Crowns & Bridges
A dental crown is used to save and protect an existing tooth that has been damaged, broken or cracked. They are also known as ‘caps’ because the crown sits over the existing tooth. They are particular useful in cases where not much tooth structure remains. They are often recommended following root canal treatment, as a crown may be needed to strengthen the tooth once the pulp has been removed.
Dental Crown Process
The process of fitting a dental crown generally takes two appointments to complete. Your dentist will discuss different options, timeframe and prices with you.
During the first appointment, the area around the tooth to be crowned is numbed with a local anaesthetic, the tooth is then shaped to make space for the crown to encase it. After shaping, impressions (moulds) are taken and sent to the laboratory where the crown is made according to your dentist’s specifications.
To protect the prepared tooth a temporary crown is fitted until your next visit. The temporary crown is not as strong as the final crown, so you should avoid eating hard, sticky foods.
At the second appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the new crown is placed over the reshaped tooth. Provided it fits well and the colour matches to your natural teeth, it is cemented to the tooth with dental cement. The cement usually takes less than an hour to set and reaches full strength within 24 hours.
Your new crown should feel comfortable and natural in your mouth. Minor adjustments may be required to achieve maximum comfort.
DENTAL CROWN TYPES
Crowns come in three distinct types, all of which have their pros and cons:
Porcelain crowns do not have a metal core. They are strong and resistant to staining, making them an ideal choice for front teeth.
Metal porcelain crowns:
Metal porcelain have a metal alloy core for added strength and an aesthetically pleasing porcelain shell. They are stronger than porcelain crowns due to the metal alloy core and are suitable for mid to back teeth.
Full metal or gold crowns:
The strongest of the three, full metal crowns completely encase the tooth in thin metal or gold. They are used for their strength, hardness and durability. They are suitable for teeth that are out of view, such as molars, that must constantly endure the forces of grinding and crushing.
Is a crown right for me?
Dental crowns are used to address structural issues, such as part of your tooth is missing, has broken away or the root has been treated. The aim of a crown is to preserve your tooth and protect it from further fractures.
Why has my crown gone grey?
This probably means you have a metal porcelain crown. Metal porcelain crowns are made from fused metal and porcelain. The metal can often start to show dark around the gum lines. A lot of times, this is avoided by using metals such as gold, which doesn’t tarnish. Speak to your dentist if you have any concerns.
Do crowns look like natural teeth?
Yes, dental crowns can look exactly like your natural teeth because they are made to match the colour, size and shape of your neighbouring teeth. The grey lines that could usually be seen in older metal porcelain crowns are no longer present in the latest versions.
A dental bridge is used to fill the gap created by one or more missing teeth. It comprises of artificial teeth that are anchored onto adjacent natural teeth.
If a tooth is lost due to an accident, or is too badly decayed or worn down, a bridge may be a suitable tooth replacement option.
Missing teeth can ruin your smile and make you feel self-conscious. They should be replaced not only because they look unsightly but also:
- to improve speech
- to maintain your natural bite
- to reduce strain on surrounding teeth
- to prevent neighbouring teeth from shifting
- to reduce gum disease and decay
- to improve chewing ability
A dental bridge can help you get your confidence back and restore your smile.
Dental bridge process
As with a crown, the dental bridge procedure consists of an initial consultation and two appointments.
During the initial consultation we will discuss your teeth replacement options and determine whether a dental bridge is the right treatment option for you.
At the first appointment, we will reshape the two teeth on either side of the gap. This is to allow room for the bridge’s crowns to be placed over them. Next, we will take impressions (moulds) of the area including the reshaped and missing teeth. These impressions will be sent to the dental lab where your customised bridge will be crafted within a couple of weeks. In the meantime, a temporary bridge will be fitted to protect the exposed teeth and gums while you wait for a permanent restoration.
At the second appointment, we will check the shape and colour of the new bridge that’s arrived from the lab. The temporary bridge is removed and the new permanent bridge will be fitted. Provided it is a good fit, it will be cemented firmly in place.
Does a dental bridge hurt?
Local anaesthesia will be administered to relieve any discomfort and to ensure the procedure is as pain-free as possible.
Are you ready to start improving your smile?
Contact us today to arrange dental hygiene appointment in Coogee Plaza Dental.
Same-day visits are available.