Procedures/ Crowns and Bridges

Crowns and Bridges

Procedures 4 min read


Crowns and Bridges

If you have teeth missing, it can make your smile look awkward and unsightly. There are several treatment options available to you in terms of getting artificial replacements. One option is to get dentures that you can take out of your mouth and clean. The other option is something more permanent, like dental crowns and bridges, which function more like your actual teeth. Keep reading to learn about crowns and bridges, the differences between the two, and how you can get a smile that's as beautiful and real as can be.

What are dental crowns and bridges?

Dental crowns and bridges are fixed prosthetic (artificial) devices that are fixed with dental cement onto your existing teeth or a dental implant. They are put in by a dentist and need to be removed by a dentist (you cannot remove them at home like dentures). These treatment options are offered to people who want a more beautiful smile and aesthetic appearance with even teeth.

What are dental crowns?

Crowns are "caps" that serve as covers for damaged teeth. A crown performs several functions, including providing added strength to the tooth and improving its alignment, shape, and overall appearance for a more beautiful smile.

In people with missing teeth, dental crowns can also be placed on a dental implant to give a tooth-like structure, strength, and function. Ceramic and porcelain crowns can be made to match the teeth on either side in terms of color. Other materials like acrylic, metal alloys, and gold are also used to make crowns. Metal alloys are usually recommended for the back teeth because they are stronger than materials like porcelain.

What are dental bridges?

If you have missing teeth, the gap left behind can cause the surrounding teeth to shift and rotate into the empty space, leading to a misaligned bite and unsightly appearance. The imbalance can cause gum disease and temporomandibular joint (jaw bone) problems.

Dental bridges are prosthetic devices that are used to replace a missing tooth. A bridge is cemented to surrounding natural teeth or dental implants. It works by spanning the empty space. The natural teeth on the side of the gap to which a bridge is attached are called abutments. They serve as anchors. The replacement for the missing tooth is called a pontic. The pontic for the missing tooth attaches to the crown of the abutments.

Your dentist will offer you a choice of materials and different types of bridges based on the location of the missing teeth, the function, and aesthetic considerations. As with porcelain crowns, bridges can be made to match the color of your natural teeth.

What is the difference between a crown and a bridge?

A crown is used in patients to cover an existing tooth which is damaged. A bridge is used in patients to fill the gaps left behind by lost teeth.

Which is better a crown or bridge?

One does not have an advantage over the other. The two devices address different problems and have different benefits. Dental bridges are recommended for tooth loss, i.e., when you have lost teeth in their entirety. A crown is recommended for:

  • Restoring fractured teeth in the mouth
  • Protecting weak teeth from fracturing
  • Replacing large fillings when not enough tooth remains
  • Covering dental implants
  • Covering misshapen or discolored teeth in the mouth
  • Covering teeth after root canal

How are crowns and bridges made?

Before fitting a crown or bridge, your dentist will remodel the shape of the existing tooth so that the prosthetic devices fit properly. They will then take an impression to make an exact mold for the crown or bridge. The color shade will be matched to your natural tooth. A dental lab will make a custom-made crown or bridge based on the impression obtained by the dentist. A temporary crown or bridge can be put in place while the permanent one is being made. Later, the temporary crown or bridge is removed and the permanent one is cemented into place over the prepared tooth.

How long do bridges and crowns last?

Tooth bridges and porcelain crowns are designed to last a lifetime. They can sometimes become loose and fall out, however, and you may need to replace one. You should avoid chewing hard foods to prevent damage to new crowns and bridges.

You can ensure the longevity of your bridges and crowns by practicing good dental hygiene and keeping your teeth and gums healthy. It is recommended that you regularly make an appointment with your dentist for professional cleaning and oral health check-ups.

Do I need a crown after root canal treatment?

Your dentist will tell you if you need crown restorations. Usually, porcelain crown restoration is required on the back teeth used for grinding. A front tooth does not typically require a dental crown after root canal treatment.

How much does a crown and bridge cost?

The cost of your dental restorations will depend on the materials used, the number of missing teeth, the complexity of the placement, and also your geographical location.

Prices for dental crowns range from $800 upwards, depending on the material and size of the tooth. In general, metal alloy crowns are less expensive than gold or porcelain crowns.

Traditional and cantilever bridges cost around $2,000 to $5,000 for one crown and tooth pontic for each abutment. Maryland bridges and bridges supported by tooth implants can cost more, anywhere from $2,500 to $15,000 if three or four teeth need restoration.

Finding a provider for crowns and bridges

The MeTime app makes it easy to find dentists and orthodontists in your area for optimum oral health. You can click and upload pictures and have suggestions sent directly to you. Want to find out more about crowns and bridges and how they can help restore a beautiful smile? Try the MeTime app now!