The Difference Between Crowns and Dental Bridges

What’s the difference between dental crowns and bridges? At Jensen Orthodontic Arts, Dr. Jensen frequently encounters this question from patients eager to understand their dental options. With both playing a crucial role in the restoration of beautiful smiles, understanding their unique functionalities can be enlightening.


Understanding Dental Crowns in Depth

A dental crown, also known as a “cap,” is custom-designed to encase the visible portion of a tooth. This precision-made restoration serves a dual purpose: it safeguards the structural integrity of a damaged tooth while elevating its visual appeal to harmonize with the surrounding teeth.

  • Materials: Dental crowns can be fabricated from a variety of materials, each bringing its unique set of attributes. Porcelain and ceramic are prized for their aesthetic qualities, closely mirroring the natural tooth’s translucence. Gold, lauded for its longevity, often finds its place in the back of the mouth where it’s less visible. 
  • Durability: Dental crowns are renowned for their resilience. With proper care, which includes regular dental check-ups and a robust oral hygiene routine, they can last anywhere from five to 15 years. Factors such as the material chosen, the crown’s location in the mouth, and the individual’s habits, like grinding teeth, can influence this duration. 
  • Functionality: Crowns aren’t just about aesthetics; their functional benefits are equally compelling. They restore strength to compromised teeth, ensuring they can withstand the rigors of daily activities like chewing. Particularly after extensive dental procedures like root canals, crowns are indispensable. 


Reasons to Consider Dental Crowns

The world of dentistry is vast, and every procedure is backed by a rationale aiming at enhancing oral health and aesthetics. So, when do seasoned dental experts like Dr. Jensen recommend a crown? Let’s take a closer look:

  • Protection: Beyond the common cavities, when a tooth has undergone significant procedures, such as root canals or large fillings, its structural integrity might be at risk. Crowns act as robust protective helmets, providing an extra layer of defense against potential damage and fortifying the tooth against future adversities.
  • Restoration: Time, trauma, or neglect can lead to teeth succumbing to decay or fractures. In such instances, crowns step in as saviors. They not only restore structural integrity but also ensure the tooth resumes its natural duties, from aiding digestion through proper chewing to shaping speech.
  • Cosmetic Modification: Our smiles play a pivotal role in our interactions. A discolored or misshapen tooth can cast a shadow over one’s confidence. Crowns are tailor-made solutions designed to offer a harmonious transformation. Their ability to replicate the look and feel of natural teeth ensures they seamlessly blend in, uplifting one’s smile quotient.
  • Post Dental Implant: Implants have revolutionized dentistry, offering a foundation for replacement teeth. Once the dental implant procedure is completed, crowns come into play. Replicating the visible part of a tooth they ensure the implant isn’t just functionally sound but is also aesthetically pleasing, restoring the smile to its former glory.


The Difference Between Crowns and Dental Bridges

Insights on Dental Bridges

Bridges, as their name suggests, are designed to bridge the void created by missing teeth. Serving as a testament to dental ingenuity, they elegantly meld functionality with aesthetics. Comprising crowns on either end and a pontic (false tooth) in between, they harmoniously restore both the function and appearance of the mouth. But what lies beneath this dental marvel? Let’s unearth:

  • Structure: Every bridge is an architectural feat. A typical bridge involves three primary components – the anchoring crowns on the sides, the pontic in the middle, and the robust underlying framework that ensures longevity and support.
  • Types: Dental bridges aren’t one-size-fits-all. Depending on factors like the location, the number of missing teeth, and specific patient needs, there are various iterations – traditional bridges (most common), cantilevers (for specific situations), Maryland (bonded with metal or porcelain wings), and cutting-edge implant-supported bridges.
  • Material: Bridges, in their aesthetic endeavor, can be sculpted from an eclectic combination of materials such as porcelain, ceramics, gold, or durable alloys. The choice of material hinges on the desired aesthetics, the bridge’s placement within the mouth, and the functional demands posed by the patient’s bite and habits.
  • Lifespan: While every dental procedure is an investment in oral health, its ROI is measured in its durability. With conscientious care, regular check-ups, and adherence to dental hygiene, dental bridges promise to be stalwart companions, serving patients seamlessly for about 10 to 15 years.


Reasons to Consider Dental Bridges

While the cosmetic appeal of dental bridges is undeniable, they aren’t just about the aesthetics. They emerge as frontrunners in restorative dentistry for an array of compelling reasons:

  • Restorative Function: The joy of savoring food or articulating clearly is often taken for granted. Dental bridges reclaim these essential life joys by reinstating the ability to chew various foods and speak without any hindrance.
  • Preventive Action: Left unattended, gaps from missing teeth become an invitation for neighboring teeth to drift, causing alignment issues. Bridges act as vigilant guards, thwarting such potential drifts, ensuring the consistency of alignment, and averting orthodontic challenges down the line.
  • Facial Shape Preservation: The architecture of our face relies heavily on our teeth. Missing teeth over prolonged periods can induce facial sagging. Bridges come to the rescue by providing the much-needed structural scaffolding, ensuring facial contours remain unaffected.
  • Optimal Bite Force Distribution: A balanced bite is pivotal for oral health. By diligently replacing missing teeth, bridges recalibrate the dental structure, ensuring even dispersion of bite force. This harmonious distribution safeguards other teeth, preventing undue stress and potential wear or damage.


The Difference Between Crowns and Dental Bridges

Jensen Orthodontic Arts – Your Path to a Radiant Smile!

Dental crowns and bridges, with their distinct applications, are paramount in the realm of restorative dentistry. At Jensen Orthodontic Arts, we’re steadfast in our commitment to offering tailor-made solutions, ensuring every smile we sculpt is both radiant and robust. Contemplating a dental crown or bridge? Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Jensen, and let’s chart the best course forward for your dazzling smile!