What are Dental Crowns and Tooth Bridges?
A crown is used to entirely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for back teeth. Porcelain bonded to a metal shell is often used because it is both strong and attractive.
- Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
A bridge may be recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Before either a crown or a bridge can be made, the tooth (or teeth) must be reduced in size so that the crown or bridge will fit over it properly. After reducing the tooth/teeth, your dentist will take an impression to provide an exact mold for the crown or bridge. If porcelain is to be used, your dentist will determine the correct shade for the crown or bridge to match the color of your existing teeth.
While crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown or bridge is to practice good oral hygiene. A bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by Brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily. Also see your dentist and hygienist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.
|Full porcelain fused to metal.||Full cast gold crown.|
|Teeth around the space are prepared.||The bridge is mounted and adjusted for fit and comfort.||The bridge is cemented into position.|
Dental implants are one way of replacing missing teeth. The way they are mounted onto posts and inserted into the jaw during surgery means that they look and feel just like ordinary teeth.
Although there are many advantages to having implants, they are not suitable for everyone. You need to have healthy gums and be in good general health. You also need enough jawbone to take the posts and support the replacement teeth. Some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, osteoporosis or chronic sinus problems could interfere with healing and make implants more likely to fail.
If you choose to have implants, you will undergo surgery twice or more over a period of several months. Because they are a complicated form of treatment, implants can also be expensive.
Your dentist will go through each stage of the treatment with you before it begins and also give you a timetable for completing treatment. You might be referred to a specialist.
The dentist will expose the bone in the jaw where the tooth is missing. Then he will drill a hole and insert a metal post into the bone. This is usually done under a local anaesthetic, but sometimes sedation or, if you are in hospital, a general anaesthetic is used. The gum is then stitched over the post and it’s left to heal for several months, while the bone grows around the post, making it secure.
After this period, there will be second operation then happens, in which replacement teeth are mounted onto the metal post. This requires a small cut in the gum above the implant. The replacement teeth might be single or in a group, and possibly as a ‘bridge’, attached to neighbouring natural teeth. They may be fixed permanently or attached in a way that lets you remove them for cleaning.
After surgery, it’s absolutely essential to maintain good mouth hygiene and visit your dentist regularly.
Porcelain dental veneers are a beautiful way to correct stained, chipped, or crooked teeth. By placing glass-like ceramic porcelain on the surface of teeth, dentists can provide patients with bright, straight, and natural looking smiles. Dental flaws that have been a source of embarrassment for years can be treated with porcelain veneers in as little as one or two appointments