If you raise your hand to hide your teeth when you laugh, you're not alone — more than half of Americans are insecure about their smiles. Fortunately, there are plenty of dental procedures, both cosmetic and restorative, that can enhance the look of your pearly whites. Perhaps your dentist has told you that you need a dental crown or a dental bridge to fix your smile. Here's what to expect from either procedure — and how they differ from one another.
How Dental Crowns Work Your dentist will prescribe a dental crown in a handful of different scenarios. Perhaps you have tooth decay or a chipped tooth. Or, maybe you've recently had a root canal, and your teeth need a little reinforcement. Sometimes, though, a dental crown can be used for purely cosmetic reasons. A dentist might slip a crown over a tooth to hide severe discoloration. A dental crown will be used in any of these scenarios to re-strengthen your teeth. The crown is like a cap that goes over the damaged tooth. You can have your dental crown made in a variety of materials. Your options may include:
Porcelain adhered to a metal
Obviously, some of these materials will blend in better with the natural hue and feel of your teeth. For example, porcelain can be matched to the color of your teeth, so it fits in perfectly with your smile. Meanwhile, metal will stand out, but it proves to be one of the most durable materials for making crowns. Your dental crown cost will come down to the material you choose. Your best bet for figuring out the price is to ask your dentist for a quote. How Dental Bridges Work If you have gaps between your teeth, then you might need a dental bridge instead. Bridges work just as the name suggests. They attach to the teeth you still have in your mouth. Between these two ends, you'll find a faux tooth, which fills in the holes you may have in your smile, thus bridging the gap. Much like crowns, bridges help you chew and bite down as you did when you had a tooth in that spot. They can also boost confidence in your smile. But crowns are much more versatile — bridges simply fill the gaps in your smile, and they don't have other implementations. Your dental bridge cost will increase, depending on how large the gap is that you need to fill. Perhaps your bridge has to have more than one new tooth attached. If so, that will bump up the price. Choosing a tooth-colored bridge may also be more expensive. You can opt for metal bridges, too, but one that mimics the look of your other teeth will make your smile more natural. What's Next? Now, you know what to expect if you need a dental crown or a dental bridge. Are you ready to schedule a consultation to get the ball rolling? If so, click here to schedule an appointment with us, and we'll outfit you with the perfect dental accessory to complete your smile.