Reasons To Get A Dental Crown Or A Dental Bridge And Everything Else You Need To Know

Posted on:

July 26, 2021

Loss of teeth is a very common occurrence among adults. Natural teeth may get damaged due to various reasons or fall off because of some mishap. In this case, you may be advised to get dental crowns, dental bridges, dental implants, or dentures, depending on your case.

A dental crown (or dental cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A dental crown protects and strengthens tooth structures that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations. Dental crowns can serve as fillings, protect a weak tooth from breaking, and also cover stained or misshapen teeth. They are used to improve the functionality and appearance of teeth. 

A dental bridge is a fixed dental prosthesis that fills or “bridges” the gap made by missing teeth. Dental bridges are typically replacements for missing teeth. Dental bridges will be cemented to your dental implants or original teeth on one side of the empty space. Unlike dental crowns, dental bridges are used solely to replace missing teeth.

Reasons To Get A Dental Crown Or A Dental Bridge And Everything Else You Need To Know

What Is The Procedure To Get Dental Crowns And Dental Bridges?

Dr. George Orfaly discusses how dental crown treatment and dental bridge treatment is performed at Fisher & Orfaly Dental.

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Reasons For Getting Dental Crowns And Dental Bridges

You can get dental crowns or dental bridges for one or many of the following reasons:

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large fillings
  • The tooth has a root canal
  • To fill the gap in the mouth

What Does Getting A Dental Crown And Dental Bridge Involve?

The procedure for getting a dental crown or dental bridge usually requires two appointments.

Your first appointment will include taking highly accurate molds (or impressions) of your teeth that will be used to create your custom dental crown and dental bridge. A mold will also be used to create a temporary dental crown and temporary dental bridge which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new dental crown and dental bridge are made by a dental laboratory.

At your second appointment for a dental crown, your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new dental crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate. At Fisher & Orfaly Dental, you will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your dental crown.

Dental bridges consist of two crowns - one on either end - that are fused to the existing teeth or attached to dental implants. The existing teeth that act as anchors for the dental teeth are called “abutment teeth.” A set of replacement teeth called “pontics” rest in between the crowns and are used to cover the gap caused by the missing teeth. 

During the second appointment for a dental bridge, the dentist will remove the temporary crowns and bridge, and carefully place the permanent dental bridge. At Fisher & Orfaly Dental, you will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your dental bridge.

How To Take Care Of A Dental Crown Or Dental Bridge?

It is essential to take care of dental crowns and dental bridges after they have been placed to ensure their longevity. So, make sure to:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash at least once a day.
  • Visit the dentist regularly and get your teeth checked.
  • Get your teeth cleaned professionally at least twice a year.

Maintaining good oral hygiene ensures that your dental crown or dental bridge will last decades.

How Long Does A Dental Crown And Dental Bridge Last?

The longevity of a dental crown or dental bridge depends on many different factors like:

  • The type of dental crown or dental bridge: The material used and the quality of the dental crown or dental bridge affect the durability of the dental crown or dental bridge.
  • The dentist’s skill: Some factors like how the dentist prepared the affected tooth can also affect how long a dental crown or dental bridge will last.
  • The health of the affected tooth: If the affected tooth was relatively healthy, and was surrounded by healthy gum, then both the tooth and the dental crown will last longer.
  • Lifestyle: The length of time a dental crown or dental bridge will last does not depend solely on oral hygiene. Other habits like smoking, drinking alcohol, teeth grinding also affect the longevity of the dental crown or dental bridge. Eating habits are also a major factor when it comes to the lifespan of dental crowns and dental bridges. Eating nuts or hard candy and chewing on ice can damage the dental crown or dental bridge, and drinking too much coffee will stain the dental crown or dental bridge. So to maximize the life expectancy of the dental crown or dental bridge it might be necessary to make some lifestyle changes.

Types Of Dental Crowns:

Permanent dental crowns can be divided into 2 basic types:

  • Traditional dental crowns: Traditional dental crowns cover the entirety of the affected tooth.
  • Onlays or ¾ crowns: Some crowns only cover part of the affected tooth. These are called onlays or ¾ crowns. If you still have a solid tooth structure, the dentist may recommend an onlay instead of a traditional crown.

Types of permanent dental crowns also depend on the materials used to make the crown. The following materials determine the dental crown types:

  • Porcelain
  • Ceramic
  • Zirconia
  • Metals like gold, palladium, nickel, and chromium
  • Composite resin

Sometimes, depending on the individual’s case, the dental crown will be made of a combination of materials. For example, the dentist may determine that a porcelain fused to metal crown will be more suited for the affected tooth, compared to an all-porcelain dental crown.

The dentist will determine what type of dental crown you need after considering factors such as:

  • Location of the affected tooth
  • Function of the affected tooth
  • How much of the natural tooth is remaining
  • How much of the affected tooth will be visible while smiling
  • Color of the surrounding teeth
  • Position of gum tissue

Although there are several types of dental crowns, porcelain (tooth-colored) dental crowns are the most popular. They are also called ceramic crowns and are a popular choice to cover one of the front teeth. These dental crowns are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain dental crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color of your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.

Types Of Dental Bridges:

There are four main types of dental bridges -

  • Traditional dental bridge: A traditional dental bridge consists of one or more pontics or prosthetic teeth being held in place by dental crowns which are attached to the abutment teeth. It is the most popular type of dental bridge.
  • Cantilever dental bridge: Cantilever bridges are similar to traditional dental bridges, but are attached only to one tooth (abutment on one side only). This type of dental bridge is recommended when there is a natural tooth only on one side of the gap. While chewing there is more pressure on the cantilever bridge, so this type of dental bridge tends to be more vulnerable to cracking and breaking. So one needs to be careful if one has a cantilever dental bridge.
  • Maryland dental bridge: Like a traditional dental bridge, a Maryland dental bridge is attached to two abutment teeth. But a Maryland dental bridge uses a framework of either metal or porcelain that is bonded to the back of the abutment teeth, unlike a traditional dental bridge that uses dental crowns.
  • Implant-supported dental bridge: Implant-supported dental bridges use dental implants to support the pontics, instead of dental crowns or a framework. The abutment teeth will be replaced by dental implants. Implant-supported dental bridges are considered to be the most stable of dental bridges, but since they require two surgeries (one surgery to embed the implants and one surgery to place the bridge) the process may take months to complete.

Dental bridges can be made of the following materials -

  • Porcelain
  • Ceramic
  • Zirconia
  • Metals like gold, palladium, nickel, and chromium
  • Composite resin

Depending on your needs, the dental bridge may be made of a combination of materials.

Benefits Of Getting Dental Crowns And Dental Bridges:

Dental crowns or dental bridges are effective treatments to cover the gaps in between teeth created by one or more missing teeth. There are many ways in which dental crowns and dental bridges prove to be useful.

Benefits Of Dental Crowns -

  • Support a tooth that has been significantly decayed or damaged.
  • Protect a tooth that has been worn away to prevent further wear.
  • Hold a severely broken or cracked tooth together.
  • Cover a dental implant.
  • Improve dental appearance by changing its shape or color.
  • Improve chewing or eating.

Benefits Of Dental Bridges -

  • Restoring a natural look to your mouth.
  • Restoring the ability to speak properly as missing teeth can cause slurred speech.
  • Maintaining normal facial structure by preventing bone loss from the jaw at the site of the missing tooth.
  • Preventing adjacent teeth from moving into the missing tooth space and later causing other complications.

How Much Do Dental Crowns Cost?

It is difficult to make a general estimate of how much a dental crown costs because the cost will differ in each individual case. The total cost of the dental crown procedure depends on many different factors. The biggest factor that affects dental crown costs is the material used to make the dental crown. For example, a metal alloy dental crown will be cheaper than a gold dental crown or an all-porcelain dental crown. 

The dental crown cost also depends on the size of the affected tooth, the skill of the dentist, and the extent of the prep work needed. For example, if a root canal is required before placing the dental crown, the total cost of the treatment will increase.

How Much Do Dental Bridges Cost?

Like dental crown cost, it is difficult to determine a general estimate of dental bridge cost because the total cost depends on a variety of factors. Dental bridges cost depends on:

  • The number of prosthetic teeth needed.
  • The materials used.
  • The location and complexity of the placement
  • The extent of prep work required (for example if dental implants need to be placed or gum disease needs to be treated)

The cost of dental bridge treatment also depends on the type of dental bridge that will be made. An implant-supported dental bridge is the most expensive of dental bridges, closely followed by Maryland dental bridges. Traditional dental bridges and cantilever dental bridges are the most affordable dental bridges available.

Dental crowns and dental bridges are restorative treatments that affect the oral health of the patient, and so most dental insurance plans fully cover the dental crown cost and cover a major portion of the dental bridge cost. At Fisher & Orfaly Dental, Dr. George Orfaly will discuss the total cost of the treatment with you and will you find the best possible way to pay for the treatment depending on your insurance plan.

This article was first posted on November 5, 2018, and last updated on July 26, 2021.

About the author

Dr. George Orfaly

Dr. George Orfaly, D.M.D.

Dr. George Orfaly is a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry and has been practicing as a dentist in Salem, MA since 2005. He has consistently improved the lives of his patients by providing them relief, confidence, and healthy smiles. He believes that oral health is directly related to overall health and well-being. Dr. Orfaly has also been an active member of the American Dental Association, Massachusetts Dental Society, and North Shore District Dental Society.

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Patient Testimonials

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Deej Twombly
October 7, 2020

Coming to Dr Orfaly is The best decision I could have made. I didn’t have a dentist for years and they saw me when I had an emergency. Now I am getting all of my dental work here, perfect caps, bridges and hygiene. I highly recommend Dr Orfaly and his staff.

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Mica Bolotin
October 28, 2020

After having a negative experience with a filling with a past dentist, I was nervous to go to a new dentist with tooth pain. Dr. Orfaly and team were very understanding and knowledgable when walking me through my options for a cracked tooth. 10/10 would recommend due to their professionalism, attention to detail, and level of care. Thanks team!

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Ashley Spencer
April 1, 2021

Dr Orfaly is the best dentist around! I have alot of anxiety around going to the dentist & Dr Orfaly always makes sure to check in to see how I'm doing & is so nice. If a referral is needed to a specialist, he makes the call for you & gets you an appt quickly (mine was even the same day) I love how they book you with the same dental hygienist for all cleanings.. Adds another level of comfort... Shoutout to mine, Kathy!

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