What is a crown?
Crowns provide an ideal means by which to rebuild teeth which are broken down or weakened as a result of repeated cycles of dental decay and which are restored with extensive fillings.
They can protect the tooth from further breakdown, whilst at the same time restoring the tooth to an ideal shape, appearance and functional position. A crown or ‘cap’ that is placed over a tooth is held in place using dental cement.
What is a Bridge?
A bridge is one form of treatment that your dentist can use to replace a missing tooth or teeth. The alternative is to use a removable denture or dental implants.
A bridge is usually used when there are fewer teeth to replace. A bridge is not an appropriate treatment option for every patient and there are many different designs that can be used.
Following a detailed examination your dentist will be best placed to advise you whether a bridge is the ideal solution for you and if so, what would be the best design.
What are crowns and Bridges made from?
Crowns and bridges can be made from a variety of materials including resin, ceramic or a metal alloy. It is also possible to have ceramic bonded onto a metal alloy, which provides the best combination of strength and appearance.
How are crowns and bridges made?
Following a thorough clinical examination, including the use of x-rays, we will be able to advise you whether your case is suitable together with material choices, treatment sequences and any other concerns you may have.
Preparation of the teeth is required in order to create space for the crown or bridge to be fitted and it involves reduction of the tooth size (usually under local anaesthesia) followed by an impression or mould. The mould taken is then sent to a laboratory where skilled technicians will fabricate the crown. It usually takes two weeks to fabricate a crown or bridge during which a provisional crown or bridge is fitted.
Once completed, the definitive crown or bridge is tried in to confirm the excellent fit, harmony with the bite, and appearance after which it is cemented. How do I care for them? Crowns and bridges are made of materials that do not deteriorate over time. However, the underlying tooth is still prone to decay and gum disease. Daily brushing and flossing are essential for maintaining good oral health as well as keeping the crown trouble-free.
Very rarely ceramic on the surface may chip or fracture and usually this can be repaired. Regular check-ups will enable your dentist to detect any problems and recommend necessary treatment.