Crowns & bridges are fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or implants by a dentist or prosthodontist. Crowns are used most commonly to entirely cover or "cap" a damaged tooth or cover an implant. Bridges are commonly used to cover a space if you're missing one or more teeth.
You need a crown where a tooth has been badly damaged by decay, heavily restored by fillings, or when a tooth has been treated endodontically (root canal treatment). These teeth are almost always restored with an indirect restoration like a crown because they have lost a great deal of tooth structure from fracture, decay, or the drilling process.
The third reason a crown might need to be placed is that the tooth needs to be used as an abutment (anchor) for the bridge to replace missing teeth. Crowns are made from many different types of materials. If you have any known sensitivity to metals, please let us know prior to treatment. If you would prefer that no metals be used in the construction of the crowns, please let us know. We will discuss your options prior to the preparation of the tooth (or teeth).
Replacing missing front teeth can obviously improve the appearance of your smile. What most people don’t think about is what happens when a missing back tooth is not replaced. Replacing a back tooth will help you regain your normal ability to chew food and digest it properly. Each time you lose a tooth, you lose about 10% of your ability to chew. When a tooth is lost, the other teeth surrounding the space tend to move into the empty space. This contributes to an increased opportunity for decay and gum disease to begin, along with bite problems and a potential for other dental problems. Missing teeth should always be replaced-the sooner, the better.
Fixed bridges are one of the possibilities that exist for the replacement of one or more missing teeth. Other alternatives are dental implants, Maryland (bonded) bridges, partial coverage bridges, and removable partial prosthodontics.
Advantages of the fixed bridge include proven reliability and longevity. Disadvantages include cost, increased difficulty in proper cleaning by the patient, and occasionally, the necessity of preparing a tooth for an abutment (bridge support), which might not have been previously filled or even damaged.
As is true with your natural teeth and especially with teeth that have been restored with any dental material, you should avoid chewing on excessively hard or sticky foods after the crowns have been cemented. The porcelain material can fracture from the metal substructure under extreme forces. Anything you chew that could break a natural tooth could break a crown!
After observing these types of procedures for many years, we note that the gingiva (gums) can recede from the crown margins and the surrounding tooth structure may become visible.
If you have any questions about crowns & bridges, please feel free to ask us.
Suite 215, 10 Century Circuit
Norwest Business Park,
Baulkham Hills, NSW 2153
Tel: (02) 8850 4525
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Liverpool, NSW 2170
Tel: (02) 9602 7815
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Inside Emerald Medical Centre, Quakers Hill NSW 2763
Tel: (02) 9626 5553
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Wentworthville NSW 2145
Tel: (02) 9896 4949