What’s the difference between a bridge, crown, and implant?

What’s the Difference Between a Bridge, a Crown & an Implant?

You’ve probably heard the terms “dental bridge,” “dental crown,” and “dental implant” and wondered what each of them refers to. Bridges, crowns, and implants are all types of permanent dental restorations, but there are some important distinctions between them. Below, we explore what those differences are.

What Are Dental Crowns?

Commonly referred to as a “cap,” a dental crown is a prosthetic tooth that’s placed over an existing tooth. Crowns are often recommended in instances where teeth are damaged but don’t need to be extracted. They can also be used to correct misshapen or discolored teeth.

The crown installation process starts by filing down the tooth in question, which creates space for the crown and helps ensure a secure fit. The dentist will then take an impression and send it to a lab, which will use it to fabricate a crown. In many cases, the dentist will install a temporary crown while the permanent one is being made. Once the permanent crown is ready, the dentist will remove the temporary crown, place the permanent crown, and secure it in place using dental cement.

Because crowns must be placed over existing teeth, they’re not a suitable option for patients with missing teeth. If you have one or more missing teeth, you may want to consider a bridge or implant instead.

What Are Dental Bridges?

A dental bridge is a row of prosthetic teeth used to replace one or more missing teeth. Traditional bridges feature a crown on each end. These crowns are secured onto the remaining teeth on either side of the gap using the process described above, with the center tooth (or teeth) filling in the gap.

In some cases, such as when a patient doesn’t have natural teeth on both sides of a missing tooth, a dentist will opt to use what’s known as a “Cantilever dental bridge.” With this type of bridge, only one crown is used to secure the bridge in place.

What Are Dental Implants?

Unlike crowns and bridges, dental implants aren’t attached to existing teeth. Instead, they’re placed directly into the patient’s jawbone. An implant consists of a threaded post (similar to a screw) with a prosthetic tooth on one end.

Before inserting an implant, a dentist will make an incision in the patient’s gums and create an opening in their jawbone. The dentist will then place the implant into the opening, reposition the patient’s gums, and use stitches to close the incision. Once the implant fuses with the patient’s jaw—which can take several months to occur—the dentist will place the prosthetic tooth on top.

Find Out Which Type of Restoration You Need

If you think you require some type of dental restoration but you’re not sure which kind, you can find out by attending a free initial consultation at Burns Dentistry. Once we’ve performed an examination and spoken to you about your dental history as well as any symptoms you’ve been experiencing, we’ll be able to let you know whether you need a bridge, a crown, an implant, or a different type of treatment. We’ll also walk you through what to expect and answer any questions you might have about the treatment process.

Contact Burns Dentistry today to schedule your free initial consultation. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you take the first step toward achieving your dental goals.

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