Fillings, Crowns, Bridges: What’s the Difference?
Tooth crowns, dental bridges, and fillings are all dental treatment options that allow our teeth to heal from damage and trauma. Each available option serves its own purpose, and has its own value depending on the patient’s teeth requirements. Today, we discuss what these are and the specific cases or situations each treatment is most suitable for.
What are Tooth Crowns?
A tooth crown or a dental crown is a ceramic or porcelain prosthetic tooth that is made to fit directly over an existing tooth. It acts as a cover and is used mainly for patients with a decaying or damaged tooth. The crown acts as a “cap” to protect it from further deteriorating.
Crowns are fabricated outside of the mouth in a dental laboratory, and generally require at least two appointments. They can usually be made to match the colour of your natural teeth, but aside from ceramic and porcelain, other materials can be used to create crowns, such as gold and metal alloys. These are generally stronger than porcelain, and are the recommended material to use for molars, which can’t be seen as easily.
When do I need a Crown?
• When you need to replace a large filling
• When you have a weak tooth and you need to protect it from fractures
• When you have a fractured tooth that needs to be restored
• When you have discoloured or poorly shaped teeth that needs to be covered
• When you’ve just undergone a root canal treatment, and need to cover the tooth
What are Dental Bridges?
Just like a dental crown, a dental bridge is a fixed prosthetic device cemented onto existing teeth. A bridge is recommended by dentists in cases wherein you’re missing one or more teeth. Missing teeth that leave gaps will eventually cause the nearby teeth to rotate or shift, and try to fill in the empty space. This results in the formation of uneven teeth, and a bad bite. In more serious cases, it can also lead to gum disease, and temporomandibular joint disorders. With a dental bridge, we can replace these missing teeth, and these replacements, called abutments, will serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments.
When do I need a Bridge?
• When you need to replace one or more missing teeth
• When you have missing teeth and need to prevent the rest from moving to gaps
What are Dental Fillings?
While crowns are used in more serious cases of teeth decay, dental fillings will restore teeth that have lesser amounts of damage. Unlike crowns that only sit over you existing tooth, dental fillings require the removal of material. When treating a cavity, dentists will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill it with another substance. There are different types of material available to be used in fillings; Gold, porcelain, composite, and amalgam (silver fillings).
When do I need Fillings?
The amount of decay from a patient’s tooth can only be determined by dentists during a check-up. If your dentist can see you have a cavity, they will let you know.
Things to consider
It is important to have a trusted dentist that will guide you throughout the process of finding the most suitable treatment plan. Your dentist should be able to clearly explain your current oral situation. and what will work best for you and your teeth.
The dentist will determine whether you need a crown, bridge or a filling depending on:
• The severity of decay or tooth damage
• Your budget
• Your desired results
• Your heath
Ready for your check-up?
One sure way to find out whether you will be needing a crown, bridge, or a filling, is to set up an appointment with a trusted dentist, such as at Victoria Street Dental. Having a regular check-up with us will help you feel at ease, as we can guide you toward achieving your best possible smile. Contact us to book your appointment today.