Crowns and Bridges

What are Dental Crowns and Tooth Bridges? 
Both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices which are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by a dentist.

A crown is used to entirely or partially cover (on-lay) a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth and has a life like appearance. Other crown materials include gold and metal alloys, porcelain bonded to a metal shell and acrylic etc.

Your dentist may recommend a crown to: 
  Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining
  Protect a weak tooth from fracturing or has crack in it
  Restore a fractured tooth
  Cover a dental implant
  Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
  Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment

Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays are tooth-coloured porcelain fillings that are used to repair cavities when the damage is too extensive for a standard dental filling. Inlays and onlays are ideal when too much tooth enamel has been lost to use a standard dental filling, and are typically used for molars.

A bridge may be recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist can help you decide which to choose, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

How are Crowns and Bridges normally Made?  
Before either a crown or a bridge can be made, the tooth (or teeth) must be reduced in size so that the crown or bridge will fit over it properly. After reducing the tooth/teeth, your dentist will take an impression to provide an exact mold for the crown or bridge. If porcelain is to be used, your dentist will determine the correct shade for the crown or bridge to match the color of your existing teeth. Using this impression, a dental lab then makes your crown or bridge, in the material your dentist specifies. A temporary crown or bridge will be put in place to cover the prepared tooth while the permanent crown or bridge is being made. When the permanent crown or bridge is ready, the temporary crown or bridge is removed, and the new crown or bridge is cemented over your prepared tooth or teeth.

How CEREC Works? (Same day Crowns, Inlays, and Onlays)
Placing a dental crown, inlay or onlay normally requires more than one visit to the dentist. Using CEREC technology, our dentists can perform the entire procedure in one easy visit.  Using a highly accurate 3D scan of your tooth, the CEREC machine creates a virtual model of the tooth which is sent to an onsite milling unit to create your custom restoration, all while you are chairside. The crown, inlay or onlay is then cemented onto the tooth by your dentist, restoring your smile.

The Benefits of CEREC-

  • CEREC means fewer injections, less drilling, and less time out of your busy schedule for dentist appointments.
  • Just one appointment necessary
  • No messy impressions
  • No temporaries
  • Tooth-coloured, metal-free ceramic restorations
  • Retain more healthy tooth structure

How Long do Crowns and Bridges Last? 
While crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown or bridge is to practice good oral hygiene. A bridge/crown can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily. Also see your dentist and hygienist regularly for check-ups and professional cleaning. To prevent damage to your new crown or bridge, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects.

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