Everything You Need To Know About Crowns and Bridges: The Most Popular Paths to Tooth Restoration

Teeth are surprisingly tough and they need to be. You develop your adult teeth in the first ten years of your life and they need to last for the rest of your life. A crucial part of this is regular visits to a reputable specialist, such as this dentist Campsie.

But, even with the best care in the world teeth can be damaged. It’s not just an infection that causes cavities and tooth loss, trauma can cause you to lose part of a tooth and it will need to be replaced.

Fortunately, there are two popular paths that allow you to retain your smile and protect your remaining teeth at the same time.


A dental crown is often referred to as a cap. In effect, it is a piece of ceramic that is molded to match the original shape of your tooth. It’s worth noting that this can be made from a variety of materials but ceramic is generally considered the best. It’s not just strong, it is easy to color match it to your teeth.

The crown is then effectively glued to the top of the damaged tooth. Of course, before this happens the tooth will need to be cleaned and it may even be filed to create the best possible adherence. If there are any signs of infection you’ll be given antibiotics first. This ensures the infection is gone before the crown is fitted.

A crown will usually be fitted over two sessions, there will be a gap between the preparations stage and the fitting stage. It should be noted that you will continue to look after the crown in the same way as any other tooth and it should last approximately 10 years.

Why is a Dental Crown Needed?

The use of a dental crown may be required in the following situations:

  1. Keeping pieces of a shattered tooth together or preventing a weak tooth from shattering (due to decay, for example)
  2. To repair a tooth that has been cracked or is badly damaged
  3. When a tooth only has a small amount of dental structure remaining, support and cover it with a big filling
  4. To secure a dental bridge in position
  5. To conceal badly stained or crooked teeth
  6. A dental implant’s cover
  7. To alter something purely aesthetic

Children may utilize a crown on their primary (baby) teeth to:

  1. Save a tooth that has suffered extreme decay and is no longer able to support a filling
  2. Children who are at high risk for tooth decay should have their teeth protected, especially if they have trouble maintaining their daily dental hygiene
  3. Reduce the frequency of general anesthesia for kids who cannot fully cooperate with the demands of regular dental care due to their age, behavior, or medical history

A child’s dentist will probably suggest a stainless-steel crown in these situations.

Types of Crowns

Stainless steel, all metal (such as gold or another alloy), porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic materials can be utilized to create permanent crowns.

Stainless Steel

Prefabricated stainless-steel crowns are typically utilized on permanent teeth as a temporary solution. The temporary crown protects the tooth or filling while a permanent crown is made from a different material. When a child’s primary tooth is prepped for a crown, the crown is typically made of stainless steel. The crown completely encases the tooth, protecting it from further deterioration. When the primary tooth falls out to make room for the permanent tooth, the crown also does so naturally. Since stainless steel crowns don’t need multiple dental procedures to be placed and are less expensive than custom-made crowns and the preventive dental care needed to protect a tooth without a crown, they are frequently used on children’s teeth.


Metals used in crowns include base-metal alloys and alloys with a high concentration of gold or platinum. (for example, cobalt-chromium and nickel-chromium alloys). Metal crowns are likely the most durable in terms of wear down because they can endure biting and chewing forces well. Metal crowns also do not typically crack or chip. The shiny appearance and high price of gold are the greatest drawbacks. For molars that are not visible, metal crowns are a great option.


You can choose a tint for your porcelain dental crowns that are bonded to metal that matches your surrounding teeth. This crown type wears down the opposing teeth more quickly than metal or resin crowns. The porcelain part of the crown might potentially fracture or chip. Crowns made of porcelain fused to metal resemble natural teeth the most, second only to all-ceramic crowns. But occasionally, particularly at the gum line and more so if your gums recede, the metal under the porcelain of the crown can be seen as a dark line. For front or back teeth as well as long bridges where the metal is required for strength, these crowns can be an excellent option.


Resin-based dental crowns are less expensive than other types of crowns. But unlike porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, they deteriorate over time and are more likely to fracture.

All-ceramic and All-porcelain

Dental crowns made entirely of ceramic or porcelain have the best natural color match of any crown type, making them potentially more suited for those who are allergic to metal. All-ceramic crowns can help both the front and back teeth.

Temporary vs Permanent

While most permanent crowns are normally manufactured in a dental laboratory, temporary crowns can be made in your dentist’s office. Temporary crowns, which serve as restorative while a permanent crown is manufactured in a lab, are typically made of stainless steel or an acrylic-based material.

Cost of Dental Crown

Depending on the material used and the size of the tooth, crowns can cost anywhere between $800 and $1,500, or possibly more.

You might have to pay up to $2,500 for a gold crown, which is a significant amount more.

Sometimes, all-metal crowns, which are composed of a metal alloy, are less expensive than crowns made of gold or porcelain.

Costs could also increase if the dentist needs to prepare the tooth more thoroughly before placing the crown. For instance, you might require a dental implant or a root canal, both of which might increase the cost.

Dental insurance might pay all or part of the cost of your crown. However, only specific crown types might be covered by your plan. To learn more about coverage, contact your insurance provider.

To help evaluate your dental expenditures, discuss with your dentist the different crown kinds that are available and suitable for your dental requirements.

Dental Crown Procedure

Multi-day Procedure with a Temporary Crown

You will require two visits to the dentist’s office for a traditional crown.

  1. The tooth that requires a crown is examined and prepared by the dentist. The tooth may require X-rays in this circumstance.  Additionally, they could make a mold of your mouth or teeth first.
  2. Your dentist will file down and scrape away a portion of the tooth’s enamel.
  3. Your trimmed tooth and the teeth on either side of it will both be captured in an impression.
  4. To safeguard your tooth, the dentist will place a temporary crown over it.
  5. They deliver the impression to a laboratory where the crown is made. This process could take a few weeks.
  6. You will need to make a second appointment after the crown arrives so that your dentist can attach it to your tooth.

Same-day procedure

You can omit the temporary crown stage if you have a same-day procedure.

  1. Your mouth is captured digitally by the dentist
  2. The dentist makes the crown right there in the clinic using the digital scan from the pictures. The crown may not be ready for approximately an hour or two
  3. Your dentist places the crown in place after it is complete. The entire operation lasts between two and four hours

Depending on your situation, you might even be able to return to work while you are waiting.

Not all dentists have the equipment necessary to create crowns in one day. If you do not have dental insurance in particular, ask your dentist if this option is available and what the expected cost is.

Possible Complications of Having a Crown

If you have a serious issue with one of your teeth, a crown may be a very helpful treatment. However, there are dangers and potential issues that you can encounter after getting a crown:

Teeth Sensitivity

A capped tooth is frequently sensitive to both heat and cold.

The fit, however, could not be right if your tooth is overly sensitive to pressure when you bite down. Consult your dentist about the possibility of moving the crown’s position or filing down the crown’s top.

Chipped Crown

All-porcelain crowns in particular are particularly prone to chipping. Small chips could be repairable by your dentist.

When porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are broken, the metal structure underlying can be seen. If the metal is still in good shape, these chips might not need to be fixed.

Crown knocked out or loose

Insufficient cement holding your crown in place increases the risk of it becoming loose or even falling out. If your crown seems wobbly or loose, make an appointment with your dentist.

Allergic Reaction

Some people can experience an allergic reaction to the metal used in some crowns, however, it is not very frequent.

Gum Disease

You can be developing gingivitis, or gum disease, if you notice that the gums around your crown are becoming uncomfortable, irritated, or bleeding.


In contrast, a bridge is fitted over several teeth. It is usually designed as two crowns with a replacement tooth between them. The replacement tooth slots over the damaged tooth to make it look like new. At the same time, the bridges are two crowns slot over the teeth on each side, effectively securing the damaged tooth in place.

The bridges have small metal bars joining the crowns together, giving them strength.

This is also glued into position and you’ll find that infections have to be cleared up before the final fitting can be done.

Both approaches can be used when you have damaged teeth but the bridge relies on the teeth next to the damaged one being strong and healthy.  They are also fitted over two visits, one creates the impression, the second is for the fitting.

You should note that bridges are also made of ceramic and will be matched to the color of your teeth. But, unlike crowns, they are likely to last 15 years or more. Of course, you’ll still have to brush and look after them in the same way you would any tooth.

Who needs a dental bridge?

If you have a lost tooth or teeth, dental bridges may be able to help. Tooth decay, gum disease, and trauma are the three most frequent causes of lost teeth. Or perhaps you were born without teeth due to a congenital disorder. You need healthy teeth on either side of the missing teeth in order to acquire a dental bridge.

Your teeth function as a team. Teeth in close proximity to a lost tooth may shift into the gap. Your opposing jaw’s teeth may also shift upward or downward toward the opening. This may lead to:

  • Bite issues
  • Chewing difficulties
  • Pain from your teeth and jaw being under more tension
  • Feeling self-conscious about your appearance or grin

Dental Bridge Installation

Your dentist will start preparing the anchor or abutment teeth once it has been determined that a dental bridge is the best option for replacing your lost teeth. This initial procedure is normally carried out under local anesthetic and is not frequently thought to be uncomfortable. 

The bridge will be installed at your second appointment. Your new dental bridge could seem bulky at first after being installed, but this should pass as you become used to the new prosthetic. Your dentist will be able to check the bridge during the third and final follow-up examination and make any corrections required for any discomfort or pain you may be feeling.

Care and Cleaning 

The maintenance of a dental bridge is similar to that of your natural teeth. Daily brushing is strongly advised for two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Regular flossing will also assist to ward off tooth decay and gum disease. It is necessary to floss around your natural teeth when you have a bridge in addition to moving the floss between the bridge’s base and the gum line. The best technique to clean plaque and dirt from a bridge’s bottom is to floss once every day. Although conventional floss may be adequate, many patients who have dental appliances prefer the ease of Waterpiks.

Relevant Costs 

One of the most reasonably priced choices for replacing missing teeth is a dental bridge, which is also more likely to be covered by your dental insurance. A dental implant may cost $1,000 to $3,000 per tooth, compared to a dental bridge’s average cost of $500 to $1,200 per tooth. Your dentist can assist in directing you toward the most cost-effective option.

Types of Dental Bridges

Traditional Fixed Bridge

The most typical type of bridge is the traditional fixed bridge. It has one, two, or more connected filler teeth, as well as one or more crowns. The bridge is secured by the crowns. Metal, porcelain fused to metal, or ceramics are the usual materials used to make bridges.

Cantilever Bridge

One abutment tooth serves as the pontic’s only point of contact in a cantilever bridge. If you only have teeth on one side of the gap, this is occasionally an option for you.

Maryland Dental Bridge (Resin-Bonded Bridge)

If your front teeth are missing, a Maryland dental bridge (also known as a resin-bonded bridge) can be an option for you. It is supported by a framework and made of porcelain bonded to metal or ceramic teeth. Each side of the bridge has wings that are attached to your natural teeth.

Implant Supported Bridge

Similar to a “traditional fixed bridge,” this bridge is secured in place by implants as opposed to being bonded to teeth.

Fixed-fixed Bridges

A pontic that has only one path of insertion and is fixed to a retainer on both sides of the space is referred to as a fixed-fixed bridge. The abutment and pontic are connected by rigid connectors that are located at each end of this sort of design. The proximal surfaces of the abutment teeth must be treated such that they are parallel to one another during tooth preparation since the abutments are rigidly attached to one another.


At one end of the span, the pontic is firmly attached to a retainer; at the other end, it is attached.

The fact that the moveable joint in this form of the bridge can handle angulation changes in the abutment teeth in the long axis allows the path of insertion to be independent of the abutment tooth’s alignment. Because the abutments do not have to be prepared to be parallel to one another, a more conservative approach is made possible. The pontic should ideally be connected to the more distal abutment by the stiff connector. The mesial abutment tooth has restricted vertical movement because the movable connector holds the pontic to the mesial abutment.

Advantages of Dental Bridge

Dental bridges can:

  • Keep the rest of your teeth from shifting
  • Creating a natural-looking smile and mouth
  • Regaining regular speech, as speaking when missing teeth can make words difficult to pronounce 
  • Preserving the jaw’s bone density where the lost tooth or teeth are by avoiding bone loss there
  • Facilitating better meal chewing
  • Preventing neighboring teeth from erupting into the void, which could lead to biting issues and other issues

Final Thoughts

If you have a damaged tooth the dentist is likely to offer one of the above solutions as it will allow you to keep your original teeth and smile. Implants are only recommended when a tooth cannot be saved.