Crowns and bridges are perfect for restoring strength and integrity to a damaged tooth.
Severely damaged or decayed teeth can negatively impact your overall dental structure. If left untreated, initial problems can lead to a myriad of issues including gum disease, tooth breakage, and even tooth loss.
Our teeth can become damaged for several reasons; through decay, trauma or disease. Also, as we become older, our teeth may become more brittle and have structural issues due to oral conditions such as tooth decay and bruxism (tooth grinding and clenching during sleep) which can cause chips and cracks. Used as an effective means of restoring damaged teeth, crowns and bridges can be a highly successful treatment.
Dental crowns (often referred to as ‘dental caps’ or ‘tooth caps’) cover and encase the affected tooth or teeth. They may be fitted to patients who have suffered from a tooth trauma or impact that resulted in chips or breakages.
A crown is one of the most effective options available when attempting to save a tooth which is in need of added strength and security. Made out of porcelain or gold fixtures, crowns aim to strengthen weakened or damaged teeth. The crown fits over the existing damaged tooth, replacing the full exterior, or natural crown.
Crowns are also used for aesthetic reasons when we need to change the shape or colour of a tooth.
Similar to a crown, a bridge is a prosthetic option for patients who have lost more than one tooth. It replaces the missing tooth or teeth by ‘bridging’ the gap with an artificial replacement composed of the same material as that of a crown. If you have lost one or more teeth, the two remaining teeth either side of the gap will be prepared for crowns that will anchor the bridge, which consists of one or more prosthetic teeth.
Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns and bridges are fitted specifically for your mouth. That means they can be sized, shaped and coloured to fit in with the rest of your mouth. A natural looking crown can blend in with the rest of your teeth, giving a complete appearance. Not to mention, the strength of the prosthetic means it can function nearly as well as a normal tooth.
- Metal alloys have been used for many years in the construction of crowns or fixed bridges. They provide excellent, strong, long-lasting service. May last for 20 years and more, gold or silver colour; moderate-to-high initial cost; may be used in any area where a metal display is not objectionable. Two major types of alloys are available:
- High Noble Metal (including gold, palladium, silver and platinum)
- Base Metal (including nickel, chrome and cobalt).
- Porcelain bonded to metal: The metal alloys mentioned above are used as a base which is then encased with ceramic porcelain to ensure a natural look. May last for 10-20 years; tooth-coloured; moderate-to-high initial cost; should only be used in any area where grinding habits are not present.
- Porcelain crowns – Pure porcelain crowns are now being used more extensively in aesthetic areas; however, anything over a three-unit bridge constructed from ceramic alone is not advisable. May last for 10-20 years; moderate-to-high initial cost; should only be used in any area where grinding habits are not present; used when aesthetics are important.
The type of crown your dentist recommends will depend on the tooth involved and sometimes on your preference. Depending on the size and placement of the crown required, composite crowns can be an option. No matter what option is right for you, the crown or bridge will be designed to complement your tooth’s natural colour and composition.
Dental Crowns and Bridges Melbourne
Depending on the situation, a bridge or a crown should last for approximately ten years, if the supporting teeth stay healthy. It is important though that you maintain regular dental check-ups over this time because if something starts going wrong with the crown it can more easily be corrected at an early stage. If you take care of your dental crowns and bridges properly, they can last many, many years.