If, through injury or decay, a tooth gets damaged or comes out, what do you do? Depending on the situation, a crown or bridge may give you the solution you need.
Both of these prosthetic devices can be good options to permanently fix your smile, but the two often get confused. At Simple Smiles in Johnson City, Tennessee, we have placed thousands of crowns and bridges over the years, so here’s some information to help you understand the difference between the two options.
A crown is used to cover a tooth that's been damaged. A crown covers the entire tooth to reinforce and protect it. Crowns — which can be made from porcelain, metal, resin, or ceramic — are permanently cemented into your mouth, and you can brush and floss as normal once the crown is placed. They look and feel like your tooth.
Here are a few situations where a crown may be the best option:
- To strengthen a weak tooth so it doesn’t break
- To repair a broken or fractured tooth
- To use in conjunction with a dental implant
- To cover a discolored tooth.
- To temporarily cover a tooth that is waiting for a root canal.
If you have a missing tooth, a bridge can fill the gap. In general, there are three parts to a bridge: two crowns and a false tooth. The crowns go on the natural teeth on either side of the gap, and they support the false tooth that goes in the middle. This is a great way to replace that missing tooth while supporting the adjacent teeth as well as preventing periodontal issues that arise from the missing tooth.
Bridges can help do the following:
- Restore your smile
- Give you the ability to chew and speak correctly
- Prevent your cheeks from sinking in
- Evenly distribute the force of your bite
- Keep the teeth surrounding the gap from moving out of position
Both crowns and bridges can be made of different materials depending on your needs. Porcelain or ceramic can be matched to the shade of your teeth, so no one will notice a difference.
If you need a stronger option than porcelain or ceramic, gold or other metal alloys can be the solution. However, metal won’t match the rest of your teeth, so they usually work best in the back of the mouth. Whatever your case is, your provider at Simple Smiles will discuss your options and get you on the path to a strong, beautiful smile.
If you think you may need a crown or bridge, the dental team at Simple Smiles will be happy to lend their expertise to your situation. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.