Crowns are an ideal restoration for teeth which have been broken or are weak. The crown fits over the remaining part of the tooth, making it stronger and giving it the shape and contour of a natural tooth. Crowns are sometimes also known as ‘caps’.
Why Would I Need A Crown?
There are a number of reasons:
- The tooth may have been weakened by having a very large filling
- You may have discoloured fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth.
- You may have had a root filling which will require a crown to protect it.
- You may have had an accident and damaged the tooth.
What Are Crowns Made Of?
Crowns are made of a variety of materials, and new materials are continually being introduced. Here are some of the options available at present:
- All porcelain: The very latest ceramic material that is strong, durable with a natural appearance which is difficult to distinguish from a real tooth.
- Porcelain bonded to metal: A precious metal base is made and porcelain is then applied in layers over it to give it the aesthetic appearance of a tooth.
- Gold: These crowns are very strong and hard wearing, and can be used at the back of the mouth where a very thin covering is needed.
A bridge replaces a missing tooth (or teeth) by anchoring the new tooth to the adjacent teeth at each end of the space. These new teeth are fixed in the mouth and do not need to be removed. Bridges are made of metal and porcelain or, on occasions, just porcelain.
What will my dentist do?
It normally requires 2 visits to make a bridge.
The teeth which will support the bridge are prepared so that the bridge is not too bulky and impressions are taken and sent to a dental lab to construct the permanent bridge. An acrylic temporary bridge or crown maybe fitted in the meantime. At the second visit, the dentist will check that the bridge fits, make any minor adjustments and then fix it permanently in place.