The Difference Between Crowns and Bridges

When it comes to dental restorations and prosthodontics, everything has a special purpose. Dental restorative techniques include installing crowns and bridges, two different restorations used to help maintain your oral health. If you’re missing parts or entire teeth, crowns and bridges can be used to fix your teeth and allow normal functioning. 

Dr. Padmaja Yalamanchili of Fairfax Family Dentist in Virginia has helped plenty of people overcome the challenges that come with missing or damaged teeth. This includes fitting patients with crowns and bridges, tools that can help you chew and speak naturally. You use our teeth every day, so dental appliances like these are invaluable in maintaining your teeth. 

An overview of dental crowns

Dental crowns are one of the most popular dental restorations, because they can be used to treat a variety of issues. Crowns are small caps that go over your teeth to protect them, which is where the nickname “cap” comes from. Some crowns are made of metal, while others are crafted from porcelain to give the tooth a natural appearance. 

Adding a crown to cover a damaged tooth surface can restore your tooth to full strength and prevents further damage. If you’ve cracked or chipped a tooth or recently received a root canal, you’ll likely need a crown to protect what’s left of your tooth. 

An overview of dental bridges 

If your tooth is too damaged to be saved, removal might be necessary. Dental implant surgery can be too expensive for some people to afford right away, so bridges provide an alternative solution. 

Dental bridges are restorations that are held in place using your surrounding teeth. Unlike implants, which are rooted in your jawbone like actual teeth, bridges are fixed using crowns. These crowns are adhered to the teeth on either side of your missing tooth or teeth, and the bridge closes the gap. Bridges are also called partial dentures.

Which one is right for you?

The choice of restoration depends on whether a damaged tooth can be saved. If you’ve chipped, cracked, or otherwise damaged your tooth, your dentist might be able to salvage what’s left. In these cases, a crown might be enough to correct the problem and prevent future issues. 

However, if your tooth has already fallen out, been extracted, or is seriously damaged or decayed, you might need a bridge to replace it. A bridge can provide you with a usable tooth and natural-looking smile, and can be replaced with a dental implant later.

Need help getting your smile back? Contact Dr. Yalamanchili by calling 703-213-5313, or visit the contact page for more information.

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