Crowns and bridges
How is a crown prepared and attached?
A crown is an artificial restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth. A crown is sometimes known as a 'cap'.
Crowns are an ideal restoration for teeth that have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. A crown could be used for a number of other reasons, for instance:
• you may have discoloured fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth
• you may have had a root filling which will need a crown to protect what is left of the tooth.
• it may help hold a bridge or denture firmly in place.Many people have unexplained pain from filled back teeth, which is usually due to hairline cracks in the chewing part of the tooth. Placing crowns on these teeth can relieve the pain in lot of cases and allow a return of full dental function for these teeth. In front teeth, older fillings can both weaken the teeth and cause "appearance" problems due to staining or chipping. Porcelain crowns and bridges are suitable in cases where porcelain veneers are not. In teeth with root canal fillings, crowns can prevent further breakage.
What is a post crown?
In root-filled teeth it may be necessary to insert a post before placing a crown. A post provides support and helps the crown stay in place. The weakened crown of the tooth may be shortened to gum level.
A post can be made of prefabricated stainless steel which the dentist can fit directly into the root canal, or a custom-made post can be constructed by the dental technician to accurately fit the shape of the prepared root canal. The post is placed into the root canal and cemented in position, ready for the crown to be attached.
How long does it take?
Fitting a crown requires at least two visits to our office. Initially, we will remove decay, prepare the tooth to the ideal shape for the crown, and fit it with a temporary crown made of a plastic material. The amount of the tooth removed will be the same as the thickness of the crown. Once the tooth is shaped, the dentist will take an impression (mould) of the prepared tooth, one of the opposite jaw and possibly another to mark the way you bite together. The impressions will then be given to the dental technician, along with an appropriate shade and other information needed for the crown to be made.
On the subsequent visit we will remove the temporary crown, and then fit and adjust the final crown. Finally, we will cement the crown into place and you have a new beautiful looking tooth.
What is a crown made of?
Crowns can be made of a variety of different materials and new materials are continually being introduced. Some of the most popular options are listed below.
- Porcelain bonded to precious or non-precious metal: this is what most crowns are made from. A metal base is made and then porcelain is applied in layers over it.
- Porcelain crowns: these crowns are made entirely out of porcelain and are not as strong as bonded crowns, but they can look very natural and are most often used for front teeth as single crowns.
- All-ceramic crowns: this modern technique offers a metal-free alternative, which can give the strength of a bonded crown and the appearance of a porcelain crown. Therefore it is suitable for use in all areas of the mouth.
- Gold alloy crowns: gold is one of the oldest filling materials. Today it is used with other metal alloys to increase its strength, which makes it a very hardwearing restoration. These crowns are silver or gold in colour. Most dentistry looks like dentistry. Our goal is to provide dentistry that is undetectable. We replace existing crowns and fillings with restorations that look and feel like your natural teeth.
A bridge (fixed partial denture) is a device, which fills the gap where teeth are absent.
Why should I replace missing teeth?
All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Your appearance is one reason. Another is that the gap left by a missing tooth can mean greater strain is put on the teeth at either side. A gap can also mean your "bite" is affected, because the teeth next to the space can lean into the gap and alter the way the upper and lower teeth bite together. This can then lead to food getting packed into the gap, which causes both decay and gum disease. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance
This depends on the number of teeth missing and on where they are in the mouth. The condition of the other teeth also affects the decision. There are two main ways to replace the missing teeth. The first is with a removable false tooth or teeth - a partial denture. The second is with a fixed bridge. A bridge is usually used where there are fewer teeth to replace, and the gap is between teeth.
Fixed bridges are applied by placing crowns on the teeth adjacent (abutment teeth) to the missing space. In certain cases they may simply be bonded to the adjacent teeth to preserve tooth structure (fiber-reinforced composite bridges or Maryland bridges). Bridges are only possible if you have enough strong teeth with good bone support.
Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal clasps or by precision attachments (partial dentures).
What exactly is a bridge or fixed partial denture?
A bridge (fixed partial denture) is a device, which fills the gap where teeth are absent. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional. Removable partial dentures, as the name implies, can be taken out and cleaned. Fixed bridges offer more stability than their removable counterparts.
Why do I need a bridge?
Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons for wearing a bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older. Tooth loss will eventually lead to teeth drifting and periodontal problems as well.
Dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. Teeth were designed to complement each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, causing a number of potentially harmful disorders.
Increased risk of gum disease has proven to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a bridge.
Missing teeth can cause speech disorders as they are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly.
How is a bridge prepared and attached?
The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment we will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin.
As the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed.
Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.
What materials are used?
Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either precious or non-precious metal. There are now available, new tooth colored materials made from zirconium which allow for metal-free bridges. We now offer advanced technology crowns for those that desire non-metal bridges requiring strength and esthetics.
How do I take care of my bridge?
A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth and gums clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.