Patients ask, “What are the similarities and differences between dental crowns and tooth bridges?”
Posted By Dr. Jeanne Anne Krizman
If you have ever found yourself wondering, “What are dental crowns and tooth bridges?” you are not alone. Missing, cracked, or broken teeth disrupt the appearance and the function of the smile. Dental problems lead not only to lowered self-esteem and hidden smiles, but also to reduced oral health. Crowns and bridges are options to restore smiles marred by broken or missing teeth. Located in Tucson, AZ, Dr. Jeanne Anne Krizman DMD MPH offers dental crowns and bridges to restore teeth and repair smiles.
Similarities and differences
You may have heard of crowns and bridges but are unclear of their exact functions. Both are fixed restorations that are permanently bonded into place to correct dental problems. Depending on the situation, they may be bonded to the natural teeth or over dental implants to complete the smile. Restorations such as dentures may be removable. However, dental crowns and bridges are fixed and cannot be taken out except by a dental professional.
Although crowns and bridges aesthetically enhance the smile by addressing dental issues, dental restorations also strengthen the tooth and maintain its form and function. With a durable restoration in place, patients can eat and speak naturally. Crowns and bridges are sturdy and long-lasting. They withstand the same pressures as natural teeth. Dental restorations look, act, and feel like natural teeth and should be cared for in the same manner. Although your dentist may give you specific instructions, good oral health habits including brushing and flossing extends the lifetimes of dental crowns and bridges.
Although crowns and bridges are both fixed dental restorations, their forms and purposes differ.
A crown is used to restore a single tooth. It may cover a broken or damaged natural tooth or be placed over a dental implant. A bridge can replace a single missing tooth or several in a row.
A crown is a cap that restores the tooth to its natural form and function. It may be used to correct the appearance of a chipped, stained, or misshapen tooth. It may also cover a dental implant to replace a missing tooth.
A bridge is anchored to the existing teeth and uses a false tooth to fill the gap from a missing tooth. It essentially closes the gap between the teeth. A bridge can be adhered to natural teeth or dental implants for support.
What to expect from crowns and bridges
The purpose of dental crowns is to correct the form and function of decayed, chipped, or broken teeth. The damaged tooth is prepared by removing the decayed section. Then, impressions of the teeth are taken. The impressions are sent to an off-site laboratory for fabrication. The laboratory also receives the dentist’s notes regarding the size, shape, and color of the teeth to ensure a natural result. Once ready, the crown is bonded in place. Dr. Krizman primarily uses Zirconia crowns which are biocompatible, metal-free restorations. Zirconia crowns are tooth-colored, so the result appears natural. These crowns are durable and long-lasting.
A dental bridge is a type of dental restoration used to replace missing teeth. As a fixed dental device, it covers the gap left by one or more missing teeth. There is more than one type of dental bridge. These include traditional, implant-supported, cantilever, and Maryland. Traditional bridges are the most common. These bridges utilize two crowns which are placed over the adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. A false tooth is in the middle of the two crowns. The crowns support and stabilize the bridge. Permanent bridges are not removable.
Having a bridge placed requires the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth to be prepared. The teeth need to be shaped for the crown that will sit over them securely holding the bridge in position. Impressions are taken of the area. The impressions are sent to a laboratory to have a custom bridge fabricated. The bridge will match your surrounding teeth to appear and function as a natural part of the mouth. Within a couple weeks, your bridge should be ready to be placed into the proper position.
Whether you need general, cosmetic, or restorative dental care, contact our Tucson, AZ office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeanne Anne Krizman DMD MPH. Call (520) 326-0082.
Top notch staff and services. I'm so happy to have found Dr Krizman and her team of highly skilled professionals who are genuinely interested in helping people with their dental and overall health. They treat the whole person and use the latest technology and techniques to do this. I feel well cared for in each visit.