Dental Bridges vs. Dental Crowns

When it comes to all the jargon that you hear in a dentist’s office, it’s hard to know what everything means. There’s bridges, crowns, root canals, veneers, and so many more. It can be difficult to understand what each entails and whether that procedure might be right for you. 

Today, we are going to discuss two common dental procedures, dental bridges and dental crowns, and the differences between them. It’s important to understand what each of these terms means to fully understand the uses of each.

If you think you may need a dental crown or dental bridge contact Rafi Dental Group, your Tustin Dentist.

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A dental bridge is exactly what it sounds like; it bridges the gap when you have a missing tooth. The repercussions of not doing anything about a missing tooth can include: your teeth shifting,  suffering from facial collapse, and having trouble eating or speaking. Dental bridges help keep all of your teeth in their proper places and help prevent a number of other issues that arise from missing teeth. There are several different types of dental bridges, and which is utilized depends on your particular situation. 


Traditional bridges are utilized when the teeth on each side of your missing tooth are healthy and strong. Your dentist will put a crown on your surrounding teeth to strengthen them so that they are capable of supporting the bridge. After the crowns are on, the bridge is then attached to the two crowns and fills in the gap where your missing tooth is. 


Cantilever bridges are used when there is only a tooth on one side of the missing tooth. In this instance, your dentist will put a dental crown on the tooth next to the gap, and also sometimes on a couple more next to that to ensure stability. The bridge will then be attached to and supported by the crown or crowns.


Resin-bonded bridges are sometimes also called Maryland bonded bridges. They are used mainly on your front teeth when you don’t want the metal in the bridge to be visible. The bridge has wings on both sides of the crown, which attach to the surrounding teeth, without being noticeable.

Dental Bridges typically require more than one office visit since your dentist has to make the crowns and bridge. You will be fitted with temporary crowns while they create your permanent bridge to protect your teeth. Once the crowns and bridge are prepared for you they will be put into place by your dentist. After the initial healing period you should be able to eat and drink normally.


The term crown refers to the top of your tooth. However, when we use the term dental crown, we are talking about creating an artificial crown for a tooth that is no longer able to be filled. Sometimes an old filling falls out and doesn’t leave enough tooth behind to refill, or sometimes too much of a tooth chips off, and your dentist will have to put on a dental crown.

The Dentist will remove the cavity or sharp parts of the tooth, and then smooth down the tooth enough to make room for the crown. Dental crowns typically require more than one visit as the dentist has to take an imprint of your tooth and make the crown fit your tooth without disturbing your bite. 

Your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown in the meantime to protect the tooth. Once finished being made, the crown is then cemented onto the remaining tooth. Once your crown is fitted and in place, you will be able to resume eating and drinking normally after the initial healing period.

Contact the Tustin Dentists at Rafi Dental Group if you think you are in need of a dental crown. 


The two procedures, bridges and crowns, are solutions to two different problems. Although the two terms can often be confusing, they are actually quite different from each other. Dental bridges fill in a missing space when you are missing a tooth, however, the process does often require the use of crowns. 

A dental crown is just an artificial crown for a tooth that no longer has one of its own and is too damaged to be built back up. Knowing the difference between the two will help you to understand which dental procedure you may need.


If you think you may need a dental bridge or dental crown, contact Rafi Dental Group. We also offer regular teeth cleaning and x rays, teeth whitening, invisalign, and other dental procedures. Call us today to make an appointment with your Tustin Dentist.