Choosing Between Crowns and Bridges: A Comprehensive Guide


When it comes to dental restorations, navigating the myriad of options can be an overwhelming process. In this definitive guide, we will focus on two popular methods of dental restoration: crowns and bridges. Delving into the details of both, we’ll explore their advantages and drawbacks, equipping you with the necessary knowledge to make the best decision for your dental health.

Dental restorations serve to restore the function, integrity, and morphology of missing tooth structure. Crowns and bridges are two common types of restorations that are often misunderstood. Essentially, a crown is a cap used to encase an entire tooth, while a bridge is employed to ‘bridge’ the gap where one or more teeth are missing.

Both crowns and bridges play essential roles in rectifying a series of dental issues, such as the reshaping or re-strengthening of a tooth. They can also address aesthetic concerns, restore smiles, and increase overall confidence. The choice between a crown and a bridge primarily depends on the condition of your teeth. If only a single tooth is damaged or decayed, a crown may be the appropriate solution. For multiple missing teeth, a bridge could be a more ideal choice.

Understanding Crowns

A dental crown, also known as a dental cap, is a type of dental restoration that completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. It is often needed when a large cavity threatens the health of a tooth. Candidates for dental crowns typically include individuals with damaged, decayed, or cracked teeth. Moreover, dental crowns can also be used after a root canal treatment to protect the restored tooth.

There are several types of dental crowns available today, each made from different materials such as gold, porcelain, ceramic, and zirconia. Each material has its pros and cons; your dentist can help decide which material best suits your needs based on factors such as the tooth’s location, gum tissue position, patient’s habits, and personal preference.

Delving into Bridges

A dental bridge is a type of dental prosthetic used to replace one or more missing teeth. It works by bridging the gap between two teeth using a false tooth (or teeth) anchored by dental crowns on adjacent teeth. Candidates for dental bridges include those who have one or more missing teeth and whose remaining teeth are healthy enough to support the structure of the bridge.

Similar to crowns, bridges are available in various materials, including metal, porcelain, or a blend of both. Porcelain bridges are particularly popular since they can be made to match the natural color of existing teeth.

Comparing the Two: Crowns vs Bridges

While both crowns and bridges serve to enhance dental functionality and aesthetics, they possess fundamental differences in structure and application. Crowns are used to cover or ‘cap’ a damaged tooth, while bridges are primarily used to replace one or more missing teeth.

In terms of advantages, both crowns and bridges offer restorative and aesthetic benefits. However, they also have their drawbacks. Crowns, while durable and custom-fit to match your smile, can sometimes be more expensive and invasive than other options. On the other hand, bridges can be more affordable and less invasive but may require more frequent replacements.

Generally, bridges tend to be less costly than crowns due to simpler fabrication and less use of materials. However, various factors such as geographic location, complexity of the procedure, and insurance coverage could significantly affect the final cost.

Making the Decision: Choosing Between a Crown and Bridge

When making the choice between a crown or a bridge, it’s essential to consider your personal health, dental condition, and lifestyle habits. Moreover, it’s necessary to think about the long-term impact on your oral health. Neither restorative procedure is considered better or worse for your oral health.

The key is to choose a solution that best fits your unique condition and achieves your personal dental goals. Remember, no one knows your teeth better than your dentist. Therefore, it’s crucial to have an open discussion about your concerns, preferences, and budget. Their professional recommendation could help guide your final decision.

Looking Ahead: Aftercare and Maintenance of Crowns and Bridges

Crowns require similar maintenance as your natural teeth. Regular brushing and flossing are highly recommended. However, crowns might be more prone to sensitivity; hence, using sensitive teeth-specific toothpaste could be beneficial.

Bridges also require consistent cleaning, and special aids are available to facilitate the cleaning process. It’s also recommended to have regular dental check-ups to ensure the bridge is still functional and doesn’t negatively impact other teeth.

Moreover, regular dental check-ups are crucial regardless of choosing crowns or bridges. Timely detection and fixing of any complications can save you from further dental distress.


In conclusion, both crowns and bridges are efficient dental restorative options. The choice between the two rests on multiple factors including your dental condition, personal preference, budget, and your dentist’s recommendation. Regardless of the type of restoration you choose, remember that your newly restored smile requires the same attentive care as your original teeth.

Our Reading dental clinic is committed to providing you with a beautiful smile every time you visit us. Whether you need crowns and bridges or any other dental services, our team of highly trained dentists is here to provide you with the highest quality care. Our aim at Smiles in Reading is to give you a smile that is both comfortable and respectful. With online appointment scheduling, you can now receive dental care of the highest quality. Our dental professionals are here to help you enhance your smile and teeth.