What's the Difference Between a Crown and a Bridge?

Posted by Louis Russell, Jr., DDS Feb 14,2023

This is a thumbnail image of blog What's the Difference Between a Crown and a Bridge?

Millions of Americans struggle with dental problems that need dental work, with 120 million missing at least one tooth and over 36 million having no teeth at all. These issues can result from various dental problems, including periodontitis (gum disease), dental caries (tooth decay), injuries, and oral cancer. And if these issues are left untreated, they can not only create more problems in your mouth, but also cause complications that affect your overall health.

Appliances such as dental crowns and bridges treat various dental conditions. But how do you determine which one is best for your dental problem? What are the reasons for one as opposed to the other? Let’s explore these topics by examining common tooth problems and why to get crowns and bridges to treat them.

Residents of the Tomball, Texas area looking to treat dental conditions needing crowns, bridges, or other tooth replacements can find help with Dr. Louis Russell Jr. and his skilled medical team at Russell Family Dentistry.

Understanding common tooth problems

Problems with teeth stem from many different causes; however, most are from injuries or bacterial infections brought on by issues with dental hygiene or other factors. These issues can create several conditions, including:

Gum disease: known as periodontitis, is an infection of your gums that can cause bad breath, swollen gums, bleeding, sensitive teeth. and painful chewing

Dental caries: the technical term for tooth decay, a common condition resulting from sugars and other foods wearing down the enamel on your teeth

Oral cancer: more common in people over 40, this problem can be fatal but curable in its early stages

Sores: often not problematic unless they last longer than a few weeks and include canker sores, cold sores, and thrush

Toothaches: often a reason to make an emergency trip to the dentist, and can be caused by tooth injuries, dental abscess, or a broken or cracked tooth

Reasons to get a crown

Also called a dental cap, it’s a form of dental restoration that covers the top surface of a tooth to repair or replace the tooth. Crowns are made of porcelain, ceramic, metal, and resin materials  and appear like natural teeth. Crowns can complete restorations when cavities have damaged the chewing surface so much that a filling isn’t enough to restore the tooth. 

Crowns can also prevent damage from an infection after removal of the pulp during a root canal or as the final stage of a dental implant after the metal post and abutment get in place. Crowns can get replaced if damaged; however, with proper care, they can last for years.

Reasons to get a bridge

A dental bridge is a form of partial denture used for filling gaps between teeth, especially if multiple teeth are missing. Supported by other teeth, they consist of the same materials as crowns, but their design is to replace teeth as opposed to protect them. Dental bridges come in four ways: traditional, cantilever, implant-supported, and Maryland. These bridges focus on replacing teeth by using existing teeth, implanting teeth to and from the bridge, or even supporting dental crowns.

Essentially, crowns can help to protect or replace existing teeth, but bridges replace missing teeth. Both are ways to help people restore normal function to teeth, and we offer those and other services to help you smile. 

When you’re ready to get started and see what crowns and bridges can do for your smile and health, give us a call or use our online booking feature to make an appointment with Dr. Russell and Russell Family Dentistry. 

Leave A Reply

Please fill all the fields.


29210 Quinn Road,
Tomball, TX 77375

Office Hours

MON - THU8:00 am - 5:00 pm

FRI - SUNClosed