Crowns and Bridges

What Are They?

Crowns are strong restorations made outside of your mouth which are then cemented into your mouth.

They are required to provide strength and function when more than around 75% of the tooth is filling, decayed or fractured or as an option for cosmetic dentistry to improve the shape and colour of a tooth.

What Are Crowns Made Of?

There are various types of material that can be used to make a crown. These include:

  • Porcelain.
  • Porcelain and metal.
  • Zirconia.
  • Gold.

The Process:

If you require a crown, the procedure usually involves taking a pre-crown x-ray to ensure the root of the tooth is healthy. The tooth may or may not have had a root canal treatment in the past. If a tooth has had root canal treatment, one of the most important factors that ensures long term success is having a good seal on the top of the root canal.

Crowns are ideal for this and they also hold the root canal treated tooth together, as often a lot of tooth structure is usually already missing if root canal was needed. Also during the process, the tooth is effectively ‘hollowed-out’ and the outside of the tooth can break if not restored properly.

  1. To have a crown fabricated you will usually require one appointment to shape the tooth and take an impression or mould.
  2. You will then usually have a temporary acrylic crown over the tooth for about two weeks.
  3. The next visit involves cementing the crown in place. Crowns are made outside of the mouth in a dental laboratory. Our crowns are usually either made on site with our Cerec milling machine or they are made in an Australian Laboratory.
We do not send any of our lab work overseas to be made in countries where the materials used can be questionable and do not have to adhere to Australian Standards.

If necessary and by prior arrangement, we can make the crown within a single day, using our Cerec machine. The crown is milled, glazed and fired in a kiln on site and then cemented later that day.

Bridges:

A bridge is also made outside of the mouth in the laboratory and is a structure cemented into the mouth and used to replace missing teeth. It consists usually of a crown either side of the missing tooth and then a ‘false’ tooth or pontic is joined to the two crowns, effectively ‘bridging the gap’.

The design can be modified depending on the situation and may only involve one tooth and one pontic. Your dentist will discuss all the options before you make a decision.

The appointments required for a bridge are the same as for a crown –  one appointment to prepare the teeth and take an impression and then one to insert the bridge about two weeks later.

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