Crowns and Bridges are restorative procedures both help return your smile to its natural state.
Unlike removable prosthetic appliances such as dentures, which need to be removed and cleaned daily, crowns and bridges are fixed in place with a special bonding agent onto existing teeth or implants. Both treatment options are considered to be long-lasting and durable.
A dental crown is essentially a manufactured tooth that is most commonly known as a ‘cap.’ They are typically made of highly aesthetic dental ceramic, which is then bonded over an existing tooth to repair and strengthen it. Well made and maintained crowns are some of the most aesthetic and durable dental restoration options available. They act as a covering for your tooth and are used to mend fractured, broken, and discoloured teeth that have been weakened from having large fillings, cavities, or trauma.
What are crowns made of?
Typically, modern crowns are made from porcelain or ceramic materials, which enables them to not only maintain strength and functionality but also to be highly aesthetic. They are matched to the colour and texture of the adjacent teeth. This allows them to also be used as a cosmetic option to help improve the shape, contour, and colour of existing teeth.
Fillings, although less expensive, cannot provide the same protection, strength and durability that a crown can. Each tooth is unique, and your dentist will use their expertise to match the new crown to the shape, colour, and texture of your existing teeth.
What is the procedure for Crowns?
When a tooth is prepared for a crown, the tooth is shaped and prepared to create room for the crown to be placed. This initial appointment will typically take around 60 minutes. Once the tooth has been prepared, your dentist will then take a series of impressions of not only the tooth but also your bite and the adjacent teeth in order for the crown to be manufactured. You will then have a temporary crown placed while the permanent crown is made, which can take roughly a week. All of our crowns are made using Australian laboratories.
The final appointment is relatively quick, taking only around 30 minutes. Your dentist will remove the temporary crown and will bond the permanent crown on using a high strength, light-activated bonding agent.
With proper maintenance and regular examination, dental crowns should last 10 – 15 years or more.
A dental bridge differs from a crown in the sense that it is designed to be a fixed dental prosthetic option that replaces one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges are typically made up of a metal alloy with porcelain that is fused to the exterior to provide strength, durability whilst also providing an aesthetic and natural look. The teeth on either side of the gap where a tooth once was, serve as ‘anchors’ for the bridge and a false tooth, or pontic is rigidly suspended between them.
What is the procedure for Bridges?
For the most part, the preparation and fitting process of a dental bridge is quite similar to that of a dental crown. The procedure will involve your dentist preparing the ‘anchor’ teeth for the crowns, which will hold the bridge in place. Once the teeth have been prepared your dentist will then take a series of impressions of the teeth,your bite and the adjacent arch in order for the bridge to be manufactured. You will then have a temporary bridge placed while the tooth is made, which can take around a week. All of our bridges are made using local laboratories.
The final appointment is relatively quick, taking only around 30 minutes. Your dentist will remove the temporary bridge and will bond the permanent bridge on using a high strength, light-activated bonding agent.
Looking after your Crowns or Bridges
Once your crown or bridge has been placed, it is imperative that you maintain a regular and effective oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing twice a day and taking extra care to floss around your crown or bridge at least once a day. This will help prevent decay forming where the crown and tooth join. Avoiding foods or activities that could damage the crown is also advised. This includes consuming foods and drinks high in sugar or chewing ice, nails, pens or other hard objects.
If you’ve had a bridge placed, you will need to ensure that you are cleaning under your bridge. A dental floss threader or interdental brush can be used to aid you in this process. Your dentist will be able to advise you on which option is best suited for you and how to use these items.
Frequent check ups
Above all else, maintaining regular examination and clean appointments with your dentist will help maintain your crown or bridge and ensure their longevity. This not only allows your dentist an opportunity to clean them but also provides them the opportunity to detect potential problems early before they become expensive or painful.
Our friendly staff are here to help
If you have any further questions regarding any procedure, please feel free to contact our friendly staff.