Dental Crowns and Bridges
At Corinna Dental we take pride in our beautifully made porcelain crowns for both front and back teeth.
Our dentists know that all patients have different crown requirements, so they will discuss your situation with you and make recommendations to you about the type of crown that best suits your needs.
Read on to learn more about Dental Crowns.
Click here if you want to learn more about CEREC crowns, which can usually be designed and fitted in a single appointment.
What is a Dental Crown
To restore a badly-damaged tooth, your dentist will generally place a crown on it. You can think of a crown as a snug-fitting cap, that covers, reinforces and protects the underlying tooth structure. It is cemented or bonded in place over the tooth stub with a strong cement or glue. Crowns are designed to be the size and shape as a regular tooth, and so keeping a crown clean requires thorough and regular brushing and flossing.
Why do some teeth need a Dental Crown?
Sometimes a tooth gets so badly damaged, either by decay or fracture, that a filling can no longer be used to restore the tooth to its full, normal function. A back tooth damaged to this extent will need a full protective crown made of a strong material to protect it from further damage. A very badly-damaged front tooth needs reinforcement for biting, but may also benefit from a cosmetic restoration to blend in with the natural teeth.
A brief history of crowns
Crowns used to be made exclusively of metal alloys, generally gold alloys. A technique was later developed to add tooth-coloured porcelain to the front of a metal crown, giving people a cosmetic option for teeth visible at the front of the mouth. While these looked much better than a gold crown, the porcelain often looked dull and grey because of the metal underneath.
Modern Dental Crowns: Full Porcelain
Modern crowns on front and back teeth can be made completely of porcelain. A porcelain crown can be fully customised to the colour of your natural teeth (or even to your desired lighter teeth colour if crowns are part of a smile enhancement or makeover). Because porcelain is translucent like natural tooth enamel, the porcelain crowns look more natural than other materials. The porcelain crown is bonded to the teeth, and the final restoration is strong and functional.
How many appointments are needed?
Once the need for a crown has been diagnosed, generally two appointments are required. During the first appointment a thin layer of the existing tooth is removed to allow room for the crown. An impression of the trimmed tooth is then made and you will leave the appointment with a temporary crown in place. Our dental technician will then use the impression to create your new, custom-made crown and you will be notified once this is completed. At the second appointment, usually 1 – 2 weeks later, the temporary crown is removed, and the new crown is bonded into place.
How long do crowns last?
A crown is considered to be a ‘long-term restoration’. Many crowns last for decades. However, a crowned tooth that is not kept properly clean can still develop decay at the interface where the natural tooth meets the crown, and this decay can undermine the crown and cause it to fail. At Corinna Dental we monitor all crowns carefully at your regular check-up appointment, to help to prevent this from ever happening.
Like natural teeth, crowns can chip and fracture. This may happen if you bite down on something too hard, or may occur if you clench or grind your teeth, particularly at night. While occasionally a damaged crown can be repaired, most damaged crowns will need to be removed and replaced.
A bridge may be a good solution for you if you are missing a tooth, either at the front or at the back of your mouth.
Your other options to replace a missing tooth or teeth may be:
A dental bridge is a restoration that essentially uses crowned teeth on either side of a space to suspend another crown in the space. Once the bridge is built the two outer crowns are cemented onto the existing teeth. It is a very strong and durable restoration. However, cleaning beneath a bridge can be tricky. Our wonderful team of hygienists will show you exactly how to manage this, so that the teeth under the bridge remain strong and decay-free.