Crowns vs. Bridges: What's the Difference and Which Option Is Best for You?

Crowns vs. Bridges: What's the Difference and Which Option Is Best for You?

About 120 million Americans are missing one or more adult teeth, and many more have cavities, broken teeth, and deep decay. For most of these people, crowns and bridges provide a great solution to help them restore their smiles and their confidence. 

At his practice on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Daniel Wank, DDS, offers both options using state-of-the-art materials and techniques for beautiful , durable results. Here’s how these popular restorations could help restore your smile.

Crowns vs. bridges: Basic differences

Crowns and bridges are both restorations, and both use advanced technology to provide durability and protection while still looking like healthy, natural teeth. Here’s how they differ.


Crowns surround the entire visible part of the tooth — that is, all of the tooth that extends above the gum. Like other tooth restorations, a crown is custom-made to fit the contours of the tooth it’s covering. We match the shape and tint of the crown to blend in with the neighboring teeth.

A crown procedure usually requires two office visits. During the first visit, Dr. Wank shapes the tooth that’s receiving the crown. This step involves removing some of the tooth material to make room for the crown. 

Next, he takes an impression or mold of your tooth and sends the impression to a lab that makes the crown. Finally, Dr. Wank places a temporary crown on your tooth to protect it.

Once your permanent crown is ready, you return to our office, and Dr. Wank removes the temporary crown and cleans your tooth. Then he places the crown over your tooth, adjusting it for a perfect fit before adhering it with strong dental adhesive.


Bridges are restorations made of a metal framework that supports one or more artificial teeth (sometimes called pontics). The purpose of a dental bridge is to bridge the gap left by one or more missing teeth. 

Bridges attach to the teeth on either side of the gap, either with dental adhesive (permanent bridges) or with clips (removable bridges). Dr. Wank prepares the anchor teeth for the bridges in a manner similar to preparing a tooth for a crown. Bridges also require two office visits.

When we recommend crowns and bridges

It’s not unusual for Dr. Wank to use crowns and bridges together. But while bridges require crowns, we can use a crown alone to treat different issues. For instance, crowns:

  • Cover deeply discolored teeth that don’t respond to whitening treatments
  • Strengthen teeth after a root canal procedure
  • Restore badly fractured or chipped teeth
  • Protect and restore teeth with very large cavities
  • Cover large, dark fillings
  • Correct bite balance problems caused by tooth damage
  • Improve the cosmetic appearance of misshapen teeth
  • Strengthen teeth used to attach a bridge

Because they surround the entire tooth, crowns offer multiple benefits, strengthening teeth, protecting them, and improving the way they look. For misshapen teeth, crowns can also improve your bite mechanics.

A dental bridge has one specific use: to replace missing teeth. With a bridge, your smile looks restored and renewed, and you can avoid bite balance issues and other problems after tooth loss. 

Bridges are an effective alternative if you’re missing one or a few teeth. But because they require a healthy tooth on either side to provide attachment points, they don’t work for missing back molars.

To learn more about crowns and bridges and how they can improve your smile and your oral health, call our New York City office at 607-300-6787 or book an appointment online today.

Daniel Wank, DDS
✆ Phone (appointments): 607-300-6787
✆ Phone (general inquiries): 212-867-0345
Address: 115 E 61st Street, Floor 6, Upper East Side, New York, NY, 10065