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Dental Crowns, Bridges, or Implants: Which Is The Right Option For Me?

If you are missing teeth or have damaged tooth, cosmetic dentistry has various solutions. Modern dentistry presents you with a choice: bridges, crowns, or implants? These three options have some important characteristics in common. Unlike removable dentures, these are permanent solutions, they are fixed (either to your teeth or jaw), and can be removed only by a professional. Each one also has unique benefits and requires certain requirements, which means that the best one for you will depend on your own specific case. Let's talk about what are the key differences between bridges, crowns, and implants. Continue reading to learn which on these solutions is the best fit for you.

What Are Dental Crowns?

Crowns, also known as caps, are placed over existing tooth. They are usually made of porcelain or ceramics. Dental crowns has many uses, it can protect a damaged tooth, particularly if that tooth was fractured or has a large cavity or underwent a root canal procedure. Crowns can also be used for cosmetic purposes, to cover misshaped or discolored teeth.

For example, teeth that have suffered an impact can change color and look grey. To install the crown, the crown of the tooth needs to be filed down to reduce the amount of outer enamel and some of the dentin, so that the dental crown can be placed over it. Then the crown is fixed to the tooth with dental cement.

To get a dental crown you must have enough of the tooth structure and tooth root left in order to support a ceramic crown, porcelain crown, zirconia crown. Getting a crown usually takes two visits to the dental office, but once installed a dental crown can last more than 20 years in some cases.

What Are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridge is a false tooth that is held in place by attaching to the adjacent teeth on either side of the gap. One big difference between bridges vs crowns and implants is that in a bridge there is at least one false tooth that is not anchored. Typically, a bridge consists of a row of three or more teeth as a single piece. The centre false tooth is called pontic is held in place by being fixed to a crown on both sides. Like with a crown, dental bridge is applied by filing down the enamel of their supporting teeth.

For many years, bridges were the sole option to permanently replace missing teeth. Unfortunately, bridges can damage healthy adjacent teeth and they do not prevent bone loss in the jaw, which could cause more problems down the line. Dental implants are now the preferred method for missing teeth, however dental bridges are still less expensive up front but likely will need to be replaced further down the road.