What’s the Difference Between a Crown, a Bridge, and a Dental Implant?

If you’re missing one or more teeth – or if your teeth have suffered damage – you’re probably trying to determine whether a crown, bridge, or dental implant is the ideal tooth replacement option for you. Missing and damaged teeth can be embarrassing and can impact your quality of life (such as your ability to enjoy certain foods), which is why replacing your damaged or missing teeth is a fantastic idea. But what’s the best option for replacing missing and damaged teeth? Here’s what you need to know.

Dental Crowns: Prosthetic Caps Set Over Existing Teeth

A dental crown is a prosthetic cap that is set over a chipped, broken, or worn tooth in order to protect it and preserve its original appearance. Dental crowns are custom crafted for each individual patient, which means every crown will fit into your mouth and look just like your natural teeth. Crowns serve to strengthen your teeth and prevent decay. If you have large fillings or fractured teeth, or if you’ve had a root canal in the past, a dental crown is a great option for you. Most crowns will last for about 10-15 years, so you will need to get them replaced at some point. However, if your underlying tooth structure is still intact, a crown may be all you need – and it’s also the least invasive treatment.

Dental Bridges: Sets of Crowns That Replace Multiple Teeth

A dental bridge is a convenient tooth replacement option for patients who have suffered major dental trauma or jawbone loss. The procedure is shorter and less painful than other replacement options, making it a good option if you have severe dental anxiety. It’s also the least expensive treatment option, although you will need to have the bridge replaced after 10-15 years. If you’ve lost several teeth due to a traumatic injury that has caused extensive damage to your mouth, you’ll want to talk to your Tucson dentist about a dental bridge.

Dental Implants: A High-Quality Tooth Replacement Option

A dental implant is the most expensive tooth replacement option available, but it’s also the treatment with the best outcome – and the only treatment that doesn’t need to be repeated. Dental implants consist of titanium screws that are affixed to artificial replacement teeth. These titanium screws fuse with your jawbone and give you the same strength and stability of your natural teeth. They also halt jawbone loss by providing jaw stimulation. Dental implants require very little maintenance – you can brush and floss them just like normal teeth – and with proper care, they’ll last for the rest of your life.

Losing a tooth can be traumatic, but with a crown, bridge, or dental implant, you’ll have no trouble getting your smile back. Ultimately, the kind of tooth replacement option that is best for you will depend on your own individual circumstances. In some cases, a dental implant may be necessary, while in others, you might simply need a crown. An experienced dentist can help you to understand your options. 

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