As the palm trees blow in the wind off in the distance and the sand on Torrance Beach tickles your toes, you sit and allow your imagination to roam free. You imagine what life would be like with a perfect smile, one with no gaps or missing teeth. As you daydream, though, you decide that imagining this new life isn’t enough. You want that perfect smile as a reality. So in that moment you decide, that you’re going to contact your dentist in Torrance to get the ball rolling with a dental implant procedure, but you’re unsure about whether you’ll need a crown or bridge. Here are some facts about both of them to help you get a better understanding of what your dentist may recommend.
The first thing to take note of is that dental crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetics. They differ from dentures in that they can’t be removed. Both procedures offer substantial durability. However, there are some differences.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. It can be used to strengthen it, improve its appearance, shape or align it. Your dentist may recommend a crown for the following reasons:
- Replace – A crown may be used to replace a large filling where minimum tooth material remains.
- Protect – It can be used to protect a weak tooth from fracturing.
- Restore – The crown can restore a fractured tooth.
- Attach – A bridge can be attached using a crown.
- Cover – A crown can be used to cover a dental implant, discolored or poorly shaped tooth, or a tooth treated with a root canal procedure.
What is a Bridge?
A bridge may be recommended if you are missing one or more teeth. As its name denotes, it is used to connect points that are spread out and need to be adjoined. This would include gaps left by missing teeth. The bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. The teeth that the bridge attaches to are called abutments, serving as anchors. Furthermore, bridges can only be used on teeth that appear consecutively or in a row.
The main difference between a crown and bridge then, is that the former functions as a protector while the latter is more of a connector. The choice as to which you need is on an individual basis, depending on your needs. Your dentist will suggest the best route to take based on the type of tooth loss you have. But whichever one she suggests, you will be able to regain the perfect smile that you’ve been missing for so long.
About the Author
Dr. Maha M. Hanna has worked in private practice since 1995. She studied at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt and continues to complete advanced training each year to ensure that she delivers the highest quality service to her patients. She practices at PCH Dental and can be reached for more information through her website.