Sonoma, CA dentists explain the similarities and differences between dental crowns and bridges
Missing, cracked, or broken teeth detract from an otherwise healthy, beautiful smile. Dental problems not only lead to embarrassment and hidden smiles, but also to decreased oral health. For patients near Sonoma, CA, Dr. Silvano Senn, Dr. Toni Mann, and the team at Sonoma Whole Health Dentistry offer dental crowns and bridges to restore teeth and repair smiles.
Similarities and differences between dental crowns and bridges
Many people have heard of crowns and bridges, but until they need one, they do not understand exactly what they are or what they do. Both are fixed dental devices that are cemented onto natural teeth or over dental implants to give an individual a more natural, complete smile. Unlike dentures which may be removable, crowns and bridges cannot be removed and are cemented in place.
Although crowns and bridges aesthetically enhance the smile by restoring or correcting dental issues, dental restorations also strengthen the tooth and maintain functionality. Patients can speak and eat naturally. The restorations are sturdy, durable, and long-lasting so they can withstand the same pressures as natural teeth do. Restorations should be cared for as natural teeth are. Good oral hygiene including proper brushing and flossing ensures the longevity of dental crowns and bridges.
Dental crowns and bridges are forms of dental restorations. Neither is better or worse than the other, they just have different purposes.
- Crowns cover, restore, or replace a single tooth. Bridges can be used to replace multiple teeth.
- A crown is essentially a cap that restores a tooth and makes it appear natural again. It can be used to alter the appearance of a cracked, discolored, or misshapen tooth. It can also cover a dental implant.
- A bridge fills a gap from a missing tooth. It “bridges” a gap between teeth. A bridge can be adhered to natural teeth or dental implants for support.
Dental crowns improve the appearance and function of decayed, chipped, or fractured teeth. The damaged tooth is prepared, and impressions are taken. Traditional crowns are created by an off-site lab using impressions of your teeth and detailed notes from the dentist regarding the size, shape, and color of the adjacent teeth to ensure a natural-looking result. Once ready, the crown is cemented in place.
A dental bridge is a type of dental restoration used to replace missing teeth. As a fixed dental device, it bridges the gap left by one or more missing teeth. The types of dental bridges include traditional, implant-supported, cantilever, and Maryland. As the most common type, traditional bridges contain two crowns placed over natural teeth or dental implants with a false tooth in the middle. The crowns give the bridge stability and support. Permanent bridges are not removable.
To prepare for a bridge, a dentist preps the teeth adjacent to the gap from the missing tooth. The teeth need to be prepared for the crown that will sit atop them securely holding the bridge in position. Impressions are taken of the area. The impressions are sent to a laboratory to have your custom bridge created. The bridge will match your surrounding teeth to appear natural. Within a couple weeks, your bridge should be ready to be placed into the proper position.
Our commitment to dental restoration
Our practice strives to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible. Preserving the natural tooth structure is preferred as it maintains more overall health benefits. For crowns and bridges, the tooth is prepared to remove the damaged portion of the tooth or to prepare for placement of the restoration. As holistic dentists, we do not use metal in our dental restorations. Research indicates that metal composites present negative impacts on overall patient health. We utilize porcelain and composite materials for crowns to ensure biocompatibility, durability, and aesthetic appeal. Our dentists will work with you to recommend the best restoration option for your situation.
If you need to repair a chipped tooth or to replace a missing tooth, contact Dr. Silvano Senn and Dr. Toni Mann near Sonoma, CA. Your overall health is our goal. Let our team restore your beautiful, healthy smile. Call 707 549-6333.