The outermost layer of the tooth is called enamel and it is the hardest part of human body. Although teeth are strong; trauma, caries and extensive dental work (such as large fillings and root canals) can chip or break them. Teeth also tend to wear down with time. Crowns (caps) are an ideal option to restore and save broken teeth and strengthen them. The crown fits over the prepared existing tooth and replaces the natural structure and function.
Bridges replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of an artificial tooth anchored to adjacent natural teeth. A bridge is one of the options to replace a missing tooth. You can also discuss about dentures and implants with us to replace missing teeth.
Crowns and bridges are often made of porcelain or metal alloys. Metal alloys are used for their strength, hardness and durability. Metal options are best suited for molars that are exposed to grinding, crushing and biting forces. Allergic reactions to gold are rare as they are bio-compatible and well tolerated.
Porcelain fused to Metal (PFM) crowns have a layer of ceramic veneers on a metal crown. PFM’s can be thought of as a hybrid between the two other types of dental crowns, in the sense that they’re made out of both metal and porcelain materiels. A metal alloy is used to create a thin thimble-like cap that fits over the tooth. Porcelain is then fused to this metal substructure to form the overall shape of the crown and give it a white, natural-looking appearance.
The metal substructure of a PFM crown gives it greater strength than an all-ceramic crown. PFM’s have a long durable life of at least ten years , they can last for life. The porcelain surface of a PFM crown may cause significant wear on the teeth (or dental restorations) that bite against it. People who have a significant tooth-grinding habit are especially at risk.
Porcelain portion of a PFM crown may fracture or separate from its underlying metal substructure, although it’s relatively rare. Need for replacement of a fractured crown will depend on the magnitude and location of the loss and how much it compromises the crown’s function and appearance. In some cases, repair may be a considerable option. However, over the long term the failure rate of these types of patches are typically high.
Most dentists would likely agree that natural-looking results are better achieved with an all-ceramic crown as compared to a porcelain-fused-to-metal one. All-ceramic crowns have a greater portion of the crown’s total thickness made of translucent porcelain core instead of metal that gives them a natural-looking lustre. In comparison, with a PFM the grey colour of its metal substructure must be masked by placing a layer of very opaque (chalky-white) porcelain over it. Having to do so reduces the total thickness of translucent porcelain. The metal core may also show a dark line along the margin in some cases. Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns require a greater amount of reduction (tooth trimming) than their all-metal counterparts.
Based on our experiences, we can discuss different crown options that best suit you.
All Ceramic crowns, as their name implies, are fabricated entirely of glass-like ceramic material. The single biggest advantage of all-ceramic crowns, as compared to PFM is that their superior aesthetics give a more life-like appearance. As there is no metal sub-structure, there is no problems of dark lines around the crown margins. Glass core eliminates the need for an opaque metal-masking layer giving All-Ceramic crowns a very high cosmetic value.
Modern ceramics have been developed by companies using newer processes and materials. Zirconia crowns offer great strengths while maintaining the aesthetic value. They are also bio-compatible with minimal to no allergic reactions.
All Ceramic crowns last for at least 10-15 years. No type of crown offers more advantages in terms of longevity and durability than an all-metal one. All Ceramic crowns have an acceptable strength, hardness and resistance to fracture making them a good choice, or even the best choice for most cases.
All general dentists are qualified to fit crowns and bridges. Based on your clinical examination, X-rays and requirements, we discuss options best for you. Should you need a crown/bridge, all pros and cons would be discussed and consent will be taken. You require at least two appointments to complete the procedure.
On your first visit, the tooth of interest is anaesthetised and is given a definite shape by selectively grinding it. After shaping, the tooth is then scanned with our latest state-of-the-art 3D digital scanner. In some cases, an impression is made with a special jaw-shaped tray filled with a gel-like material pushed onto the tooth and held in place to set for 3-5 minutes. To protect your tooth, a temporary crown is fabricated chair-side and glued with a temporary cement. The scan or impression is sent to a modern Australian dental lab for fabrication.
At the second appointment, the temporary crown is removed. The new custom made crown is tried in the mouth for fit, shape, colour and feel. Once both of us are happy with the crown, it is seated on the prepared tooth with a permanent dental cement. Dental cement usually sets within an hour and attains maximum strength by 24 hours.
The tooth/teeth can be a little sensitive for a few days after treatment and settles within 7-10 days. Should you have any symptoms with the crown, please feel free to contact us immediately.
Preparation of a bridge is similar to that of a crown. The teeth on either side of the gap is shaped parallel to each other. These teeth are fitted with crowns that serve as anchors for replacement teeth, which is attached to framework of adjacent crowns. The whole assembly is cemented firmly in place.
Crowns and Bridges should last for many years. However, there is no life time guarantee. Good oral hygiene and oral health determines the longevity of the work.
Regular dental check-ups are advisable. Crowns and bridges require regular flossing and brushing, with extra attention around margins, where decay is more likely to develop. We will educate you on hygiene maintenance at your appointment.
Health Precinct has invested in modern technology with an aim to the best possible dental service to you. TRIOS 3 Shape colour scanner createsaccurate 3D digital impressions of your teeth to aid us in fabricating precise fitting crowns, bridges or occlusal splints and orthodontic appliances.
The scanner creates a high quality digital colour impressions to help our technician incorporate micro-cosmetic characters to your custom made work. The scanner also measures teeth shades while scanning for an accurate and predictable result.
It also works as an educational tool to illustrate your dental condition and treatment.