If you have a broken or missing tooth, you may turn to cosmetic dentistry to engineer a replacement. The options available to you today, however, present you with a choice: Bridges, crowns, or implants? Bridges, crowns, and implants do have some important factors in common. Unlike dentures, these are permanent dental solutions, fixed to your teeth or jaw, and can only be removed by a dentist. These three options each present unique benefits and require certain considerations as well, meaning the best one for you depends on your own specific circumstances.
So, what are the key differences between bridges, crowns, and implants? Read on to learn which one is the best fit for you.
What are dental crowns?
Crowns are hollow prosthetic teeth, usually made of porcelain or ceramics, that are placed over an existing tooth. Dental crowns can be used to protect a vulnerable or damaged tooth, particularly if that tooth has fractured. Crowns can also be used cosmetically, to cover teeth that are discoloured are mis-shaped. Teeth that are damaged by impact, for example, can bleed internally, staining the tooth enamel from within and causing it to go grey or even black.
Crowns are applied by reducing the size of the existing tooth via filing away the outer enamel and some of the underlying dentin, so that the crown can be placed over top of it. The crown is then secured with dental cement. This process usually takes two separate visits to the dentist, but once finished a dental crown can remain with you for life.
What are dental bridges?
Dental bridges are false teeth suspended between crowns to replace a missing tooth. Unlike crowns and implants, bridges feature at least one artificial tooth that is not anchored either to a tooth or the jaw. Bridges are typically a row of three or more teeth built as a single piece. The centre teeth (called pontics) in the bridge span a gap in your smile, and are held in place by fixing the ends to existing teeth or implants like crowns.
Like a crown, the ends of a dental bridge need to be applied by filing down the enamel of their corresponding teeth. For a long time, bridges were the only option to permanently replace a missing tooth
. While dental implants provide an additional choice today, bridges are still cheaper up front, though they are more likely to need replacing further down the road.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants differ from crowns and bridges in that they are not fixed to existing teeth. Dental implants are fixed to a titanium post that is surgically positioned into the jawbone. This makes implants particularly durable and secure, however much more expensive. The procedure to implement dental implants is more surgically invasive, but will only be necessary once, if you practice good oral hygiene. Dental implants could be the only option for those who suffer from sore spots, a sensitive gag reflex, or uncooperative ridges.
Let Naenae meet your cosmetic dentistry needs
Having trouble deciding which is best for you? The cosmetic dentists at Naenae Dental Clinic can offer expert advice on crowns, bridges, and implants, and help you make an informed decision to achieve the perfect smile. Contact Naenae Dental Clinic today to learn more.