Crowns and bridges can protect and restore teeth which may have suffered an injury, whilst still maintaining the tooth’s root.
What is a crown?
A crown or cap is considered when a tooth is too broken down to restore with a dental filling. A filling that is too big has the potential of breaking off, so a crown is considered to protect the filling and the tooth from breaking away.
Crown construction usually requires some preparation of the tooth, accurate impressions, a temporary crown, and a lab that will construct the crown. The final product is then cemented onto the prepared tooth. A crown should last around ten years provided that it is well maintained and regular check-ups are done to detect and correct any problems associated with the crown.
When is a crown required?
At Aperture Dental Practice, we recommend a crown when your teeth are affected in the following way:
- A crown is required when a tooth needs to be repaired or strengthened because of tooth decay or damage to the tooth or when a root canal procedure needs to be done.
- A crown is needed for cosmetic purposes to improve the condition of the teeth or when a bridge needs support.
- A crown is also required when too much of a tooth has broken off and a large filling needs to be replaced or when it needs to protect a tooth that is weak from breaking further.
The advantages of dental crowns:
- Protection/ Restoration of Tooth Structure– dental crowns are possibly the best protection for a tooth that is damaged, threatened or weakened by root canal treatment.
- Aesthetics– ceramic crowns are strong and look good and can also be made to restore the original shape and natural colour of your tooth.
- Durability– since crowns are made from high quality and strong material, they can last the longest when compared to other dental restorations. With proper maintenance and care, crowns can last at least fifteen years or more.
What is a bridge?
A bridge is one of the three options considered when replacing a gap. The other options are either dentures or dental implants.
Bridges are permanently placed onto an existing tooth or teeth, but will have an extra tooth attached to it to replace the gap. The approximate longevity for a bridge is 7-15 years, although some can last upwards to 20 years.
The advantage of this option compared to the denture is that you don’t have to remove it to clean it. This stays in all the time!
Types of dental bridges:
There are four main types of bridges, these include are;
- Traditional/fixed bridges
- Cantilever bridge
- Maryland bridge
- implant-supported bridge
A fixed bridge/traditional bridge
Diagram: Showing the process of fitting a prosthetic dental fixed bridge over two prepared teeth on either side of a missing tooth.
A fixed bridge consists of two crowns are made for the teeth on each side of the gap, and a false tooth is anchored between them. This is a non-removable option.
A cantilever bridge is held in place by a dental crown and only requires one natural tooth next to the missing tooth gap to be placed.
Maryland bridges require a framework of metal or porcelain that is bonded onto the back of two natural teeth that are on either side of a gap caused by a missing tooth. Like a traditional bridge, it can only be used when you have a natural tooth on each side of the gap.
Implant-supported bridges surgically use dental implants instead of crowns or frameworks to replace every missing tooth. These implants hold the bridge in place.
The advantages of a bridge:
Bridges are comfortable and permanently bonded into place, allowing you to eat and speak normally. It will not irritate the gums like dentures can and is very easy to maintain and clean. Bridges can last a long time and can help preserve the original shape of your face.
The disadvantages of a bridge:
There are some drawbacks though. The healthy teeth adjacent to the missing tooth need to be ground down and capped or crowned. The capped teeth are weakened in the process, and often fail over time, creating more problems, such as, further decay, the need for root canal treatment or further tooth loss. Also, the bridge does not address the problem of bone loss. The bone in the area where the teeth are missing can continue to deteriorate, and eventually cause other problems. Cleaning under the bridge is also an issue, and the use of special flosses is required to clean this area effectively.
Crowns and Bridges Sunnybank Hills
Would you like to know more about our treatments for crowns and bridges? Give our friendly team at Aperture Dental Practice a call on (07) 3188 9477 to find out more. We are more than happy to assist you.
Frequently Asked Questions
In medicine, a prosthesis is an artificial fabricated device to replace a missing body part (i.e. a missing tooth). Think Robocop and his full body metal prosthesis. In a dental sense, a prosthesis can be a crown, denture, bridge (all of which can be supported by dental implants.)