Dental Crowns and Bridges

Tailor-Made Dental Crowns and Bridges

Dental crowns and bridges serve as restorative dental solutions to replace or strengthen damaged or missing teeth. These fixed prosthetics play a crucial role in preserving the appearance and functionality of a complete set of teeth.

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The Differences Between Crowns and Bridges

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a synthetic tooth typically made of ceramic or porcelain materials. As a fixed prosthetic appliance in restorative dentistry, it serves to safeguard or substitute a damaged, broken, or lost tooth. Crowns closely resemble and function like natural teeth.

Crowns are well-suited for situations such as:

  • Irregularly shaped teeth
  • Cracked, injured, or extensively decayed teeth
  • Teeth with cavities too sizable for fillings
  • Intensely stained teeth
  • Preservation of a treated tooth following a root canal

Dental Bridges

A bridge is essentially a series of crowns designed to fill gaps where multiple teeth are absent. Artificial teeth are connected between two crowns, which are placed over the teeth on either side of the gap, effectively “bridging” the empty space. Once secured, bridges—similar to crowns—resemble and function like natural teeth.

A bridge can serve as an alternative to dentures or implants when dentures are uncomfortable, unstable, or unsuitable, or if the existing jawbone and gum structure cannot support implants.

Crowns also act as anchors for dental bridges or to cover dental implants.

For children, pediatric dentists may recommend stainless steel crowns to cover primary teeth. This option can be ideal in situations where:

  • Children cannot fully cooperate with proper dental hygiene due to age, medical history, or behavior
  • Children are at high risk for tooth decay and/or struggle with maintaining good oral hygiene
  • A tooth is too damaged by decay for a filling

Dental Crowns vs. Fillings

Dental crowns and fillings might both be restorative dental treatments, but they’re as different as can be when it comes to their purpose and when they’re used. Knowing the differences between these two options can help you make the best decision for your pearly whites.

A dental crown is like hat that covers the whole visible part of a damaged, weakened, or decayed tooth, giving it back its shape, size, and function. Crowns are usually made of porcelain or ceramic, and they look just like your natural teeth. They come in handy when a tooth is in real bad shape or has had a root canal, and there’s not enough left of it to hold a filling.

A filling, on the other hand, is more like patching up a tooth that has a bit of decay, chips, or fractures. Fillings can be made from all sorts of materials, like amalgam, composite resin, or ceramic, and they fill in the cavity or damaged part of the tooth. Unlike crowns, fillings don’t cover the whole tooth—just the part that needs fixing. They’re a less invasive and more conservative option compared to crowns.

In a nutshell, both dental crowns and fillings help restore the health and function of damaged teeth, but they’re used in different ways and for different reasons. Crowns are for more serious damage and cover the entire tooth, while fillings are for smaller issues and only fill the problem area.

Crown Materials

There is a slew of materials used to craft crowns. There is composite resin, ceramic, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, and even metal alloys. But don’t worry, no matter the material, your crown will be colored and shaped to fit in with the rest of your pearly whites. That way, you can keep smiling with confidence, knowing it’s looking as natural as can be.

What Are the Types of Bridges?

Traditional Bridges

When you still have natural teeth on both sides of the gap, traditional bridges come into play. They’re anchored securely by dental crowns, firmly cemented to your existing teeth, providing a stable and reliable solution.

Cantilever Bridges

A cantilever bridge just needs one natural tooth beside the gap. Much like its traditional counterpart, it’s fastened securely with a dental crown, cemented right onto the neighboring natural tooth.

Maryland Bridges

Like traditional bridges, Maryland bridges need two natural teeth on both sides of the gap to anchor the crowns. But here’s the difference: instead of using the usual method, Maryland bridges rely on metal or porcelain frames to bond the crowns to the backside of those surrounding teeth.

A crown or bridge procedure usually takes at least 2 dental visits. At the first visit:

  • The affected tooth is prepared to receive the crown. The outer portion of the tooth will be removed, as well as any decay. The tooth may also be reshaped or trimmed to better accommodate the crown and ensure a secure fit over the tooth. This may be done by building up the core of the tooth for more support or filed down into a smaller size.  
  • Your dentist makes an impression of the tooth or gap to provide an exact model for the crown’s construction, ensuring the crown is custom-fitted to your mouth.
  • If your dentist is not able to make the new crown on-site same-day, you may have to wait a week or two, so you may receive a temporary crown for the interim. This crown is not permanent and may require special attention, so be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations.


If you had to wait for your new crown, you will have a second appointment, during which the dentist will place and adjust the crown before cementing it permanently into place.

How much do Crowns cost?

Depending on the material, tooth size, and its condition, crowns can run anywhere from $800 to $1500 or even more. Now, metal crowns are usually a little less than gold or porcelain. Keep in mind that other factors might bump the price up a bit, like any prep work needed before fitting the crown, such as dental implants or a root canal.

As for dental bridges, they can range from $2,000 for traditional or cantilever bridges sporting one crown, all the way up to $15,000 for an implant bridge covering three or four teeth.

Now, don’t forget to check your dental insurance plan. It might cover part or even all of your crown treatment, but only for specific types of crowns. It’s always a good idea to talk to your insurance company to figure out what’s covered and what you might have to cover out of pocket.

Crowns and Bridges at Dental Depot

At Dental Depot, our team is made up of both oral and maxillofacial surgeons and prosthodontists, who are experts in the world of tooth restoration and replacement. With dedicated, on-site specialists, you can count on top-notch care for your dental needs, all under one roof. From cleanings and checkups to fillings and crowns, Dental Depot delivers the care you deserve for a lifetime of great oral health. Visit one of our Dental Depot locations near you in Blue Springs or Independence.

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