Many patients have asked us, “Do I need a crown or bridge?”
In some cases, the answer is pretty clear. In others, you could choose either one. Our Cincinnati, OH dentists will be happy to go over the particulars of your situation to help you make an informed decision.
Regardless, you can trust our team at Bell Dental Group to help you with every step of the process. You can restore or replace your tooth so your smile looks as good as ever and so you can continue eating the foods that you love.
We’ll discuss some examples when a crown, a bridge, or either could work. The best way to know, however, is to schedule an appointment by calling 513-802-9440.
When You Should Get A Crown
Dental crowns are similar to caps that you can fit over a tooth to restore their shape, size, and function. With a modern dental crown bonded to your tooth, very few people will know that which tooth is a crown and which is natural (unless you tell them, of course).
Crowns are also versatile. They can be used to fix all of these problems:
- Broken teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Teeth with large cavities
- Teeth that are small or misshapen
- Teeth that are worn-down
- Teeth that are dark or discolored compared to the rest of your smile
In all of those situations, reshaping your healthy tooth is the first step in removing the weakened parts of your tooth. These leaves behind healthy portions of your tooth to support the crown.
When your crown is ready, it will be bonded to your tooth with dental cement. With proper care, your crown can last for decades before it may need to be replaced.
When You Could Get a Crown or a Bridge
When you are missing a tooth, have a tooth knocked out, or need a tooth removed, it’s not always as obvious whether you should get a crown or a bridge.
Both can work. The decision often comes down to your personal preference.
We do want to emphasize one thing. Regardless of what you decide, it is important that you replace the tooth that you lost.
Leaving that gap in your smile could put you at risk of further tooth loss. “Drifting” can change the way your teeth fit together, which can affect how well you can bite or chew.
By replacing that missing tooth, you can prevent those kinds of problems.
A dental bridge is created by fusing crowns together. To replace one tooth, you would typically get a bridge made of three crowns. The two crowns on the outside of the bridge would be bonded to the teeth on each side of the gap in your smile. The crown in the middle would fill that gap.
The supporting teeth would be reshaped similar to what we described above for a tooth that was getting a crown.
With that in mind, a crown can’t support itself. So, how can you get a single crown to replace a missing tooth? First, you need to replace the root of your missing tooth. That’s what a dental implant does.
Modern implants are titanium screws that are placed in your jawbone, where you root once was. They have an abutment where a crown can be attached. By getting an implant-supported crown, you don’t have to alter the shape if any of your healthy teeth to replace the one that you lost.
When to Build a Bridge
If you are missing multiple teeth in the same part of your mouth, getting a dental bridge is your most efficient option.
In many cases like this, we may recommend using implants to hold your bridge in place. The reason is that a larger bridge requires reshaping even more teeth to support the crowns in the middle of that bridge.
By getting implants, you can reduce the size of the bridge, fill the gap in your smile, and leave your remaining teeth untouched.
You Deserve a Complete Smile
Repairing or replacing teeth is an important decision. If you live in or near Cincinnati, OH, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to make the right choice for your situation.