What’s the difference between a dental crown and a bridge?

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If you or your children have been having a few issues with your teeth, you’ve probably already heard the terms ‘crown’ and ‘bridge’ a few times. But what exactly do they mean? When do you know if you need them and what’s the difference between the two?

So let’s start with the basics…

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is a restoration option which completely covers or encircles a tooth. A cap is placed over a single tooth (much like a king’s crown) in order to help restore strength and function. It usually covers the entire part of the tooth which is visible above the gum-line.  On an aesthetic level, it restores the shape and size of your tooth which helps to regain your natural smile.

When do you need a dental crown?

A crown is required when a single tooth is damaged. This commonly occurs after a large restoration, fracture or root canal treatment. It can also be used to protect a weakened tooth from being damaged by decay as well as to hold together parts of a cracked tooth. It is also commonly used to support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t much of the original tooth left.

On a cosmetic level, crowns can be used to cover severely discoloured os misshapen teeth as well as cover dental implants.

What is a bridge?

A bridge is a dental restoration option which is used to replace one or more missing teeth. The reason it’s called a bridge is because it quite literally bridges the gap between two healthy teeth or dental implants.

A bridge is therefore different to a crown. However, when a tooth is replaced with some cemented bridgework, one or more teeth on either side of the bridge may need to be prepared as crowns in order to hold the bridge in place. When this occurs, it usually takes two appointments to complete.

Although it sounds quite complicated and invasive, the bridge will replace any missing teeth which will leave you with a full and natural looking smile. Remember however that a bridge is usually created from porcelain and metal and will be fixed in place inside your mouth for good (unlike dentures, which you can remove as required). If you’re considering a bridge, make sure you discuss the procedure with your dentist so that you fully understand your situation.

Where should you go to get my dental crown or bridge?

The good news is that these are both common dental procedures. And whilst some dentists are of course better than others, most, if not all, dentists will be familiar with these procedures. So when it comes to finding a dental practice to have your dental crown or bridge procedure, you’ll have plenty of options.

Of course, your fist consideration will be location. If you live on the Central Coast for example, you’ll want to find a dentist who can give you a dental crown & bridge on the Central Coast. Your second consideration however should be the quality of the dentist. Make sure you choose a practice or dentist with proper qualifications and plenty of experience in dental crowns and bridges. Ideally, you want these services listed on their website as it will show that it’s a procedure that they perform often.

When it comes to selecting a dentist for your dental crown or bridge, don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions. A good dentist will be able to answer all your questions and provide you with information that will put your mind at east. A great dentist will understand that you might be nervous or unsure about the procedure and they will take time to explain everything to you in terms that you can understand.

Remember, it’s one day’s work for your dentist, but you have to live with the results. So don’t be afraid to take your time and make sure you choose the right dentist for you.

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