Last Updated on December 6, 2022 by Faiza Murtaza
Tooth loss remains a common problem in the United States despite the various improvements in dental care. You may lose your teeth to periodontitis, an injury, or tooth decay; regardless of the cause, tooth loss significantly alters your appearance. If you have one or more missing teeth, your dentist may recommend Encino crowns & bridges – artificial replacement options for tooth loss. Your dentist will help you decide the best option for you between crowns and bridges.
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The difference between dental crowns and dental bridges
A dental crown is a cap resembling your natural tooth and can be used to cover damaged or decaying teeth. It can also be placed on top of an implant after dental implant surgery. Implants are titanium metal fixtures surgically embedded in your jawbone beneath the gums. These metal fixtures firmly anchor to your bone, a process known as osseointegration. It takes at least six months for the bone to fuse to the metal; this process provides solid support you can rely on when eating or speaking. After dental implant surgery, your dental professional fixes an abutment into your implant, onto which a crown is mounted.
While crowns serve other purposes besides teeth replacement, bridges are solely used to replace missing teeth. Bridges consist of two crowns- one on each end – and a bridge of replacement teeth that rest over the gum area with missing teeth. The crowns at the end of a bridge can fuse to natural teeth that need to be filed down to attain a proper fit. Other times your dental professional can attach the crowns to dental implants.
Regardless of the tooth replacement option your dentist recommends, both are vital in maintaining oral health. The gaps resulting from tooth loss can cause other teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. When left unresolved, missing teeth can lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint disorders.
How do dental crowns work?
A crown caps a weak, damaged, or decaying tooth to restore its size, shape, strength, and appearance. Your dentist may recommend getting a crown to cover your dental implant after surgical placement. Crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain, gold, and ceramic. Each has its pros and cons, which your dental professional may discuss to help you select the right one. For example, crowns made from gold alloy or other metal alloy are durable and cost-effective but don’t look much like your natural teeth.
How do bridges work?
While a crown can cover damaged teeth, the only function of a bridge is to replace one or more missing teeth. Before getting a bridge, your dentist will file down teeth or dental implants at the outer edges of the gap. The replacement teeth or pontics cover the area between the caps where there are no teeth. Similar to dental crowns, bridges are available in various materials; your dental professional is in the best position to advise you on your material choice based on your needs.
If you have missing teeth, consult your dentist at Sargon Dental to know if crowns and bridges are an option.