Crowns vs. Bridges: Which Is Right for You?

Should you get a crown or a bridge? The answer to that question depends on many factors, including the reason you need a tooth or teeth replaced, how quickly you need to have your procedure completed, your medical history, and your finances, as well as others.

Before you reach a decision, you should consult with your dentist at Roach Family Dentistry, as there may be factors specifically related to your oral health that are important. Our staff is happy to make recommendations based on your individual situation.

Understanding the basics of how both crowns and bridges work may help you decide which is likely to be a better choice for you.


Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth, and are sometimes called a fixed denture. Traditional bridges are attached to crowns that are placed over teeth on either side of the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth. Then the false tooth or teeth are attached to the crowns.

There are a few drawbacks to traditional bridges. It’s difficult to floss them properly, for example, which leaves them more vulnerable to decay. Also, in order to make room for the crowns, your healthy teeth may be intentionally damaged or ground down.

There are other kinds of bridges. A Maryland bridge, or a bonded bridge, is a framework that has small pieces on either side that are bonded to your natural teeth, without damaging them. The false tooth is also bonded to the framework. A cantilever bridge is attached to a crown on only one side.

When you get a bridge, you’ll need at least two visits, and may well need more than that. We’ll need to prepare the teeth that will have crowns on them, make impressions of your teeth, and, of course, place the bridge. Your individual situation may require other steps as well.

On average, bridges last anywhere from five to seven years and often fail due to cavities in the teeth that support the bridge.


A crown can cover a damaged tooth, or can be placed on an implant to replace a missing tooth. Crowns are considered the gold-standard in tooth replacement because they are natural looking, last a very long time, and may help keep your bones healthier.

How your crown is placed depends on whether it’s being used to cover a damaged or misshapen tooth, or if you need an implanted post to support it.

Before your crown is placed, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth so that the crown fits properly in your mouth. The impression is then used to make the crown. You’ll likely have a temporary crown until the permanent crown is ready.

There are several different materials that are used to make crowns. Your dentist recommends one that’s likely to work best for you depending on your situation.

Crowns generally last for many years, and a crowned tooth is protected from decay in most cases.

If you have questions about whether a bridge or a crown is likely to work better for you, book an appointment at Roach Family Dentistry. You can use our convenient online scheduling tool, or simply give us a call.

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