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Dentures vs. Crowns: Understanding Dental Prosthetics

Think you need dentures? If you’re like many people out there, you might be searching for the wrong type of prosthetics to solve your problem. There’s more than one way to restore your smile, but all the options can be overwhelming. Whether you’re missing one or more teeth — or you have a slightly different situation — dentures and crowns both offer solutions, but it’s important to know the difference and which one is most suitable for you.

What Are Dentures?

Sometimes called false teeth, dentures are typically removable prosthetic dental devices designed to replace missing teeth. There are three types of dentures:

  • Conventional full dentures are custom made and placed in your mouth after all of your teeth are removed and your gums and surrounding tissues have healed — a process that can take a few months.
  • Immediate full dentures are customized and created before any remaining teeth are removed and fitted into your mouth immediately after tooth removal. This option lets you avoid going without teeth while you heal, but the dentures typically need to be relined within a few months.
  • Partial dentures are a removable alternative to bridges. These prosthetics are attached to a metal framework that then attaches to your remaining natural teeth.

What Are Crowns?

Crowns are sometimes called caps because they’re often used to cover a damaged tooth. These custom prosthetics are manufactured after your dentist takes an impression of the tooth or teeth that the crowns will cover. Crowns come in four varieties, including:

  • Ceramic, which are often used for front teeth because dentists can easily blend them with your natural tooth color
  • Porcelain-fused to metal crowns offer a strong, durable bond
  • Gold alloys combine gold and copper with other metals for a strong bond that won’t wear away at the tooth underneath
  • Base metal alloys offer superior corrosion resistance and minimal reduction of what it covers

Dentures vs. Crowns: Which Are Best?

Dentures are usually the ideal option for total — or nearly total — tooth loss. Although they never feel quite like your natural teeth, modern dentures look natural and fully restore your smile. Crowns also restore your smile, and dentists actually recommend them in many cases that don’t involve total tooth loss. Here are a few sample scenarios where crowns are a better choice than dentures:

  • There isn’t much natural tooth remaining, and you need a large filling replaced
  • Restore a broken tooth
  • Protect weak teeth
  • Cover a misshapen or discolored tooth
  • Attach a bridge, cover dental implants, or cover a tooth that’s had a root canal

If you want to learn more, or you need to get your smile evaluated, then visit Klement Family Dental or call us at 727-498-1959727-498-1959 to schedule an appointment. We’re happy to discuss your needs and the best options for you.