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Dental Crowns vs. Bridges: Which One is Right for You?

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Do you ever feel like your teeth are staging a revolt against you? Maybe they’ve decided to go their separate ways, or one of them has decided to break ranks and go rogue. Whatever the case may be, it’s essential to address these dental mutinies before they lead to bigger problems. Luckily, dental crowns and bridges can help restore order to your mouth. In this blog, we’ll dive into the differences between these two procedures, so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you. Let’s get started!
Photo credits to alex-mit

What are Dental Crowns and How Do They Work?

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that are placed over a damaged or decayed tooth to restore its shape, size, and strength. The crown is bonded to the tooth using dental cement, making it a permanent restoration. Crowns can be made from different materials, including porcelain, ceramic, metal, or a combination of these. They are custom-made to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth.

Signs You Might Need a Dental Crown

  • A large cavity that cannot be filled with a filling
  • Cracked or fractured tooth
  • Severe tooth decay
  • A worn-down tooth from grinding or erosion

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

Dental crowns can last for many years, with proper care and maintenance. The lifespan of a crown depends on various factors, such as the material used, the quality of the crown, the amount of wear and tear, and the patient’s oral hygiene. On average, dental crowns can last up to 15 years.

Benefits of Dental Crowns

  • Restore the shape, size, and strength of a damaged tooth
  • Enhance the appearance of discolored or misshapen teeth
  • Protect a weak tooth from further damage
  • Support a dental bridge or cover a dental implant

Is the Procedure Painful?

Before placing a dental crown, the dentist will numb the area using a local anesthetic to prevent pain during the procedure. After the procedure, patients may experience some sensitivity and discomfort, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.

Photo credits to alex-mit

What are Dental Bridges and How Do They Work?

Dental bridges are a restorative option for replacing one or more missing teeth. They consist of two or more dental crowns that are attached to adjacent teeth or dental implants, with a false tooth in the middle to fill the gap. Dental bridges can be made from different materials, including porcelain, ceramic, metal, or a combination of these.

Signs You Might Need a Dental Bridge

  • Missing one or more teeth
  • Difficulty speaking or chewing
  • Shifting of teeth due to missing teeth
  • Unwanted gaps in your smile

How Long Do Dental Bridges Last?

Dental bridges are designed to be durable and long-lasting. The lifespan of a dental bridge can vary depending on various factors, such as the patient’s oral hygiene habits and the materials used in the restoration. On average, a dental bridge can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years or more with proper care and maintenance. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help extend the lifespan of your dental bridge.

Benefits of Dental Bridges

  • Restore the function and appearance of missing teeth
  • Prevent the remaining teeth from shifting
  • Improve your speech and ability to chew
  • Support the structure of your face

Is the Procedure Painful?

The procedure for getting a dental bridge is typically not painful, as a local anesthetic is used to numb the area being treated. Some patients may experience slight discomfort or sensitivity after the procedure, but this should subside within a few days. If you have any concerns about pain or discomfort during or after the procedure, be sure to discuss them with your dentist. They can work with you to ensure your comfort and address any questions or concerns you may have. 

Comparing Dental Crowns and Bridges

While dental crowns and bridges are both effective options for restoring teeth, they have some differences. Here are some factors to consider:

Cost: Generally, dental crowns are less expensive than bridges. However, the cost can vary depending on the material used

Durability: Both dental crowns and bridges can last for many years, but their lifespan can depend on various factors, such as the quality of the restoration, the materials used, and the patient’s oral hygiene.

Procedure Length: The length of the procedure for both dental crowns and bridges can vary, but they usually require two appointments. The first appointment involves preparing the tooth or teeth, taking impressions, and placing a temporary restoration. The second appointment involves placing the permanent restoration.

Appearance: Dental crowns and bridges are custom-made to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth. However, dental crowns are placed over a single tooth, while bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth.

Which One is Right for You?

The decision to get a dental crown or bridge depends on your individual dental needs. If you have a damaged or decayed tooth that needs to be restored, a dental crown may be the best option. On the other hand, if you are missing one or more teeth, a dental bridge may be the solution to restore your smile and function. Cost can also be a factor in deciding which option to choose.


At the end of the day, dental crowns and bridges can both work wonders for your smile, helping to restore damaged or missing teeth and bringing order back to your dental mutiny. Whether you need a crown to repair a damaged tooth or a bridge to fill a gap, the team at Molldrem Family Dentistry is here to help. We’ll work with you to determine the best restorative option for your unique needs and get your teeth back on track. So, let’s put an end to this dental rebellion and give you the healthy, happy smile you deserve! Call us at (952) 974-5116 or schedule an appointment online today.

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