Crowns – As you get older, you may find that, like the rest of your body, your teeth are subject to wear and tear. Broken fillings, discoloured teeth, extensive decay and cracked teeth are just some of the issues that can lead to large scale problems, if left untreated. If the surface of the tooth is severely damaged, but the root system is still in tact, a crown may be the best solution to save the tooth.
A crown is commonly used in the restorative setting, as well as the cosmetic setting. Not only does a crown restore the structure of damaged, chipped and decayed teeth, it also cosmetically enhances the appearance of the tooth, by resurrecting a life-like tooth of natural colour, form and function.
Crowns are sometimes referred to as “caps”. However, many patients don’t realise that these “caps” are simply white fillings. Full crowns are usually made of full porcelain, porcelain fused to a metal inner layer, or full metal. Porcelain fused to metal crowns have been the “gold standard” for a number of years, however, full porcelain crowns are now becoming more popular, as technology improves. Full porcelain crowns have the ability to replicate natural tooth structure in form, function and appearance. It is best, however, to discuss with your dentist which material would be most suitable for you.
The crown or “cap” fits over a carefully prepared existing tooth. Single crowns are advised when a large portion of the tooth has been damaged by decay.
Bridges – In the case of a missing tooth, a bridge may be the right solution for you. A bridge is a custom device that is anchored to adjacent teeth that replaces one or more missing teeth. Losing a permanent tooth, whether it’s due to dental decay, gum disease or trauma, can cause serious issues to neighbouring teeth. The remaining teeth may begin to shift, due to altered forces which might cause further spacing. The surrounding teeth may also deteriorate faster, due to the increase in load on them. A bridge helps to replace the space, by re-distributing the biting load and stabilising the teeth again.
The replacement tooth (or teeth) and crowns are fabricated and placed in the mouth as one non-removable unit, called a fixed bridge.