What Are the Key Differences Between Dental Crowns And Bridges?
We treat patients every day and help them understand more about dentistry and dental procedures. Many patients are uncertain of the differences between dental crowns and dental bridges.
If you, too, are unsure, keep reading. In this guide, we will discuss what each dental procedure is, when you need it and what to expect when having the procedure performed.
What Are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown is a cap that your Maroubra dentist will use to cover and protect the tooth. It takes the shape of your regular teeth, ensuring your bite remains uninhibited.
Your dentist will apply a crown over sensitive or damaged teeth to provide an extra layer of fortification – preventing further damage to the tooth and allowing you to chew and eat normally.
The cap is placed over the damaged area of the tooth and sealed in place with a sealant – much like a construction worker filling a pavement slab with cement.
When Do You Need Dental Crowns?
There are many reasons your dentist might suggest a set of dental crowns for your teeth. Dental crowns are protective and prevent further damage to the tooth. This makes them suitable for treating the following dental issues:
- Preserving weak teeth – a crown can be placed to hold together the pieces of a cracked or broken tooth, preventing the tooth from falling apart.
- Preventing decay progression – if there is an area of the tooth with damaged enamel, decay might make its way into this portion of the tooth. A crown can serve as a protective barrier preventing the progression of decay.
- Restoring broken teeth – if there is a chip or crack in the tooth, your dentist can place a crown to give it the look and feel of a regular tooth, allowing you to chew and speak normally again.
- To support the tooth – if the tooth is mostly filling and has hardly any natural tooth left, your dentist may place a dental crown to ensure you retain the tooth.
- Holding a dental bridge in position – your dentist may use a dental crown to support any dental bridges.
- Cosmetic modification – if you have yellowing or cracked teeth, your dentist might be able to use dental crowns to cover the imperfection and restore your smile.
Dental crowns are used in dental procedures to restore and protect the teeth of both children and adults. Crowns can help to protect children’s teeth from decay progression if they have difficulty maintaining proper oral hygiene.
Dental Crown Procedure
So, what can you expect if your dentist has suggested that you have dental crowns installed?
Well, first, you’ll need to decide which kind of dental crowns you’d like. You have options when it comes to the material. You could opt for porcelain, stainless steel, resin, or temporary or permanent crowns.
Once you’ve decided to proceed with the procedure and the preferred crown material has been selected, you can expect the following steps to take place:
- Checking the tooth – your dentist will check your tooth for signs of decay that might indicate you need a root canal procedure before fitting the crown.
- Making impressions – to ensure your new crown fits seamlessly with the rest of your teeth, your dentist will imprint an impression on your teeth to create your new crown.
- The second visit – once your dentist has prepared your crown, you can revisit the dentist to have the crown cemented in place.
What Are Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are the dentist’s solution to one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges support artificial teeth that you can place in your mouth to restore your comfort when chewing and restore the appearance of your smile to its natural state.
The dental bridge comprises crowns that bridge the gap between your false teeth and your natural teeth to cement them in place. You can have the dental bridge procedure performed at most dental practices, including your Maroubra dental clinic.
When Do You Need Dental Bridges?
Dental bridges are only necessary for a patient with one or more missing teeth. The leading causes of missing teeth are injuries to the mouth, tooth decay, and gum disease. Dental bridges can help mitigate some of the issues associated with missing teeth, including:
- Jaw alignment issues – dental bridges can help you to rest your mouth comfortably and restore jaw alignment following tooth loss.
- Pain – if you have missing teeth, your jaw and mouth will often work harder to account for the missing tooth. However, this can lead to pain over time. A dental bridge helps you mitigate any pain associated with tooth loss.
- Bite problems – chewing, talking, and even swallowing can feel strange and different with one of your teeth missing. Dental bridges help to rid you of bite problems, allowing you to use your mouth as normal again.
Dental Bridge Procedure
Here are some steps you will have performed in the dental bridge procedure at your local Maroubra dentist:
- X-rays – to prepare the dental crowns for the procedure, your dentist will need to take measurements of the teeth and X-rays of the teeth.
- Filing – your dentist will file down the teeth adjacent to your missing tooth to prepare them for the dental bridges.
- Temporary bridge – while your dentist prepares your permanent dental bridge, they may install a temporary one.
- Permanent bridge – once the permanent bridge is ready, your dentist will permanently place it into your mouth and seal it to the adjacent teeth.
Dental crowns and dental bridges are similar procedures – they involve your dentist cementing a supportive material to your teeth. However, the dental bridge procedure helps replace missing teeth, whereas the dental crown procedure best suits protecting and restoring damaged teeth. If you have more questions about dental procedures, why not reach out to our team at Maroubra Dental Avenue – we’re always here to help!