Crowns Vs. Bridges: What's the Difference and Which Option Is Best for You?

Jul 03, 2024
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If you’re missing teeth or need to improve your smile, a dental restoration might be your best bet. Two popular options are bridges and crowns. Read on to learn how crowns and bridges differ and discover which is best for your dental needs.

A full set of teeth numbers 32, but the average adult only has about 25 due to tooth decay, damage, or gum disease. If you’re missing one or more teeth, crowns and bridges are two popular solutions that help restore your smile and protect your oral health. 

Though each option solves specific issues, they provide similar functions. Both work to repair your bite and enhance your oral health. So, which one is right for you?

At Advanced Oral Dynamics in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Tejas Patel, DDS, and hiours team offer an array of dental services, including crowns and bridges, and guide you as you choose a solution that meets your needs.

Crowns: kings of tooth preservation

A dental crown, often called a cap, is a synthetic covering that fits over a worn, weak, or damaged tooth. It’s custom-made from porcelain or ceramic to match the color of your surrounding teeth. Once in place, a crown looks and functions like a natural tooth.

Dr. Patel uses a crown to restore a tooth that is:

  • Broken
  • Chipped
  • Cracked
  • Decayed
  • Worn
  • Discolored

He may also recommend a crown if your tooth has had a root canal and needs additional support. If you’re getting a dental implant, the crown is the visible part you see above your gumline.

Bridges: closing the gap

While crowns cover a single tooth, a bridge spans one or more missing teeth to fill in gaps where consecutive teeth are missing. It’s a singular piece comprised of abutments (supporting structures) and pontics (artificial teeth) that Dr. Patel anchors to your natural teeth or an implant. Once in place, a fixed bridge is permanent and not removable.

Bridges are common because they offer several benefits, such as:

  • Complete and restore an entire smile
  • Improve biting, chewing, and speaking
  • Prevent your other teeth from shifting out of place
  • Reduce the risk for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

You’ll also notice that keeping your gums healthy is easier when you have a full complement of teeth.

Crown or bridge: here’s how to choose

Choosing between a crown or a bridge depends on your oral health, the shape of your teeth, and the problem you’re trying to fix. Dr. Patel offers these general guidelines:

  • For missing teeth in a row: to restore function and aesthetics, a bridge fills the unsightly gap
  • For damaged, weak, or worn teeth: to restore function and strength, a crown is your best option
  • For cosmetic enhancement: to cover up discoloration or mishappen teeth, a crown should be your go-to

Both are excellent options that restore your confidence and enhance your smile.


The process is almost the same whether you go with a crown or a bridge. Our team numbs and prepares your mouth for your dental restoration, which may involve shaving down some of your natural teeth for crown placement, making dental molds, and testing your bite.

We send your measurements and impressions to our dental lab, where it’s custom-made for your mouth. While you wait for the permanent restoration, you wear temporary teeth for a few weeks. 

When it’s ready, you return to our office to check the bite and fit of your new crown or bridge. Once everything is perfect, Dr. Patel bonds your new restoration in place.

Are you ready to smile again?

Whether you need to protect a tooth or replace several teeth, Advanced Oral Dynamics can help you smile again. To evaluate your options, call today or book online.