Crowns & Bridge

Crowns & Bridge

When teeth are heavily decayed they may be too weak to survive with just a filling. By placing a crown, a tooth may be given a new lease of life. Even when a single tooth is lost a denture may not be required as a bridge can be made which spans the gap with a tooth attached to those next to the space. Sometimes when a single small tooth is lost at the front of the mouth a simple bridge can be made which has ‘wings’ that are glued to the back of the adjacent teeth. This results in less tooth being damaged by the drill.

When a tooth is heavily decayed it is more likely to fracture and lose considerable tooth substance. The greater risk is that a fracture line may go below the margin of the gum which makes restoration more difficult or near impossible. Crowns may be made from several different materials, gold and porcelain being the most common types.

 

Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM) Crowns:

Porcelain fused to metal crowns are more affordable than all ceramic crowns. Even though they are not as aesthetic as porcelain crowns they are still a good candidate for back teeth restoration. Read this article to find out what the advantages and disadvantages of PFM crowns are.

Porcelain fused to metal crowns (or PFM crowns) can be referred to as full-cast crowns which has porcelain fused on most or all parts of the tooth. They are a hybrid between porcelain and metal crowns. The entire crown has a metal layer underlying and porcelain / ceramic on top of it.

The metal framework is thin, strong, and perfectly fits the prepared teeth. It’s a combination of different types of alloys which are designed such that they bond very well with the porcelain. Metal alloys with a high melting temperature are used to fuse porcelain to the surface and preventing the metal from melting. This ensures the porcelain to bond without changing its color.

Metal Free Ceramic Crowns ( with 5, 10, 15 Yrs of Warranty)

Metal-free crowns and metal-free ceramics represent the type of highly aesthetic restorations completely made of ceramics. They can imitate natural characteristics of teeth and leak the light as a natural tooth.  Metal-free ceramic crowns ideally fit into a dental canal, espacially in cases where not all teeth are restored, but only some of them and they can not be distinguished. They are made of bio-compatible materials, which means they do not cause any reactions of surrounding tissue, but enable shaping of gingiva just like around natural teeth. They represent a combination of high quality and durability of restorations.

Mechanical characteristics of metal-free ceramics are similar to metal-free crowns, but benefits are far better.

Metal-ceramic crowns have a metal alloy inside,  to which ceramic is applied outside for aesthetic reasons. Thus, there is possibility of appearance of grey edge in the shape of crescent on metal-ceramic crowns at the turn of the tooth, when in time gums begin to withdraw. This can not happen on metal-free ceramic crowns because the interior itself of the crown is in tooth colour, so by withdrawal of gums the aesthetic effect will not be affected.

Bridge –

A bridge allows the dentist to replace lost teeth without the use of a denture or dental implant. Basically a false tooth is held in place by being attached to a tooth next door. The disadvantage is that the teeth next to the space have to be prepared in a similiar way to a crown in order to accept the bridge. If these teeth already have crowns or big restorations then this is not a problem, the major concern however is when these teeth have small or no restorations (fillings). One compromise is the ‘acid etched bridge’, with this type a fine ledge is placed on the back of the adjacent teeth

One disadvantage of a bridge is that the patient should wait three months before placement as the ‘gum’ shrinks’ after a tooth is extracted. If the bridge was fitted early a gap would appear underneath the pontic (the false tooth). At the back of the mouth this may not be a problem, at the front of the mouth however this may appear as a black line along the gum.

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