Dental Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns and bridges are restorative dentistry options to replace or reinforce missing or damaged teeth. They are fixed prosthetic devices that help maintain the aesthetics and functionality of a full mouth of teeth.
A dental crown is an artificial tooth made of ceramic or porcelain. It is a fixed prosthetic device used in restorative dentistry to protect or replace a damaged, fractured, or missing tooth. Crowns look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
A crown is ideal for situations such as:
- Misshapen teeth
- Fractured, damaged, or severely decayed teeth
- Teeth with a cavity too large for a filling
- Severely discolored teeth
- Protect a restored tooth after a root canal
Crowns also serve as anchors for dental bridges or to cover dental implants.
For children, pediatric dentists will sometimes recommend stainless steel crowns to cover baby teeth. This may be ideal in situations when:
- Children are unable to fully cooperate with proper dental hygiene because of age, medical history, or behavior
- Children who are at high risk for tooth decay and/or have trouble maintaining good oral hygiene
- A tooth has been too damaged by decay for a filling
Crown vs. Filling
Fillings address small areas of decay or damage. The decayed area of the tooth is removed and the filling is placed in the remaining space, retaining the rest of the natural tooth.
Crowns are used for more serious damage or decay, such as when a filling is insufficient to repair and restore the tooth, and fit over the existing tooth. Crowns can be used alone or combined with a filling.
Crowns can also be used in conjunction with dental implants. Dental implants consist of three parts: the implant, which is embedded in the jaw under the gumline and fuses to the jawbone; the abutment, which connects to the implant through the gumline and is slightly visible above the gum; and the crown, which attaches to the abutment. Crowns can be attached to the abutment with dental cement or screws.
A bridge is essentially a set of crowns to replace gaps where multiple teeth are missing. Artificial teeth are attached between two crowns, and the crowns are fitted over the teeth on either side of the gap, “bridging” the empty area. Once cemented into place, bridges—like crowns—look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
A bridge may be an alternative to dentures or implants, when dentures are uncomfortable, unstable, or undesirable, or if the existing jawbone and gum structure cannot support implants.
Types of bridges
Used when there are still natural teeth on both sides of the gap, traditional bridges are secured by dental crowns that have been cemented to the existing teeth.
A cantilever bridge only requires one natural tooth next to the gap. Like a traditional bridge, it is secured with a dental crown cemented to the natural tooth.
Similar to traditional bridges, Maryland bridges require two natural teeth on either side of the gap to secure the crowns. However, unlike traditional bridges, Maryland bridges use either metal or porcelain frames to bond the crowns to the back of those natural teeth.
Implant-supported bridges are attached to the metal abutments of dental implants.
There are several types of materials used to make crowns, including composite resin, ceramic, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or metal alloys. Whatever the material, however, it is typically colored and shaped to match the rest of your teeth.
Getting a crown or bridge
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 used and the size and condition of the tooth, crowns can range anywhere from $800 to $1500 or more. Metal crowns are typically less expensive than gold or porcelain. Other costs that may impact the price you pay include any prep work required before placing the crown, such as dental implants or a root canal.
Dental bridges range in price from $2,000 for traditional or cantilever bridges with one crown to $15,000 for an implant bridge that spans three or four teeth.
Your dental insurance plan may cover part or all of the cost of your crown treatment, but only certain types of crowns. Be sure to check with your dentist and your insurance company to find out what is covered and what you may be responsible for out-of-pocket.
Crowns and bridges at Dental Depot DFW
Dental Depot DFW’s team of dental professionals includes oral and maxillofacial surgeons as well as prosthodontists, experts who specialize in tooth restoration and replacement. Dedicated, on-site specialists mean that you receive exceptional, comprehensive care for all of your dental needs with the convenience of one location. From cleanings and checkups to fillings and crowns, Dental Depot DFW provides the continuity of care you deserve for a lifetime of oral health. Visit one of our Dental Depot locations near you in Dallas, Lewisville, Aubrey, The Colony, Highland Village and take advantage of our flexible schedule and Saturday appointments to schedule care that fits in your busy life.
Patient Education Videos
Single Crown (CAD/CAM)
Description: This video shows you how a crown, custom-made by CAD/CAM 3-D technology, restores a damaged tooth.
Filling Versus Crown (Impression)
Description: This video shows you the differences between a filling and a crown to repair a decayed or damaged tooth, while reviewing benefits and potential drawbacks of each.
Made Just For You
Because every smile is different, restorations like bridges and crowns are custom made for every patient.
Our dentists take intraoral photographs and precise impressions of the treatment site to determine the exact specifications needed for the restoration to fit naturally and function properly.