Crowns and bridges are indeed different treatments, but in some instances, they can be combined. In short, a crown is used to cover a broken or chipped tooth to make it stronger. Bridges are used to fill in gaps where there are missing teeth. Sometimes crowns are used on either side of a gap and fixed to a bridge to help hold it in place.
Functions of Dental Crowns
Crowns provide a protective cover and are placed over a broken, decayed or chipped tooth. Sometimes a crown is called a “cap” as it fits over a tooth like a cap. Crowns improve a tooth’s appearance and can be matched to the color of your natural teeth if they are made out of porcelain or ceramic. Sometimes, they are made out of alloys like gold and used on the back teeth.
Functions of Dental Bridges
Bridges can be used to replace one tooth, or more teeth that are missing. They may be cemented to natural teeth or implants to hold them in place. An abutment, or implant, can be used as an anchor for a bridge. A crown is placed over the abutment so it anchors the bridge and holds it in place. Bridges can be made from ceramic or porcelain and match the natural teeth.
How long do bridges and crowns last?
It is possible for bridges and crowns to last a lifetime if they are cared for properly. Good oral hygiene can help improve the longevity of these prosthetics. Disease can harm a bridge and cause it to lose its support if it damages teeth holding it in place. Brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups can help prevent gum disease and other problems with the teeth that can weaken and compromise the teeth and gums.