Dental West NYC’s patients can always trust that our doctors will create their treatment plan around the least invasive procedures possible. We always prefer to have patients keep their own teeth, but there are times when a tooth needs more than a filling, inlay, or onlay. If the tooth already has a crown, is cracked, or the damage is too extensive, our doctors may recommend a dental bridge or crown.
What is a Dental Crown?
In short, it’s a prosthetic tooth. It is modeled after your existing tooth and made to fit with the other teeth in your mouth. The most common crown materials are gold and porcelain. Gold is a little stronger and offers more longevity, but porcelain is much more esthetic. It blends right in, and no one can tell it isn’t just another natural tooth.
How is a Dental Crown Fitted?
There are two primary ways to place a dental crown, and it depends on the presence and health of the original root and tooth structure. If the root and tooth structure are intact and healthy, then our doctors will shape the tooth to accommodate a crown. Once your custom crown is made, they will place it, and you’ll have most of your own tooth, with a porcelain or metal cap to protect it from decay.
The other method for placing a crown involves a dental implant. If the tooth that the crown is replacing is missing altogether or needs to be extracted, you’ll require an implant. In this case, our doctors surgically place a metal post to support the implant crown.
What is a Dental Bridge?
Like implant crowns, dental bridges replace missing or damaged teeth, but instead of standing alone, bridges require the support of surrounding teeth. The most common way a bridge is placed is with crowns on the two neighboring teeth. The prosthetic tooth (or teeth) is attached to and held in place by those crowns.
Other Bridge Options
The doctors at Dental West perform etched cast restorations, also known as a Maryland bridge, under certain, usually temporary circumstances. Good candidates for this procedure might include an adolescent who needs to finish growing before they can get an implant, a patient who can’t get an implant due to medical concerns, or one with significant bone loss in the area where the restoration is needed. If you have congenitally missing lateral incisors, this can become a more definitive solution.
Implant Crown vs Dental Bridge
Implants are usually the most stable way to replace teeth, but some reasons you might choose a bridge instead include:
- There is insufficient bone structure to place an implant, and you can’t get a bone graft.
- You’re missing two or more teeth next to each other, and you can’t get multiple implants.
- You need to replace the tooth quickly and don’t have a few months to wait for an implant to fuse.
On the other hand, some reasons to consider an implant crown or crowns instead of a bridge include:
- Better stability and longevity
- More natural appearance, especially over time
- Prevention of bone loss
- Less decay in surrounding teeth over time
- If one tooth of the bridge is compromised, the whole bridge needs to be removed and replaced
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