Crowns and Bridges
Crowns and bridges are used to restore your smile after you have lost or damaged one or more teeth. Once placed a crown or bridge will fully cover the original tooth providing a natural and appealing appearance. Crowns and bridges can be made from a number of materials including ceramic, resin or gold. You dentist will advise the best option during your initial consultation.
Crowns are a cap that is place over a tooth to help strengthen it, act as a replacement tooth for a dental implant, or improve its appearance. The crown is matched to the existing teeth and covers the entire tooth above the gum line, allowing it to blend in seamlessly. A crown is used for a number of reasons including;
- Strengthen a tooth after a large filling or root canal
- Protect a weak tooth
- Restore a broken tooth
- Cover a discoloured or misshapen tooth
- Cover a dental implant
A bridge is similar to a crown except that it is used to replace one or more missing teeth. A bridge consists of two crowns that are joined together by an artificial tooth. This then covers the area of the missing tooth which not only improves the appearance of the smile and daily functions like talking and eating but also helps to stop teeth from shifting.
How are crowns and bridges placed?
Placing a crown or bridge will normally be done over two appointments. During your first appointment your tooth will need to be prepared. Your dentist will anesthetise the area to help prevent any pain. Once numb, the relevant tooth will be reshaped to make room for the crown to sit comfortably. The amount of tooth that will need to be removed will depend on the size of the existing tooth as well as the type of crown material to be used.
Once complete, the dentist will take an impression which will be used to create the crown. The impression will be send to a dental laboratory, where they will fabricate the crown. This normally takes up to two weeks. In the meantime a temporary crown will be fitted to help protect the existing tooth.
When the crown is ready you will return for your second appointment. During this appointment the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent crown will be bonded to the existing tooth. However before it is bonded you dentist will inspect it to make sure that the shape and colour are correct and that it fits properly.
The process of fitting a bridge is very similar to that of a crown except that two teeth (those either side of the gap) will need to be prepared.
What is the lifespan of a crown?
Like with all dental treatment the lifespan of a crown will vary from person to person but for most they should last between 5 – 15 years. The longevity of a crown will depending on a number of factors including dental hygiene and habits. As a crown is often covering an existing tooth it is important to maintain good oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing daily. This will help keep the tooth and gums free of bacteria and plaque. Limiting unhealthy, sugary foods will also help increase the lifespan of a crown. It is also best to avoid bad habits like chewing on pen lids and crunching on ice as this can cause the crown to crack.
At Freshwater Dental our qualified dentists can help restore your smile with a dental crown. If you would like to find out more please call reception on 02 9905 2022.