Difference Between a Crown and a Bridge

When it comes to dental terms, “crown” and “bridge” are pretty commonly heard. However, These two terms are often linked together as being interchangeable. This is an incorrect assumption since the two are similar in some ways, but very different in their overall appearance and the job they execute.

What is a Crown?

A crown is usually characterized as a cap or covering for a damaged tooth. A crown can be made out of metal, resin, porcelain, etc. There are many ways a crown can be created and many materials it is made out of, but these are the most popular. A crown is similar to a filling and often comes into play when a filling is too small to do the job. Much like a filling, a crown will repair a tooth, make it stronger, restore it, and approve a tooth’s appearance dramatically. A crown is often used if a tooth is cracked, has a hole or cavity too big to be corrected by a filling, a patient has recently had a root canal and are in need of a tooth to be reinforced after the treatment, or the appearance of a tooth is dissatisfying and needs to be covered for aesthetic purposes. It’s important to point out that a metal alloy version of a crown will not blend in with the coloring of your natural tooth and may be noticeable. A porcelain or resin option will blend in with the tooth.

What is a Bridge?

A bridge is used when there’s a missing tooth involved. When a tooth goes missing, if there’s not something to replace it, the integrity of the gum and bone can be compromised. This, in turn, can affect the gums and teeth surrounding the missing tooth. A bridge can be made out of the same materials as a crown however, it consists of one fake tooth in the middle and a crown on each side of that fake tooth. The crowns reinforce the teeth on either side of the missing tooth and the fake tooth is cemented into place in order to fill in for the missing tooth. This not only makes a smile aesthetically pleasing, it also reinforces the teeth and ensures no damage is caused by the missing tooth. So, you could say that a bridge is an advancement of a crown and used in a worse case when a crown by itself isn’t enough.

To recap, a crown is used to reinforce one tooth and a bridge is used to replace a missing tooth while anchoring and reinforcing the teeth around it. Both crowns and bridges offer an update in appearances, creating a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing smile. Neither of these options are overly pricey and are a great option for updating a smile quickly and efficiently.