Dental crowns and dental bridges are big parts of restorative dentistry.
Both services are valuable for their own reasons, although there is some overlap between them.
We have used and will continue to use both crowns and bridges to help patients who come to Bayou Dental Group looking for teeth restorations.
But we also know many of our patients do not spend every day thinking about dentistry and dental services. That’s why we are taking some time to explain the difference between crowns and bridges as well as reasons you may need one or the other.
Defining Our Terms
If you come to our dentist office in Monroe, LA, we will be happy to answer any questions you have about dental crowns, dental bridges, or any of our other services.
For now, we will try to define what each one is, along with one related service.
Dental crowns are created from porcelain or other materials to repair or replace a tooth. We use porcelain in our practice because it looks like natural teeth, which means it will blend nicely with the rest of your smile.
Porcelain crowns are strong and sturdy, too. You can use them just like you use a natural tooth to bite and chew your food.
Dental bridges are made by fusing two or more dental crowns together. Bridges are used to replace lost, missing, and extracted teeth.
Dental implants are sometimes used in conjunction with crowns and bridges (and dentures, too, but that’s a separate post).
Implant are titanium cylinders or screws that replace the roots of lost and missing teeth.
When To Get What
Many different things can and do happen to teeth. They get damaged. They fall out. They get infected.
Sometimes there is a clear solution, and other times, you have a choice of treatments available.
Here are some examples:
➤ One of your teeth has been damaged.
This happens a lot, and it can happen in a number of ways.
You could have tooth decay. Your tooth could become chipped or broken.
You may have a crack in one of your teeth, or you may have an infected tooth.
A dental crown can be part of the fix for each of these problems.
We would prefer to repair a cavity with a dental filling because that means the cavity is relatively small. With larger cavities or when it comes time to replace fillings, it may be necessary to use a dental crown instead.
Removing the weaker parts your tooth also creates a support for your crown. While you wait, we can use our CEREC milling machine to create a dental crown, which we can bond to your tooth in a single visit to our office.
We use a similar process to repair chipped, broken, and cracked teeth.
With infected teeth, dental crowns often are the final step in the process. This starts with a root canal treatment to remove the infection from inside your tooth. After the inside has been cleaned and filled, a dental crown seals the tooth to restore its shape and to protect the tooth from new problems.
➤ You have lost a tooth.
Tooth loss is more common than you may realize, and many people will lose one or more teeth in their lives. We will get to multiple teeth replacements in a moment. For now, we will discuss two ways to replace a tooth that has fallen out, has been knocked out, or has been removed.
A traditional bridge is one way to do this. This would be a three-crown bridge. We would reshape the teeth closest to your lost tooth in a similar way to how we reshape teeth to support dental crowns.
The crowns on the ends (called abutment crowns) would be placed on those teeth, while the crown in between would fill in the empty space.
An alternative would be to place a dental implant in your jaw in the space previously occupied by the root of your tooth. Then, we can attach a dental crown to the end of the implant for a complete tooth replacement.
➤ You are missing multiple teeth.
If you are missing two or more teeth, we can fuse together more dental crowns to make a larger bridge. The process for a traditional bridge would be the same as what we described above.
The alternative would be to create an implant-supported bridge. This would involve placing one or more dental implants in your jaw and bonding a bridge in place to fill the gap created by your missing teeth.
Would You Like To Learn More?
If you are wondering if these services could help you or someone you know, we invite you to schedule an appointment with our dentist if you live in or near Monroe, LA. You can reach Bayou Dental Group by calling (318) 302-4236 or by filling out our online contact form.