Crowns and Bridges
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Crownwork achieves much the same results as veneer work. It is employed in situations where veneers would be unsuitable. Preparation for a crown involves removing slightly more tooth.
Crowns are used to replace broken, damaged or severely decayed teeth. In the past, if you needed a dental crown you had only one option: a metal crown; usually made from gold. But, with advances in the strength and durability of ceramics, you now have a choice between traditional metal crowns; porcelain crowns fused to metal; porcelain onlays; or crowns made entirely from porcelain or reinforced resin.
In situations where there is a high amount of concern about appearance, a bonded all porcelain crown (metal-free) is the nicest restoration. For the front teeth, the advantage is its natural, lifelike translucency and not having to deal with the possibility of the potentially unsightly dark line at the gum line of the tooth. For back teeth, the advantage of a porcelain crown or onlay is the conservation of healthy tooth structure and kindness to the gums. For teeth that are toward the back but that still show when you smile, a porcelain fused to metal crown is a good choice. Because it isn’t in such a prominent position, it usually looks very natural, and although it’s not indestructible, it’s strong enough to resist the heaviest biting stresses.
Bridges are fixed restorations that replace one or more missing teeth. If missing teeth are not replaced the adjacent teeth can tilt into the space, opposing teeth can over-erupt and you may have trouble chewing.
To fit a bridge, the two teeth on either side of the missing tooth are ground down and fitted with crowns. These two crowns support a third crown, fitted in the centre, to bridge the gap left by the missing tooth.
Types of Bridges
1. All porcelain.
As the name suggests these bridges are made from a new Porcelain material which is cast from molten porcelain. They are then built up to completely recreate your missing tooth/teeth. They are usually provided at the front where aesthetics are of prime concern and where biting forces are somewhat less.
2. Adhesive Bridges
Adhesive bridges as the name suggests are bonded to adjacent teeth. They are more conservative when compared to other bridge types since they usually don’t involve the drilling of adjacent teeth. They can be made of all porcelain, porcelain bonded to metal or composite resin.
3. Porcelain Bonded Bridges
Porcelain Bonded bridges are made from porcelain which is fused to a precious metal core. The metal core provides additional strength and is usually prescribed at the back of the mouth where biting forces are higher and aesthetics are not of prime concern. They involve the preparation of the adjacent teeth.