Dental Crowns vs. Dental Bridges: Which Treatment Is Right for You? By fairfaxfamilydentalcare on June 01, 2023

Implant-supported dental crownDental damage and tooth loss compromise oral functions, detract from the beauty of the smile, and increase the risk of further oral health problems. The dentists at Fairfax Family Dental Care offer a comprehensive range of restorative dentistry treatments, including dental crowns and bridges, to repair and rebuild the smile.

Dental bridges and dental crowns address damage, decay, and tooth loss to enhance oral functions and aesthetics. Individuals in the Fairfax, VA, area wondering about dental crowns vs. dental bridges and which treatment is right for their unique situation can learn more about these procedures here.

What Are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped restorations that surround the crown of a tooth. They are often referred to as dental caps. Dental crowns are customizable restorations. Their size, shape, and color are designed to blend in seamlessly with a patient’s natural teeth.

Dental Crown Applications

Dental crowns are one of the most versatile restorative dentistry treatments. Dental crowns address a wide range of cosmetic and structural flaws. Potential dental crown candidates include those of our Fairfax patients who have experienced any of the following:

  • Advanced tooth decay
  • Advanced acid erosion
  • Oral injury
  • Extensive cosmetic flaws
  • Tooth loss

The Dental Crown Procedure

A dental crown treatment typically takes place over two dental appointments. At the first appointment, the dentist reshapes the tooth to remove damaged enamel. Impressions are taken of the teeth, and the size, shape, and color of the dental crown are selected. The dentist places a temporary crown to protect the tooth while the permanent crown is fabricated. At the second appointment, the dentist tests the fit of the crown before bonding it in place with a tooth-colored dental compound.

Alternatively, dental crowns can be secured to dental implants. Implant-supported dental crowns address tooth loss. A dental implant procedure requires multiple appointments, including oral surgery to place the implant in the jaw. Implant-supported crowns look, feel, and function like natural teeth.

What Are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges are restorations designed to replicate a single tooth or a small set of teeth. Dental bridges consist of a pontic piece that resembles the teeth and two dental crowns (one on either side of the pontic). Like dental crowns, dental bridges are customized by size, shape, and color, so they blend in with a patient’s natural teeth.

Dental Bridge Applications

Dental bridges address tooth loss. Dental bridges can address the loss of a single tooth or a small set of teeth. Ideal dental bridge candidates are those who have lost one to three teeth from the same area of the mouth. A bridge spans the area of tooth loss and fills in the gap left by missing teeth.

The Dental Bridge Procedure

Dental bridge treatment generally requires two dental appointments. At the first appointment, the dentist reshapes the teeth on either side of the area of tooth loss. Enamel is removed to accommodate the placement of dental crowns. After reshaping the teeth, impressions are taken, and design specifications are sent to a dental laboratory. A temporary bridge is placed to protect the teeth while the permanent bridge is fabricated. At the second appointment, the permanent bridge is placed by bonding dental crowns to prepared teeth.

As with dental crowns, a dental bridge can also be secured to dental implants. An implant-supported bridge is more durable than a traditional dental bridge and offers the added benefit of jaw bone preservation.

Contact Us

If you have suffered from an oral injury, advanced tooth decay, or tooth loss, you may be an ideal candidate for a dental crown or dental bridge. To find out which of these restorative dentistry treatments is best suited to your unique needs and desires, send a message to Fairfax Family Dental Care or call (703) 385-0303 and schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.

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The Fairfax Family Dental Care office building.

Fairfax Family Dental Care

Our team of compassionate dental professionals uses state-of-the-art technology for every procedure we offer. As the premier emergency dentists in Fairfax, we are here to offer relief at any time of day or night, seven days a week. Our dentists are affiliated with professional associations including:

  • American Dental Association
  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • The American Orthodontic Society
  • Virginia Dental Association

To schedule an appointment or receive immediate dental care, call: (703) 385-0303 or contact us online.

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