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When Should You Get Dental Crowns and Bridges?

A picture of teeth mold.

If you have one or more false teeth, your dentist may recommend that you get them restored or replaced with tooth-supported restorations or implants.

While detachable options, like dentures, can easily be removed and cleaned, they also tend to slide, shift, or fall out, making them an inefficient solution. On the other hand, alternatives like crowns and bridges are more efficient. Crowns are attached to implants, while bridges function as if they were real teeth.

What Is the Best Choice between Dental Crowns and Bridges?

Dental Bridges

When one or more teeth are missing, a dental bridge is used to bridge the gap between two healthy teeth. A bridge is made up of two caps placed over the teeth on either side of the gap. They then act as a support to the fake teeth that fill in the gap and can be used to fix many open spaces at once.

Dental cement is used to keep dental bridges in place; they are permanently attached and cannot be removed. It is also not easy to tell whether you have a bridge or not since the color and shape of the fake tooth are identical to your own.

A dental bridge can be installed right after tooth extraction, but it will only be a temporary bridge. Once the socket heals and recedes, you might need to switch to a permanent bridge as a more durable solution. Depending on the situation, three different types of dental bridges can be used:

  • Traditional fixed bridges

  • Maryland bonded bridges

  • Cantilever bridges

To determine if this is the right treatment for you, you should consult your dentist, obtain some x-rays, and have your teeth evaluated.

Risks of Dental Bridges

The disadvantage of having a dental bridge is that it is necessary to prepare the adjacent teeth, which may cause damage to the other healthy teeth. It is necessary to talk to your dentist to understand the type of dental bridge that is best for you.

Another disadvantage is that dental bridge cement can become loose, and the dental bridge may come off if you eat something hard or sticky. So you need to be very careful. If any damage is caused to the bridge, you can go back to your dentist and get it repaired.

Dental Crowns

A dentist picking up dental crowns with forceps.

Crowns are primarily used to strengthen your teeth. Dentists resort to crowns when a tooth has been filed multiple times or if it’s been broken or you've lost more than 50% of the tooth. In such cases, it is hard to restore the tooth with a filling because there is very little of the natural tooth left.

The biggest risk involved in restoring a tooth that is 60% lost and already heavily filled is a fracture. Particularly if it's a molar and you are trying to bite on something hard. The tooth may fracture, and your dentist may not be able to recover it.

Placing a crown over a weakened tooth might prevent it from fracturing or wearing down. Different types of crowns are used to correct teeth that are discolored or deformed, as well as to protect teeth that have had root canals. Dental crowns are made up of different materials, including:

  • Metal

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal

  • All-resin

  • All-ceramic or all-porcelain

  • Pressed ceramic

A porcelain crown is sometimes called a cap and replaces the entire tooth enamel. About 1-1.5 millimeters of solid porcelain goes around the outside of the tooth. It strengthens the tooth, which is very important, especially for the molars. It also provides the best natural color and blends in with the rest of your teeth, making it a great option for your front teeth.

Risks of Dental Crowns

Just after putting a crown in, you might experience some sensitivity for three to four days when you chew or when the temperature changes. The crown could also feel too tight initially or make your mouth sore.

What Is the Lifespan of a Dental Crown?

A dental crown may not last forever. If it’s damaged or worn out, you will have to get it replaced. However, with proper maintenance, it could last a while.

Remember, the lifespan of your crown relies on the elements used to build it, your oral hygiene, the food you intake, and the state of the surrounding teeth and gums. You must regularly floss and clean your teeth to ensure the longevity of your crown.

How Do You Deal with a Missing Tooth?

There are three options for a missing tooth. A partial denture, which is an artificial or false tooth on a plate, can be used for one or multiple teeth. It could also be fixed, meaning it can't be removed from the mouth like a partial denture can.

The next option is dental bridges. They can be used for one or multiple teeth. However, keep in mind that there will be more pressure on anchoring teeth when there are more missing teeth or when the span is wider.

The last option would be to replace the missing tooth with implants, which could be relatively costly. Your jaw bone also needs to be intact in order to insert implants.

Reliable Dental Services in Fort Dodge, IA

We offer a wide range of dental services at Clay & Associates, from aesthetic procedures to routine cleanings and more. As part of routine cleaning, we provide polishing and restorative dental treatment. Our experts also do oral cancer screenings, treat abscessed teeth, and clean around the gums to prevent infection. You can learn more by contacting us today.


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