Missing a tooth or teeth not only detracts from your smile, there can be long-term implications, to include a greater vulnerability to infections, risk of losing additional teeth, and weakening of the gumline. Dental crowns and bridges offer a means to restore a full smile, as well as protect your mouth from gum diseases or risk of additional tooth loss. When it comes to restoring that smile, many opt for either a dental crown or a bridge. But which is best for you? Here’s more about dental crowns and bridges.
Dentists use dental crowns – also known as caps – to protect and permanently restore a tooth that is damaged, cracked or severely worn down or has undergone root canal therapy. Dentists also use crowns to support dental bridges or provide cosmetic improvement by covering a discolored or misshapen tooth. Dentists do this by bonding the crown to the remaining part of a damaged tooth; crowns are also used to place the aesthetic and functional tooth-like part on top of an implant. Not only do crowns look and feel natural, they maintain the integrity of the jawline and reduce your risk of losing additional teeth.
A dental bridge consists of two or more crowns anchored to either side of the gap, as well as a filler tooth or teeth (called “pontics”) that are crafted to seamlessly blend alongside your existing teeth and are placed, permanently, into your mouth. Dentists often recommend dental bridges as an option to cover the gap where up to four teeth are missing. Bridges look and feel natural, but require a preparation of adjoining teeth that may not be suitable for many patients, depending on the health of those teeth and the span the bridge will cross.
Crowns or Bridges?
While both crowns and bridges are outstanding options to restore gaps made by missing teeth, there are considerations to both. Bridges are primarily used when the gap is large and the anchor teeth are capable of supporting the bridge. To secure the bridge, the teeth adjacent to the gap must be prepared to have part of the bridge affixed – that means they will be required to be shaved down. For those whose anchor teeth are healthy, bridges may not always be the best option. If the anchor (abutment) teeth become damaged, decayed, or infected, the bridge may have to be removed. Plus, if the bridge is to accommodate a gap of larger than four teeth, there is a risk that the bridge connected to the anchor teeth will put too much pressure on them, causing them or the bridge to crack.
Meanwhile, crowns are bonded to the healthy part of the damaged tooth; as such they are a viable option for teeth that have undergone root canals, have been chipped or damaged, or discolored beyond repair. Crowns are durable and can withstand the pressure of biting and chewing and are resilient and carefully crafted to match and blend in with your healthy teeth. Crowns do not require preparing any adjacent teeth, so they are most often recommended for small gaps, where perhaps just one tooth is missing.
Cosmetic Dentist in Plantation, Florida
Crowns or bridges? If you live in Plantation and are seeking a dentist with years of expertise in restorative and cosmetic dentistry, look no further than Dr. Ernie Soto to help you with this decision. Dr. Soto serves Plantation, Florida and surrounding Ft. Lauderdale, Davie and Coral Springs with world-class family dentistry services. Still not sure if a crown or bridge is right for you? Be sure to ask Dr. Soto about dental implants and other long-term dental options, to include Zoom! Whitening and orthodontic procedures. Call Dr. Soto today at (954) 368-6264 or request an appointment online.