What are Dental Crowns and Bridges?

What are Dental Crowns and Bridges?

Your smile, self-esteem, and even your ability to eat comfortably can all be negatively impacted by missing or damaged teeth. Thankfully, there are numerous ways to restore the functionality and health of your mouth with contemporary dentistry. Dental bridges and crowns are two popular and efficient choices.

What is a Crown?

A crown, sometimes called a cap, is a type of dental treatment that completely encases the tooth, substituting a new material for the outer layer of enamel. Food can be chewed properly since a crown is sized and shaped like a natural tooth and interacts with the opposing tooth in a normal way. When it comes to functionality, a crown should generally feel just like a natural tooth. It may also have the appearance of a perfectly healthy tooth, depending on the material selected for the crown.

A particular kind of dental work that covers a tooth’s complete anatomical crown can also be referred to as a crown. A dental crown normally replaces all of a tooth’s enamel and covers the exposed section (referred to as full coverage).

What are Crowns Made From?

Crowns can be made from a variety of materials, such as metal alloys, porcelain, ceramic, or a mix of materials. Regarding longevity, aesthetics, and compatibility for particular dental problems, each material has unique benefits.

Why Do Teeth Need Crowns?

When a crown is placed on a broken, weak, or rotting tooth, it helps to retain its size, strength, shape, and appearance. If you are missing a tooth, a dental professional will provide you with a dental implant, which will be covered by your crown.

A crown is usually suggested when –


  1. Extensive Decay: When a tooth has significant decay that cannot be properly repaired with a filling, a crown provides the essential support and protection.
  2. Large Fillings: Teeth with large fillings are more likely to fracture or deteriorate over time. Crowning these teeth strengthens them and prevents additional damage.
  3. Cracks: Without sufficient support, cracked teeth can entirely fracture. Crowns help hold the tooth together and prevent additional damage.
  4. Root Canal Treatment: Following root canal therapy, teeth might become brittle and fragile. Crowning the treated tooth restores its strength and usefulness.

Teeth may require crowns for several reasons, including:

  • Protect a fragile tooth or heal it after harm.
  • The need to fill a void.
  • Plaster a dental implant.
  • To encase a discolored or misshaped tooth.
  • Finish up a root canal.

What is a Bridge?

A bridge is a dental treatment that involves connecting numerous crowns to repair a lost tooth. A bridge consists of at least two crowns on either side of a “fake” tooth known as a pontic. Bridges are classed by the number of units, which simply refers to the number of teeth they cover. The most common type is a three-unit bridge, which employs two teeth as anchors and one replacement tooth.

Bridges are made of the same materials as crowns. Because a bridge connects teeth, you must adjust your oral hygiene practice to maintain the anchor teeth healthy. A bridge is a rapid technique to repair a missing tooth, taking only a few weeks of lab work. Bridges are permanently glued to the anchor teeth and are not removable by the patient. A bridge is an alternate tooth replacement method to a dental implant.

What are the Benefits of a Bridge?

Dental bridges offer several advantages, including:

  • Restoration of Function: Bridges restore the ability to chew and speak properly, improving overall oral function.
  • Aesthetics: Bridges fill in gaps left by missing teeth, enhancing the smile’s appearance and facial aesthetics.
  • Prevention of Tooth Shifting: By filling the space left by missing teeth, bridges prevent adjacent teeth from shifting out of position.

What are the Disadvantages of a Bridge?

Despite their benefits, dental bridges come with some drawbacks, such as:

  • Adjacent Tooth Preparation: In order to support the bridge, adjacent healthy teeth may need to be reshaped and capped, which can compromise their structure.
  • Potential for Decay: Difficulty in cleaning underneath the bridge may increase the risk of decay and gum disease over time.
  • Limited Lifespan: While durable, bridges may need to be replaced after a certain period, depending on individual factors such as oral hygiene and wear.

What are Alternatives to a Bridge?

Alternative tooth replacement options include dental implants and removable partial dentures. Dental implants offer a permanent solution that mimics the natural tooth structure, while removable dentures provide flexibility and ease of maintenance.

How Much Time Do Bridges and Crowns Last?

Dental bridges and crowns often last a lifetime, but occasionally they may fall off. Maintaining good dental hygiene is one of the best methods to ensure the longevity of your crown or bridge. Dental problems increase the likelihood that the bridge will fail to support due to damage to the teeth or bone supporting the bridge.

If you are having difficulty deciding which dental crown or bridge is ideal for you, contact us now. 

Wrapping Up

Dental crowns and bridges serve as vital components of modern dentistry, providing effective solutions for tooth restoration and replacement. Understanding the purposes, materials, benefits, and drawbacks of these dental prosthetics empowers individuals to make informed decisions about their oral health. 

Whether seeking to repair damaged teeth or replace missing ones, consulting with a qualified dental professional can help determine the most suitable treatment option for achieving optimal oral function.