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Crowns vs. Bridges: What’s the Difference and Which Option Is Best for You?

Crowns vs. Bridges: What’s the Difference and Which Option Is Best for You?

Crowns and bridges are two of the most versatile dental restorations — most adults get one, the other, or both — at some point in life. 

Each has many roles. They can repair damaged teeth, fill gaps left by missing teeth, help preserve proper bite alignment, maintain health, and restore your smile. 

Whatever your reason, the board-certified dentists at our five 2K Dental locations can help. 

They offer a full scope of restorative solutions and cosmetic dentistry options

Here, the 2K Dental team explains the difference between dental crowns and bridges and the many problems tooth-related problems they solve.

All about dental crowns

Millions of Americans get a dental crown to fix problematic molars, restore their smile, and protect their oral health every year. But what’s a crown, and what dental issues can it solve? 

A restorative “cap”

A crown is a custom, tooth-shaped cap made to fit over a tooth — usually a molar — that’s weak, worn, damaged, misshapen, or permanently discolored. By concealing and protecting a damaged tooth, a crown restores normal function and appearance to your smile. 

Dental crowns require two office visits: During the first appointment, we prepare your natural tooth and take an impression to send to the dental lab; during the second, we fit the crown to your tooth. You wear a temporary crown between visits.

Conceal and restore

In many cases, a crown is the best way to extend the life of an impaired tooth — one that’s not damaged to the point of requiring an extraction. A simple crown can restore normal strength, structure, function, and appearance to a tooth that’s:

A custom dental crown is also the restoration that’s used to finish off a dental implant (artificial tooth root). 

All about dental bridges

Each year, millions of Americans get bridges to replace missing teeth, restore their smile, and safeguard their oral health. So, what’s a dental bridge, and how is it different from a crown?

“Bridging” the gap

As its name implies, a dental bridge replaces one or more lost teeth to “bridge” the gaps in your smile. A bridge is made up of two or more custom teeth that are connected to form a single restorative unit.  

When fitted into place, this row of artificial teeth fills the space between the supporting abutment teeth on either side. There are two basic bridge types:

Tooth-supported bridge

This type of bridge uses your natural teeth as support anchors: It has a crown on either end of the unit that fits over your natural teeth and artificial replacement teeth (pontics). A tooth-supported bridge can be a great solution if you’re missing one or two teeth.

Implant-supported bridge

Fixed in place and supported on either side by dental implants, an implant-supported bridge is an excellent restorative solution for multiple missing teeth. Dental implants stimulate the underlying jawbone tissue like natural tooth roots to preserve and protect oral health.  

Crown or bridge: Which is best for you?

If you have an impaired tooth that’s healthy enough to keep but not healthy enough to function well, a dental crown can restore its full shape, strength, function, and appearance. Or if you’ve lost a tooth, a dental bridge can fill the gap and restore your smile. 

While a tooth-supported bridge includes crowns on either end of the restorative unit, there’s only one dental situation that may require you to choose between a crown or a bridge. If you’ve lost a tooth — or if you have a severely damaged tooth that requires extraction — you may be given the option to restore the gap with either: 

Our team can help you weigh the pros and cons of each choice as they pertain to you so that you can find the best solution for your smile needs. Schedule an appointment at the 2K Dental office closest to you to learn more about restorative dental solutions. Call one of the offices today or use the online tool. We have five Ohio offices, including two in Akron. Our other locations are Parmu, Cleveland, and Cuyahoga Falls.

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