DENTAL CROWNS AND BRIDGES
A dental crown is recommended to entirely cover a damaged tooth that is beyond repair with a filling, inlay or onlay. Crowns are usually placed over damaged, fractured, discolored, and root canal treated teeth. A crown restores the strength and stability of a tooth.
Dental crowns are also used to improve the appearance of teeth. However, more conservative techniques in cosmetic dentistry, such as veneers, inlays, onlays, bonding, and bleaching have replaced some of the instances when dental crowns were used in the past to achieve aesthetic goals. Crowns are bonded onto the tooth with dental cement.
When the top of a tooth is lost due to decay there may be very little for the crown to actually hold onto. To gain retention a post is placed inside the tooth which forms a peg on top of the tooth and acts as a seat for the crown. Usually a post crown is a better option than having the tooth extracted with a subsequent denture or bridge, but post crowns last shorter than normal crowns.
When a tooth is heavily decayed it is more likely to fracture and lose considerable tooth substance. The greater risk is that a fracture line may go below the margin of the gum which makes restoration more difficult or near impossible. It is very important to see your dentist regularly to avoid this situation.
Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods. Most common types:
Porcelain fused to metal
Our surgery encourages the patients to choose metal free restorations, because they require less drilling, which reduces the chance of sensitivity of the tooth or the inflammation of the nerve and the surrounding soft tissue. They are natural looking and give the best aesthetic appearance for the teeth. With our state of the art in lab innovation these crowns can be made within two hours and customized in the dental chair. This called single visit crown, which is a high quality, time saving solution and only available in a few locations in the country.
Porcelain fused to metal crowns are the most common types and are aesthetically also pleasing however nowadays mostly advised to cover back teeth.
If a tooth needs to be extracted or is already missing a dental bridge may be fixed solution. A bridge stands from crowns bonded or fused together. With a bridge it is possible to replace missing teeth without the use of a denture or dental implant. However teeth both sides of the gap must be filed down in order to accept the bridge structure.
The procedure for a crown or a bridge is very similar. Your dentist removes some of your tooth structure. Up to a 3 unit metal free bridge our surgery can make the final restoration on the same day using an oral scanner and a milling machine. For porcelain fused to metal or longer metal free restorations we have take an impression and send it to a dental laboratory which fabricates a custom made restoration. In this case you will immediately get a temporary bridge which protects your prepared teeth. Usually 2-3 visits are enough to create a bridge, however it is very individual and complicated cases may need more visits for a successful job.
With bridges or crowns, recovery is quick. It is not unusual for teeth to be sensitive for several days but if you feel uncomfortable please contact your dentist as further adjustments might be necessary. With care, crowns and bridges last 5 to 15 years or some significant longer. With crowns or bridges you need to avoid chewing things such as popcorn kernels, nutshells, ice etc to avoid risk of breakage.
WHAT TYPES OF BRIDGE MATERIALS ARE AVAILABLE?
Permanent crowns can be made from porcelain-fused-to-metal, zirconium-oxide or E.max.
PORCELAIN FUSED TO METAL
Porcelain fused to metal or metal ceramic is a traditional type of material often used in bridges. It is usually fitted onto back teeth or used to bridge over longer gaps as they are considered a strong, robust type of material. It might be less attractive as the metal edge of the crowns may be visible with the time by the gum margins. Therefore many people choose metal free material like zirconium or E-Max for their greater aesthetic appeal specially for the front teeth.
This is a type of all-ceramic material with an appealing translucent colour which is combined with extra strength and durability. This material is considered to be the best match with your own natural teeth. The transparent colour and lifelike shape makes it look like your own natural teeth. There is no metal alloy base which means no unsightly looking grey line around the gum line. They are strong, long lasting and unlikely to crack or fracture as compared to many other types of material. Often it is designed and milled digitally which provides an extreme precise connection between the bridge and the teeth. Our surgery is equipped with the state of the art technique to create a small bridge up to 3 units within the same day from this material. We use an oral scanner to make a digital model of your teeth and with a softver you can be a part of your own bridge design and customize your bridge for your own taste. It sends the information to a milling machine which mills the bridge from a block. After a try in and small adjustments the dentist stains and glaze the bridge and places it in to a furnace to crystallize the material. Once it is ready the bridge is ready to fit in permanently.
Zirconia restirations are usually designed digitally either in an office that has the software and hardware to produce them or in a dental lab. Zirconia is a popular type of metal free material. It is strong, resistant and long lasting, so, a good choice if you are looking for a high quality aesthetic bridge to replace either front teeth or back teeth They are ideal at covering signs of damage or staining as well as helping to maintain the function of the teeth.
Temporary bridge is made in your dentist's office, to protect your teeth while the permanent bridge is made in a dental laboratory. Temporary bridge is made of acrylic ( a special plastic) and can be used as a temporary restoration until a permanent crown is constructed by the dental lab.The temporary bridge is made according the model of your own teeth, so it doesn't provide a final aesthetic solution. The material of the temporary bridge is not strong so it may require different eating habits for a short period, while the permanent restoration is fitted. In case the temporary bridge gets loose or brakes, please contact your dentist immediately.