At Eric A Lim DDS, a dental crown or dental bridge is a prosthetic that replaces a tooth entirely, while a dental filling only fills part of a tooth. Both help to restore teeth and improve the smile’s appearance. Fillings are necessary when tooth decay has caused damage to a tooth, and the cavity needs to be filled and sealed to prevent further damage. A crown covers and protects the entire surface area of the tooth above the gum line. Sometimes, a bridge is the best option for replacing one or more missing teeth in a row. Bridges are fixed in place by crowns attached to healthy teeth on both sides of the gap.
The Benefits of Dental Crowns
A crown restores and protects a tooth’s shape, size, and strength while improving its appearance. Your dentist may recommend a crown if you have a structurally unsound tooth that cannot be fixed with a filling. A crown can help reinforce a weak tooth from further damage. While the crown protects your tooth from other harm, it can also cover discolorations or misshapen teeth. It also improves the appearance of your smile by filling in spaces created by missing teeth.
The Benefits of Dental Bridges
A dental bridge replaces missing teeth, which can typically cause problems with eating or speaking, such as a lisp. A dental bridge can restore your smile to full function and aesthetics. Bridges are permanently bonded to your teeth, so they look and feel natural. The restoration also strengthens decayed or damaged teeth since the bridge covers the entire tooth.
When Is a Crown or Bridge Recommended?
A crown is like a tooth-shaped cap that covers the tooth above the gum line, whereas a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth held in place by crowns on either side. Both are fixed prosthetic devices to restore the health and appearance of a tooth or set of teeth. Both solutions are highly recommended when significant structural loss or decay affects the strength and structure of the tooth.
Although dental crowns can be used to strengthen a lower molar after root canal therapy, they most often are used to restore a tooth with a large filling or a cracked or broken tooth. If your tooth is weakened after a root canal procedure, we may recommend a crown to protect the remaining tooth structure from cracking in the future.
Bridges are recommended if a patient is missing more than one consecutive tooth; they can be anchored to surrounding natural teeth or dental implants in the mouth. Several bridges are available, and patients can choose between traditional and implant-supported bridges.
Get in touch with Eric A Lim DDS, at 1624 Franklin St #300, Oakland 94612, or call (510) 893-2525 to learn more about the type of restoration that best suits your requirements.