Crowns are a fixed restoration fitted to the remaining part of a prepared tooth or placed on a dental Implant. They are an ideal way to rebuild a damaged tooth. A crown is an artificial such, shaped to resemble a tooth and made from porcelain, porcelain bonded to a metal base or gold.
It is used to restore a tooth which has been heavily filled over a number of years resulting in it becoming weak and/or unsightly, or a tooth that has broken down to a level that a routine filling would not be successful.
Equally, crowns can be used to improve the appearance of front teeth that have become heavily worn down or damaged as a result of accident or decay.
As long as there is a healthy tooth root present, most teeth can be crowned.
Temporary crowns can be made in your dentist’s office whereas permanent crowns are made in a dental laboratory. Temporary crowns are made of acrylic and can be used as a temporary restoration until a permanent crown is constructed by the dental laboratory.
Metals used in crowns include gold alloy or a base-metal alloy. Compared with other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns, and tooth wear to opposing teeth is kept to a minimum.
Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down.
Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.
Porcelain bonded to metal crowns
Porcelain bonded to metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth. However, more wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this crown type compared with metal or resin crowns.
Next to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth.
All-ceramic (full porcelain) dental crowns provide the best natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies.
These two, very high quality materials are used by our laboratory technicians to create stunning natural smiles. E-Max crowns are made of lithium disilicate which is a glass ceramic. Zirconium crowns are made using zirconia, also a ceramic.
E-Max has the advantage of being more translucent than zirconium. Its translucency and light diffusion properties replicate the natural tooth structure achieving beautiful natural finishes. E-Max also has a higher edge strength which means that chipping is extremely rare. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and they wear down opposing teeth a little more than metal or resin crowns. E-Max crowns are a good choice for front teeth.
Bridges are a means of replacing missing teeth. They can only be used if other healthy teeth or roots are present to support them.
The teeth or roots on either side of the space in the mouth act like the main supports of a suspension bridge. Bonded onto them are the artificial replacements for the missing teeth thus ‘bridging’ the gap.
Bridges are made from either gold, or an alloy base for strength which can be overlaid with porcelain for aesthetics. The use of full porcelain bridges using zirconia is rapidly increasing.
The dentist prepares the teeth on one or both sides of the gap to form posts and then an impression is taken which is scat to a laboratory. In the laboratory, crowns are made to fit these posts and then further crowns are bonded onto them which will replace the missing teeth. The bridge is then finally cemented into place.