When it comes to restorative dentistry treatments and procedures, the technical terminology can be confusing for some patients — and who can blame them? After all, we’re the experts in restorative dentistry, having completed years of dental school and certifications on top of performing regular tooth restoration procedures for our patients. One of the most common questions we get from patients with damaged or missing teeth is what the difference is between dental crowns and dental bridges, so we are dedicating this blog post to educating our patients about these restorative dentistry techniques.


Dental crowns are a restorative dentistry technique that has stood the test of time and continues to evolve with the latest advancements in dental technology. Traditional tooth crowns “cap” decaying or severely damaged teeth in order to shield them from further deterioration, which would otherwise lead to possible infections, the need for root canal therapy, or the teeth falling out altogether. In fact, when a patient requires a root canal treatment, or the removal of the infected “pulpy” center of a tooth, it will become weak and will require a dental cap for ongoing protection. Given that the teeth are dry, brittle, and fragile after the underlying nerve is removed, dental crowns act as a shield to prevent further cracking, chipping, or breaking.


These traditional tooth crowns cover the entirety of the damaged tooth and are permanently fitted for long-lasting protection. At Trillium Dental in Ottawa, our process for fitting dental crowns involves taking a mould of the tooth shape and fitting patients with a temporary dental crown while a permanent one is made in our dental lab. Once the permanent dental crown arrives, we will have you return to our dental clinic for the fitting, where we will bond it with the damaged tooth. Thanks to today’s advanced dental technology, our dentists are now able to provide patients with permanent dental crowns that perfectly match the colour of their surrounding teeth.


At many of our Ottawa dental clinics, we are pleased to offer CEREC dental crowns that integrate CAD-CAM technology, which allow us to create and fit an unlimited amount of permanent dental crowns in a single dental appointment. Whereas traditional dental crowns require two separate dental appointments, one for the temporary crown and another for the permanent crown fitting, CEREC technology allows us to set patients up with as many of these permanent, white dental crowns as they need in just one sitting. So, if you haven’t found the time to get dental crowns created and fitted in two dental appointments, we can now take care of it all for you in one appointment at a number of our dental offices in Ottawa.


Dental bridges integrate several types of dental technology to create a tooth replacement prosthetic, also known as a “fixed bridge” or “tooth bridge.” These innovative dental prosthetics are customizable to the patient and serve to replace one or more missing teeth by holding in the fake tooth replacement(s) with two adjacent dental crowns. These dental crowns help fill in the empty spot from the missing tooth by supporting the false tooth replacement and keeping it secured in place. It is also important to note that dental bridges are a permanent form of restorative dentistry, as the dental crowns are literally cemented to the surrounding teeth upon which they are capped. Though there are many different tooth replacement options for the anchor teeth, such as dental implants and prosthetic fillers, the tooth crowns and dental bridge that connects them is permanent.


As with traditional dental crowns, the dental bridge procedure requires two separate appointments at your local dental clinic. During the first dental appointment, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic and file down the anchor teeth that will serve as the support for your dental bridge. If these surrounding teeth show signs of significant decay or damage, we may suggest that dental implants be used instead, which consist of fake teeth with titanium roots being inserted and secured to the underlying jawbone for optimal support. Then, your dentist will take a dental mould of the teeth, which they will use to create any false teeth, as well as the tooth crowns for the dental bridge. During this process, a temporary dental bridge is created, which will be switched out for a permanent one when you return for the second appointment.


Wondering if you would make a good candidate for dental crowns or a permanent dental bridge? Contact us today to learn more, or book a restorative dentistry consultation at Trillium Dental today. Our family dentists would be more than happy to take a look at your teeth in order to determine whether you require tooth crowns, dental implants, or a fixed dental bridge.