Gables Perfect Smile Dental Blog

What is the Difference Between a Dental Crown and Bridge?

Beautiful lady smiling while in dentist

Much like regular medicine, the terms used in dentistry can be confusing if you aren’t used to them or you haven’t had the specific type of procedure referred to before. Crowns and bridges are two types of dental restoration that are often misunderstood, and in many cases, this is due to the fact that dental crowns are actually used in the process of giving a patient a bridge.

Both crowns and bridges can help restore the function and appearance of your teeth. This ensures that you can continue with your day to day life without interruption or compromise, and without worrying about the affect your dental problem has had upon the esthetics of your smile. Nevertheless, despite this similarity, there are some differences between the two treatments. Let’s find out more about these popular restorations and how they differ from one another.

Dental Crowns

Dental Crowns are coverings that sit over the top of teeth that are damaged or decayed, encasing the affected tooth completely inside. In doing so, the crown restores the strength and function of the tooth, as well as making it a uniform shape, size and height to other teeth so that the general appearance of your smile is also restored.

Dental crowns are typically recommended for patients who have teeth that:

  • Are badly decayed, beyond what a cavity filling can repair

  • Are fractured or weak and at high risk of breaking

  • Are badly eroded

  • Are misshapen or discolored

  • Are being replaced with a dental implant. This is because crowns form the visible part of the tooth in a dental implant.

As previously mentioned, crowns are also used the in the placement of a dental bridge.

Dental Bridges

Dental Bridges are a solution that is recommended for patients who have one or more missing teeth. Although our dentist will do everything possible to ensure that you retain your teeth for as long as possible, there may be an occasion where a tooth falls out or where extraction is the only viable course of action. Rather than leave a gap in your smile, our dentist may offer several solutions, including dental implants and a dental bridge, to replace the missing tooth and restore the function and appearance of your smile. Filling the gap is also essential to stop your other teeth shifting to take advantage of the space, creating gaps and subsequent problems with your otherwise healthy teeth.

Each bridge has a prosthetic tooth that is attached to metal framework. At each end are one or two crowns which are placed over healthy teeth neighboring the gap, securing the bridge in place. However, a successful bridge relies on their being healthy teeth to place the crowns on. If this is not the case, or if over time these teeth weaken and are no longer able to support the bridgework, dental implants may be the only viable alternative.

What are the Key Differences between Crowns and Bridges?

In the vast majority of cases, dental crowns are used as a singular, standalone treatment to restore rather than replace a missing tooth. This is the key difference between crowns and bridges. While the individual tooth to be crowned will require preparation, it is significantly less involved than the multiple teeth requiring prep-work for crowns when you are to receive a dental bridge.

Dental crowns are very durable, particularly as they do not rely on any surrounding teeth for support. Unfortunately, while bridgework can be relatively robust, it generally needs to be replaced every 10 or so years, or earlier if supporting teeth are affected.

Finally, the more complex nature of bridgework means that it is usually always more expensive that a dental crown.

​​​​​​​Our dentist will be able to recommend whether bridgework or a dental crown is the right treatment to address your personal dental problems. Arrange an appointment today to discuss your options. Call us to schedule an appointment.