically involves two visits to the dentist. In comparison, the procedure for dental bridges typically involves three visits.
When it comes to the materials used, dental crowns are made from porcelain, ceramic, metal or a combination of those contents. In contrast, dental bridges are typically made from porcelain or ceramic. The material used for dental crowns and bridges will depend on each person’s specific needs and preferences.
The cost of dental crowns and bridges in Australia can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the location of the dental clinic, the materials used, and the complexity of the treatment. On average, dental crowns can cost anywhere from $1,100 to $2,000, while dental bridges can cost anywhere from $1,800 to $5,000. Discussing the estimated cost of your treatment with your dentist is always a good idea to get a more accurate price based on your dental situation.
Choosing Between Dental Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns and bridges are two prevalent options, each with its distinct applications and benefits. Below is a comparative evaluation of these two options:
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps used to cover a damaged or decayed tooth, while bridges are employed to replace one or more missing teeth by bridging the gap with artificial teeth sing adjacent teeth as spport.
Dental crown procedures typically involve preparing the existing tooth, taking an impression, and placing a custom-made crown. In contrast, a bridge procedure involves preparing the adjacent teeth, creating a bridge with a fake tooth or teeth, and securing it onto the prepared teeth.
- Structure Requirements:
Crowns can be used when the tooth structure is largely intact but needs reinforcement or cosmetic enhancement. Bridges require strong adjacent teeth as they serve as supports for the artificial tooth or teeth.
- Aesthetic Appearance:
Both options provide a natural appearance. However, with a variety of materials, such as ceramic or porcelain crowns, the aesthetic match can be better. Bridges also provide a natural look, but the adjacent teeth must be prepared, possibly altering their natural state.
Both crowns and bridges are durable options. The longevity largely depends on the material used and the patient’s oral hygiene practices.
The costs can vary significantly depending on the material and complexity of the case. Generally, crowns are for single teeth and can be less expensive than bridges.
Both require good oral health practices. With bridges, special care must be taken to clean under the false tooth to prevent gum disease or tooth decay in supporting healthy teeth.
When choosing between dental crowns and bridges, it’s essential to consult a dental professional who can assess your needs and recommend the best solution. Your dentist will be able to consider your individual situation and circumstances and provide you with a personalised recommendation.
Care and Maintenance of Dental Crowns and Bridges
Caring for dental crowns or tooth bridges ensures their longevity and optimal functionality. Here are a few tips for proper care and maintenance of your dental prosthetic devices:
- Daily Cleaning:
Brushing twice daily and flossing once a day is a fundamental requirement to keep a dental crown clean and maintain surrounding dental health.
- Regular Check-ups:
Regular dental check-ups ensure that the crown and the underlying tooth remain healthy.
- Avoid Hard Foods:
While dental crowns are durable, they can be damaged by hard or sticky foods. Avoiding these types of foods can help prolong the lifespan of the crown.
For individuals who grind their teeth, a nightguard may be recommended to protect the crown from excessive wear.
- Daily Cleaning:
Brushing and flossing are crucial to maintaining a dental bridge. A floss threader or water flosser can be a useful tool for cleaning beneath the bridge and preventing the build-up of plaque.
- Regular Check-ups:
Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining the health of the teeth supporting the bridge and ensuring the bridge itself remains in good condition.
- Diet Considerations:
As with crowns, it is advised to avoid hard or sticky foods to prevent damage to the bridge.
- Special Cleaning Tools:
Due to the design of bridges, it may be necessary to use specialised cleaning tools to ensure all areas are kept clean, especially underneath the false tooth or teeth.
Following these simple tips ensures that your dental crowns and bridges remain in excellent condition for many years. If you have questions about caring for your dental prosthetic devices, consult your dentist for personalised advice. Regardless of whether an individual opts for a dental crown or bridge, maintaining good oral hygiene and a regular dental care routine will play a significant role in prolonging the life of the restoration and promoting overall oral health.
Potential Problems with Dental Crowns and Bridges
While dental crowns and bridges can effectively improve oral health, potential problems can arise. Some common issues include:
- Discomfort or Sensitivity:
After the anaesthetic wears off post-procedure, some individuals might experience sensitivity in the crowned tooth, especially to heat and cold.
- Loose Crown:
Over time, the dental cement that holds the crown in place on the tooth can wash out, loosening the crown and allowing bacteria to get underneath.
- Chipped Crown:
Porcelain crowns, in particular, can chip. Small chips can be repaired with composite resin, while larger chips might require a complete replacement.
- Allergic Reaction:
Although rare, some people may have an allergic reaction to the metals used in certain types of crowns.
- Difficulty Cleaning:
Due to their design, bridges can be more challenging to clean than natural teeth or dental crowns, potentially leading to tooth decay or gum disease if not cleaned properly.
- Bridge Failure:
If the supporting teeth are not strong enough to hold the bridge, or if the bridge is not well-fitted, it can fail.
- Damage to Adjacent Teeth:
The preparation for a bridge involves altering the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. If not done carefully, it could lead to damage.
- Gum Disease:
If food gets trapped under the bridge and isn’t properly cleaned, it can lead to gum disease.
It is important to discuss any potential problems with your dental professional before undergoing a dental crown or bridge procedure and to maintain proper oral hygiene to minimise the risk of these issues.
In conclusion, dental crowns and bridges are two practical options for restoring damaged or missing teeth. While both have advantages and disadvantages, choosing these two dental options will depend on you and your dentist. When choosing between dental crowns and bridges, it is important to consider cost, materials used, longevity, maintenance, and aesthetic appearance.
If you want a dental solution to restore your oral health and improve your smile, consider scheduling a consultation here with us at Narre Warren Dental Centre. Our team of dentists will work with you to determine the best option for you and provide the highest quality dental care and treatment available. Take control of your oral health and book an appointment with Narre Warren Dental Centre today!
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