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Dental Cosmetics: How Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges Work


Cosmetic dentistry involves the use of dental procedures to improve the appearance of a patient’s teeth, giving them the confidence to show those beautiful pearly whites. 

Of the many available, there are two important cosmetic dental services that dentists would often recommend for clients who have a missing tooth or plan to fix the form and look of their teeth. These are dental crowns and dental bridges—and each of these options has its own merits and disadvantages.

This article would talk about dental crowns, dental bridges, and how the two options work for your oral health. 

Crowns and Bridges: Understanding How They Function

What Is a Dental Crown?

The dental crown is the fix for a single tooth that has been damaged physically. It is basically a cap that can be placed on top of the damaged tooth. It can help improve that tooth’s appearance and also strengthen its functionality. 

Dentists would recommend a dental crown to cover a tooth and protect it from other external damages. If you have a tooth that recently had root canal treatment, a tooth that is discolored or poorly shaped, a recent dental implant, or a weak tooth prone to fracturing, then your dentist will encourage you to get a dental crown. 

A dental crown is also recommended if your dentist plans on attaching a bridge to your teeth, a procedure that we will discuss later. 

What It Is Made From

The crown is usually made from porcelain or ceramic to mimic the teeth’s color, but it also comes in many different materials, such as gold, acrylic, and metal alloys. Out of all the available materials, porcelain is the most commonly used because of its beauty and resemblance to natural teeth. 

However, the alloy options are more durable than the other materials, so they are more recommended for molar teeth placement. 

What Is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a usual fix for patients with one or two more gaps in their teeth. This option is a series of false teeth used to replace or “bridge” the gap between your teeth. This bridge is made up of two or more crowns, depending on how many are needed. 

There are abutment teeth, which refer to the anchoring teeth on both ends, and a false tooth in the middle called the pontics. This bridge is often placed on top of the natural teeth that surround the gap. The pontics go in place of the empty slot while the abutment teeth go on top of the natural teeth or implant. 

What Are They Made From

Like dental crowns, a dental bridge can be made from various materials, depending on the patient’s preference. They can choose pontics made from gold, porcelain, alloys, or a combination of these materials. 

How Dentists Create the Crowns and Bridges

Here is the process you should expect when planning to get either a dental crown or a dental bridge:

  • The dentist would first reduce your tooth or teeth size so the crown or bridge can successfully fit on them.
  • Once the desired size is achieved, they will take an impression of it to mold the right size of the crown or bridge. 
  • While waiting, they will provide you with a temporary crown to protect the shaved tooth.
  • Once the crown or bridge is ready, they shall place them on top of the prepared tooth or teeth.  


Dental crowns and bridges are quality dental cosmetic treatments that are designed to last for a long while. A dental crown may last for 10 to 30 years, while a dental bridge may be replaced every five to 15 years. However, like natural teeth, you need to observe proper hygiene and dental care to keep them in good condition. 

If you need a dentist in Raleigh that can provide you with a dental crown or an implant, visit our clinic today! Thomas E. Cooke, D.D.S. is an emergency family dentist in Raleigh that offers various dental procedures to cater to your oral needs. Call us at (919) 872-1700 to make an appointment.