Dental Crowns vs Dental Bridges - Which One Is Right For You?
If you have a damaged tooth, a dental crown is a possible treatment option. If you have a missing tooth, an implant-secured crown or a traditional dental bridge can replace the tooth. In this blog post, we provide information about crowns and bridges so you can better understand the similarities and differences. Both options have advantages to consider.
Dr. Andrew G. Mortensen in Fountain Valley, CA, can answer all of your questions about dental crowns vs. dental bridges to help you decide the best way to replace your missing teeth. Your goals, lifestyle, and health should be factors in making treatment decisions.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are restorations that strengthen natural teeth that have decayed, worn down, or cracked. A ceramic dental crown may also improve the appearance of a discolored or misshaped tooth.
What Materials Are Used to Make Crowns?
We use four different materials to fabricate dental crowns.
Typically lasting for 10 to 15 years, crowns made of porcelain, also called ceramic crowns, match the color of a patient’s natural teeth. By layering esthetic porcelain, a ceramist can create a truly natural-looking restoration that reflects light.
Modern porcelain crowns are quite durable, and they offer the best aesthetics. Porcelain crowns are the preferred option for the front teeth.
PFM, or Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal
These crowns last up to 15 years or more. Porcelain fused over metal creates a crown that’s more durable than an all-porcelain restoration. PFM crowns are often recommended for back teeth, which encounter great force when we chew foods.
One drawback to this option, however, is that some patients develop a dark line along the border between the tooth and the gum, as gums recede over time and the metal ridge becomes visible.
Long-lasting metal crowns can be made of gold, palladium, nickel, stainless steel, or chromium. The main drawback is their appearance, because metal stands out from natural teeth. For this reason, and because of their durability, metal crowns are often used on molars.
Zirconia crowns look natural and have excellent strength. They are pricier than metal crowns but allow a patient to retain an all-white smile.
What Are Dental Bridges?
A traditional dental bridge typically consists of a crown and bridge. The “bridge” is one or more replacement teeth between the two crowns. The crowns are placed on healthy, natural teeth on either side of the bridge. Bridges are quite durable and usually last 10 to 15 years.
Dental Bridge Types
Like crowns, bridges are usually made of porcelain and metal. The can either be secured to dental crowns or implants.
- Traditional. A traditional bridge is held in place by crowns affixed to two adjacent teeth. Healthy natural teeth are required for a patient to be a candidate for a traditional dental bridge.
- Implant-supported. An implant-supported dental bridge is held in place by dental implants, rather than crowns, and usually replaces two or three missing teeth in a row.
Contact Our Practice
Dr. Andrew G. Mortensen in Fountain Valley, CA, can help you decide on the best tooth-replacement option for you. Call (714) 964-4183 or conveniently make an appointment online today.