Crowns & Bridges
A crown is a thin shell manufactured in the laboratory that completely surrounds the top of a tooth. They are constructed from porcelain metal or a combination of the two. To prepare the tooth 1-2mm is removed from the top and sides. Impressions or moulds are then taken and sent to the lab. If porcelain is to be used a shade is taken to match the surrounding teeth. On a second appointment the crown is tried in to check fit and appearance. It may then be cemented into place.
We may recommend crowns in the following situations:
- Very heavily filled teeth
- Teeth with cracks present
- Brittle root canal treated teeth
Advantages include prevention of splitting/cracking of teeth. They bind to the tooth in cases where fillings have debonded. They may be used to improve the appearance. We will match the colour and shape of the adjacent to teeth to make the crown appear natural.
Alternatives to crowns include tooth coloured fillings which cover the top of the tooth. These have a number of advantages. Less cutting down of the tooth is usually required. The edges may fit more accurately. They are easier to repair.
As each case is different your dentist will advise you of the best option.
Bridges are frequently used to replace a missing tooth. A bridge is a false tooth usually made of porcelain held in place by an adjacent tooth. Where possible we bond these to the back or side of a tooth next to the gap using a thin wing. This requires no cutting down or drilling of the supporting tooth. Alternatively the support tooth may be prepared to support a crown. The laboratory then makes a porcelain tooth connected to a crown. This is cemented into place filling the gap.