A dental crown is a tooth shaped sleeve made of porcelain, metal, or a combination of both. The colour and shape are matched to your other teeth, and it is placed over an existing tooth to improve the shape, size, strength, or appearance of the damaged tooth. When they are cemented in place, they fully cover the portion of your tooth that is visible above your gum line.
Crowns are normally a good option when you have cracked or broken a tooth, worn it down by grinding, or to cover and support a tooth with a large filling (often a root canal treatment) and where your tooth is so severely discoloured that whitening or a veneer is not suitable.
A crown will require two visits to your dentist, about 2 weeks apart. At your first visit, your dentist will prepare your tooth, take impressions for the lab and fit a temporary crown to protect your tooth until your next visit. When you return the crown will be fitted and once you and your dentist are happy with the colour and fit, it will be cemented permanently into place.
Crowns do not require special care and they can provide a long-lasting solution for your teeth that should last between 10 -15 years if you follow an effective oral hygiene programme.
A dental bridge is a structure made of metal and porcelain that is attached to adjacent teeth. This is generally done by putting crowns on the teeth at either side of the gap and then joining the two crowns together by placing a false tooth in the gap. The pieces are cemented into place to provide a permanent structure.
There are several different types of bridges and your dentist can advise as to which one is most appropriate for you. The choice of bridge will depend on which teeth are missing and where they are in your mouth. A bridge is normally only viable if you have enough strong teeth surrounding the gap and where you have good bone support.
It is particularly important to thoroughly clean your bridge and under the false tooth every day to prevent gum disease and bad breath. Your dentist will show you how to use a bridge needle or special floss to clean any area that your normal toothbrush cannot reach.
If a bridge is not suitable for you, then we can offer you a consultation to discuss Implants, which are a long term, natural looking and feeling solution for missing teeth.