Crowns and Bridges

Crowns and Bridges

Two common types of dental prosthesis are dental crowns and dental bridges. Dental crowns are prosthesis that cover a single, damaged tooth. Crowns are commonly used to protect teeth that have been damaged as a result of decay or trauma. Dental bridges are prosthesis that cover more than one tooth and are used to “bridge” the gap left by missing teeth.


Did You Know?

There is a wide range of options available for dental crowns and bridges, meaning you are sure to find an option that works for you.

Frequently Asked Questions:


Am I a candidate for a dental crown or bridge?

You may be a candidate for a dental crown or bridge if you have a damaged tooth or a missing tooth surrounded by adjacent teeth. To discuss your options and determine if you are a candidate for a dental crown or bridge, schedule a consultation with Bethesda Family Dentistry today.


types of dental crowns

What types of crowns & bridges are available?


  • Metal Crowns: made up of gold, platinum, a cobalt-chromium base metal alloy, or a nickel-chromium base metal alloy. They are the strongest type of crown and last the longest. They are ideal for teeth that are not immediately visible since they have a metallic appearance.
  • PFM Crowns (Porcelain fused to metal): combines the durability of metal crowns with the visual benefits of porcelain crowns by utilizing a metallic base coated with a porcelain exterior. However, these crowns can cause additional wear to opposing teeth, the porcelain may chip, and sometimes the metal can be visible. PFM crowns work well for long bridges that need support.  
  • All-Resin Crowns: made of a durable plastic material, they are the most affordable crown option. However, they are prone to fractures and do not last nearly as long as the other options.
  • All Ceramic or All Porcelain Crowns: great for color-matching and a natural appearance, or for those with metal allergies.
  • Temporary Crowns: usually only worn for a few weeks while the permanent crown is being made by a dental lab. Most temporary crowns are made from an acrylic-based material or stainless steel. Stainless steel crowns are also commonly used to protect a child’s primary teeth from decay and are lost when a child loses the primary tooth.

3d rendering of a dental bridge

  • Traditional Bridge: the most commonly used type of bridge that uses a crown on either side of the missing tooth and strings a pontic, or artificial tooth, between the two crowns. Usually made from PFM or ceramic crowns.
  • Cantilever Bridge: used when there only one side of the gap has teeth. This bridge is not as common and is not recommended for use in the back of the mouth.
  • Maryland Bonded Bridge: Uses metal framework attached to the adjacent teeth to help support the bridge. Commonly made of porcelain, PFM, or plastic teeth and gums with the metal framework.


What should I expect when having a crown or bridge placed?


When having a crown or bridge placed, you can expect that your teeth will need to be shaped accordingly to fit the crown or bridge. Once they have been shaped, you can expect to undergo dental impressions to create a mold of your mouth that is used to fabricate a custom crown or bridge. While your custom crown or bridge is being manufactured by a dental lab, you can expect to wear a temporary restoration for a few weeks. Once the permanent crown or bridge has been completed, you can expect that it will be cemented in your mouth and the process will be complete.


What should I expect after having a crown or bridge placed?


After having a crown or bridge placed, you can expect to be sore for a few days. Your teeth will most likely experience a brief sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and you may notice that your gums feel sore as well. Both of these things are a normal part of the healing process and will fade once your mouth has adjusted to your crown or bridge. If needed, you can use over the counter pain medicine to reduce any discomfort you feel.


How do I maintain my dental crown or bridge?


To keep your dental crown or bridge in good shape, you will want to maintain your daily oral routine. This routine should consist of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, especially around the gum line where the crown or bridge meets. You will also want to visit Bethesda Family Dentistry for your semi-annual dental check up and professional teeth cleaning.


How long with my dental crown or bridge last?


The majority of dental crowns and bridges can last for about 5-15 years, depending on the materials they are made of, their location in the mouth, and your oral habits. To prevent your dental crown or bridge from becoming damaged, you will want to avoid negative oral behaviors such as nail biting, teeth grinding, using your teeth as an opener, or chewing ice.


giant tooth sitting atop a pile of money

What is the cost of dental crowns and bridges?


The cost of dental crowns and bridges will vary based on their material and how many teeth are being restored. An average estimate for a dental crown is $800-$1700 per tooth. Many dental insurance companies will also offer some form of partial coverage to offset this cost.



For a qualified, experienced, and caring approach to crowns & bridges, schedule a consultation  with one of our dentists at either our Ferndale Bethesda Family Dentistry office in Bethesda or our Executive Bethesda Family Dentistry office in North Bethesda.

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