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CROWNS & BRIDGES - A FLAWLESS FINISH

Today, dental crowns are a common procedure in dental care. A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that covers a tooth completely in order to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. Dental crowns permanently restore teeth that have become damaged by decay, are chipped, or are cracked. The purpose of a dental crown is to encase a needy tooth with a custom-designed material.

Dental porcelain can be sculpted to closely replicate the look of natural tooth enamel, while providing desirable strength and resilience. Porcelain crowns are an excellent choice when recreating the form and function of a damaged tooth, because a crown basically replaces the entire external portion of the tooth down to the gum level. Crowns are not limited to simply replacing the original tooth, but can be designed to create an even better aesthetic appearance.

Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap -- these two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth -- and a false tooth/teeth (called pontics) in between.

1. What Are They Made Of?

The three most common choices of materials for the full crowns are:

PORCELAIN-FUSED-TO-METAL

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are strong, long lasting and esthetic treatment option.

One consideration in the porcelain-fused-to-metal crown is that these crowns may tend to show the underlying metal or gold margin at the gum line because gums recede over time.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns with an all porcelain collar can reduce the possiblilty of a metal ‘shadow'in the gums as they recede over time. These crowns may need to be replaced if the gums recede too much or a shadow becomes too obvious. This may not be necessary for teeth that are in the back though, as the gum line is hidden

ALL-CERAMIC (ALL-PORCELAIN)

The favourite material choice for all-ceramic crowns today is either zirconia, or aluminous materials. They provide a metal-free esthetic option with a number of benefits.

As there is no need for the supportive metal core, an esthetic all-ceramic crown can be created very thin. This makes them a more favorable treatment choice in areas with limited space. Without the metal core, they also allow for light transmission through the porcelain for better optical, life-like properties and a higher level of esthetics.

GOLD

Gold or nickel alloy may be used to create crowns. As metal is better able to withstand biting and chewing, less tooth structure needs to be removed.

But most people do not want to have metal crowns, thus porcelain crowns are the popular option. They are able to blend in with the other teeth as we are careful to match the colours of the crowns exactly to the natural teeth.

2. Dental Bridges

When we talk about Dental Crown we know that it stands as single individual unit. When it comes to Dental Bridge, it works like a series of connected crowns, replacing missing teeth by bridging the gap and it uses the neighboring teeth as abutments (support). Like dental crowns, dental bridges are made of metal and porcelain or sometimes, only porcelain.

3. What Are The Benefits Of A Bridge?

Besides improving your smile by replacing missing teeth. It can also prevent other teeth from shifting out of their proper positions.Food traps may occur when the neighboring teeth will try to reposition themselves into this empty space.

Chewing food can irritate the space left from the missing tooth. Dental bridges are a solution that can bring comfort back into your daily life so you can enjoy mealtimes once again.Missing teeth can make it hard for a person to speak. This can create misunderstandings and anxiety when speaking to others. Dental bridges allow you to speak easier.

Missing teeth also affect your facial structure, increasing stress on remaining teeth and often giving your cheeks a sunken appearance. A dental bridge will ‘fill out' the missing teeth, restoring your facial contours.Bridgework is cemented in permanently so that it feels and function like normal teeth.

4. When Do I Need A Dental Crown?

IN CONJUNCTION WITH DENTAL IMPLANT
A dental crown is often used in conjunction with other procedures such as dental implants. The tooth portion is a crown, which is placed on a titanium implant to replace the teeth that are missing.

TOOTH DECAY
Tooth decay is the second most common reason dentists recommend dental crowns because they are prone to cracking and breaking. A crown is used to restore the tooth's strength and appearance.

WORN DOWN TEETH
Severely worn down teeth can also be treated by dental crown to restore its shape and size.

MIS-SHAPENED TOOTH
In cases where teeth are unusually shaped, such as  a peg-shaped lateral incisor, the shape of the tooth can be improved by doing a dental crown.

TOOTH WITH LARGE FILLINGS
Dental crown can be done to cover and support a tooth with large filling when there isn't much tooth structure left. This is to protect a weak tooth from breaking apart.

FOLLOWING ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
A Crown may be necessary after you have had Root Canal (Endodontics) treatment. This is because, in non vital (dead) teeth the nerves and blood supply are cut off. Thus, the tooth becomes extremely brittle and is weaker and a crown would definitely secure it from fracturing.

TOOTH DISCOLORATION
This can be due to various reason. For example, due to abnormal tooth formation such as Amelogenesis Imperfecta or Dentinogenesis Imperfecta. Dental crowns can be made to improve the appearance of one's smile.

BROKEN TOOTH
A crown can treat a broken tooth that was caused by trauma, for instance, trauma due to a fall, sports injuries or perhaps due to motor vehicle accidents.

5. What Is The Procedure To Make A Dental Crown Or Bridge?

During the dental crown procedure, your dentist prepares the tooth and makes a molded impression of the teeth to be sent to a dental laboratory. A fitted, temporary crown is created during this visit to temporarily protect the tooth while the final restoration is being made in the dental laboratory.

Once completed, the tooth crown is cemented or adhesively bonded to your natural tooth at a later visit. This means the procedure is done in a minimum of 2 visits.

6. How Do I Care For My Crown Or Bridge?

After your permanent crown has been placed, we will provide you with information about caring for your new crown. We will advise you to maintain proper oral hygiene habits by brushing twice daily and flossing with dental floss or interdental cleaners (specially designed brushes and sticks) once a day. This will help to remove plaque from the area where the crown meets the gum, and help prevent dental decay and gum disease.

Avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects, since this could damage your crown. If you habitually clench or grind your teeth, your dentist may recommend wearing a night-time mouth guard to help protect your crowns while sleeping.

7. What Do I Do If I Notice My Crown Or Bridge Had Become Loose?

Crowns and bridges are cemented permanently but if you feel they have become loose, like if you notice they can move, please make an appointment to see us as soon as possible to recement it. Meanwhile eat using the opposite side.

If your crown has come off completely, which very rarely happens, do not replace the crown. Come in immediately for us to examine the crown preparation and re-cementing.

8. How Long Does A Crown Or Bridge Last?

The working life of a dental crown may vary depending on a number of factors, but with the proper care they can last for up to 15 years.Be sure to practice proper oral hygiene and avoid grinding your teeth or biting unusually hard substances with your crowns.Come in for your usual rountine check ups every 4- 6 months so we can partner you to keep your teeth healthy for life!

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