Everybody wants a beautiful smile. The key to achieving this is having a good, healthy set of teeth. If you are having trouble with missing, gapped, or decaying teeth, there are a number of cosmetic dental procedures that can help. Dental crowns and bridges are both common restoration procedures. These are often used when a tooth (or teeth in an area) have undergone a sufficient amount of damage to require their near replacement. The best thing to do is find a family dentist who can help you explore your options. Crown and bridges each solve specific dental problems. Your dentist will help you decide which procedure is best for you.
Difference Between a Crown and a Bridge
A dental crown is a procedure where a cap is placed over a salvageable tooth. The crowns are custom-fitted and made of porcelain (or other materials, though porcelain is the most common). They are often used to restore chipped teeth, replace missing teeth, and even correct misshapen teeth. The procedure is performed in two appointments. The first appointment consists of dental impressions that are sent to the lab. The second appointment is when the dentist actually bonds the crown over the tooth.
A bridge, unlike a crown, is performed when a tooth needs replacing. A bridge is formed over the missing area like a partial denture. For example, if there is a missing tooth but a good one on either side, a bridge is ideal. The bridge can also regain the ability to chew better and reduce jaw problems. Bridges are also custom made of porcelain.
When are Crowns and Bridges Needed?
The purpose of a dental crown is to salvage the tooth and offset additional damage. You will benefit the most from a dental crown if you have a broken, chipped, cracked, weakened, or traumatized tooth that is not fully functioning. Because a dental crown is shaped like a tooth, it goes right over top and bonded in place.
A bridge is needed if you have a missing tooth or have gaps in your teeth. The bridge will have a crown on either side and an artificial tooth where the missing tooth or gap is. The purpose is to anchor the teeth in place and prevent shifting.
How Much Do Crowns and Bridges Cost?
The cost of dental crowns and bridges is based on four factors: location, the complexity of the procedure, and whether or not one needs to be put under for the procedure. That being said, a dental crown is typically cheaper than a bridge. Even though the procedures are cosmetic, your insurance will often cover a portion of the bill.
Porcelain dental crowns can go anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per tooth. Metal crowns are slightly cheaper. A typical dental bridge can range anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000. Keep in mind that there can be other diagnostic costs for exams, X-rays, treatment options, and aftercare.
Everybody wants a great smile. If you don't have one, a dental crown or bridge could be the answer. After an initial examination, a dentist can advise you of your options. Most people who have undergone the procedures say it was well worth the cost. The consensus seems to be that new crowns or bridges can do wonders for your smile.