Missing teeth are common in adults and at Amazing Smiles we can fill these missing teeth with porcelain bridges.
Porcelain bridges are porcelain teeth made up to fill the gaps of missing teeth in the patients mouth. The missing teeth can be at the front or back teeth that can involve one or more teeth. However, the difficult part is how does the dentist anchor these artificial teeth without them falling out. There are a number of ways which the dentist can secure the unit and this is based on how much tooth structure on the adjacent teeth to take away, how many teeth and how long term to keep the structure.
A 3 unit porcelain bridge is the most common bridge which involves preparing the two adjacent tooth to a stump. On the day of visit the dentist will take an impression and make a temporary bridge. On the second visit, two weeks after, the patient comes back to have the permanent porcelain bridge cemented. The cost of a 3 unit porcelain bridge is around $3,400 (please note, as teeth are all unique in shape and requirements between patients prices may vary).
A Maryland Bridge is a simple porcelain bridge where the anchor teeth have very minimal preparation. There are metal wings at the back of teeth that are cemented into place. This conservative treatment cost around $1,900 (please note, as teeth are all unique in shape and requirements between patients prices may vary).
A crown is a covering that goes completely around a tooth. Usually made from pure porcelain the crown is fused to a metal substructure, often gold or from porcelain only.
Crowns are used to support a tooth and decrease it’s chances of fracturing. This is especially true when a tooth has been heavily filled or root filled and the remaining tooth is weak or there is not enough tooth structure left to hold in a filling. Crowns are also used for aesthetic reasons when we need to change the shape or colour of a tooth.
The length of time it takes to prepare a tooth for a crown depends on the difficulty of the situation. Usually a minimum of one hour is required in the dental chair. An impression (mould) is taken of the prepared tooth and sent to a Dental Technician who takes approximately two weeks to construct the crown. A temporary crown is made of plastic and is placed on the tooth for this time, so that you can eat properly and the tooth looks normal.
It takes approximately 30 minutes to cement in the new crown on the next visit.
Generally a crown will only fail if decay reaches the teeth around the crown OR the rest of the mouth changes, (such as teeth get darker, but crown stays the same).
If supported by healthy teeth, your crown should last for approximately ten years. Like always it is important you maintain regular dental check ups to catch potential problems early.
Building Crowns and Bridges
Dentists begin by shaping your tooth/teeth to receive the crown/bridge. Then the dentist takes an impression of the prepared teeth. This impression is used to manufacture the crown or bridge.
If we choose to have a dental laboratory manufacture your crown/bridge then a temporary crown or bridge will be put in place to cover the prepared teeth. When the permanent crown/bridge is ready, the dentist will remove the temporary restoration and cement the new device in place on top of the prepared teeth
New technologies have evolved and computers are increasingly becoming a part of manufacturing crowns and bridges. We are very fortunate at Amazing Smiles to have a special CAD/CAM machine known as a CEREC. The CEREC enables us to manufacture crowns and bridges on site. The CEREC eliminates the need for temporization as the crown/bridge can be prepared, manufactured and fitted all in one appointment.
When is a dental crown needed?
The most common reasons why a dentist may recommend a crown:
- Fixing a chipped, cracked or damaged tooth
- Support a weakened tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
- Support a dental bridge, which will fill an empty gap of a missing tooth
- Cover and protect a large filling of a fixed tooth from a dentist
- Cover a dental implant
- Improve the aesthetic shape of a tooth
- Fix a dead tooth, which are often identified by a blackened tooth
How Long Will My Crown/Bridge Last?
It is reasonable to expect crowns and bridges to last ten to fifteen years or more. Occasionally crowns and bridges come lose or fall out. To protect your crown or bridge you need to maintain good oral hygiene.
Healthy teeth and gums require brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day. Regular professional cleaning by your Dentist or Oral Health Therapist is essential. Failure to adequately maintain your teeth and gums puts your crowns and bridges at risk of becoming undermined by dental disease.
Are dental crowns covered by private health?
Dental crowns and bridges are often claimed under policies with “Extras” or “Hospital” cover. Since all private health packages and the amounts that they cover differ, it’s best to confirm with your provider prior to treatment. Most insurers consider crowns as “major” dental treatment. Major dental treatments often include services such as root canals, crowns, dentures and veneers.
If you’re seeking advice our team are happy to assist with any enquiries.
Is there a difference between a tooth cap and tooth crown?
No, both refer to the same method of dental treatment. That is, a ceramic artificial tooth that covers the entire tooth. A majority of dentists refer to the method of treatment as a dental crown.
Can tooth under crown decay?
Unfortunately, a natural tooth underneath a dental crown or bridge can still be effected by bacteria. Such bacteria can cause cavities or tooth decay due to the gradual build up of tartar and plaque.
As a result, after a crown or bridge has been administered by a dentist, it is essential to maintain good oral hygiene along with routine dental visits.
Decay could be unnoticeable or undetected underneath a crown or bridge, which is why regular x-rays upon check-up and cleans are vital.
To protect the underlying tooth between dental visits, it is important to;
- Floss once a day
- Regularly brush at least twice a day
- Use antiseptic mouthwash
If you’re currently experiencing pain underneath a crown, this unfortunately can indicate a sign of decay or infection.
The treatment of decay can generally be administered with a dental filling. Dentists will closely examine the current state of your crown to help identify how bacteria may have traveled through the crown and onto the natural tooth. Crowns may become damaged over time, fracture, or become loose, which can lead to bacteria being trapped and contribute towards damaging the underlying tooth.
In most severe cases, if left untreated, a patient may require root canal therapy to help treat the pulp of the toot. Otherwise in situations whereby the infection has traveled extensively throughout the tooth and is beyond saving, a tooth extraction may be necessary.
Are there disadvantages to having a crown or bridge?
Crowns and bridges can both drastically improve oral health and cosmetic issues of teeth. With good oral hygiene the average crown may last anywhere between 5-15 years. Please take into consideration dentists can not predict what you may consume, chew, and how your maintain your teeth during this period, which can influence the longevity of dental ceramics.
Like any other procedures, there may be a few disadvantages to a crown or bridge.
- A dentists has to file down and reshape the natural tooth, which will support the underlying crown.
- Similar to that of a natural tooth with enough pressure a crown may fracture or chip.
- For unforeseen reasons, the dental cement that holds a crown may deteriorate and soften over time. This may allow bacteria to build underneath the crown which can eventuate into cavities or decay.
- Some patients have found that they become more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures in foods.
What color crowns should I get?
Your cosmetic dentist will meticulously select which (shade) colour crown or bridge will match your natural teeth. It’s essential to match the ceramic to adjacent teeth so that, the crown or bridge is unnoticeable, particularly under varying light.
Dental ceramics made in Australia
At Amazing Smiles Dental all of our crowns are 100% Australian Made. Our clinics do not send any of our work to oversea laboratories.
We use local laboratories by Australian registered and qualified Dental Technicians. Our sourced laboratories use leading materials and the latest digital technologies to produce accurate fitting high quality work.
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