Nearly 70 percent of Australians over the age of 35 have lost teeth to decay, gum disease, or an accident. The gap where the tooth was can lead to a shift in the surrounding teeth, difficulty eating or speaking, and reduced self-confidence. Restoring the tooth can eliminate these issues, and one of the more common ways to restore missing teeth is to use dental bridges. Bridges were once made of porcelain with a sturdy metal core to withstand strong bite forces, but today people with missing teeth can choose porcelain bridges for a more natural look.
A crown is a tooth shaped covering, often called a cap, placed over the top of your own natural tooth to restore and protect it for both function and aesthetics. Crowns will greatly enhance the appearance of heavily filled, chipped, discoloured or irregularly shaped teeth or they may be used as a support for a bridge or to cover an implant.
Placing dental crowns may take an average of two visits: one to examine and prepare you for your new crowns and the second is to insert the crowns. Crowns may be made of several materials, but porcelain crowns tend to provide the best colour match to your natural teeth. Crowns can provide you with many years of service if they are properly maintained. Because the teeth beneath the crowns are still at risk of decay if exposed, it is necessary that you practice good oral hygiene habits. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss your teeth carefully, ensuring the area along the dental crowns and gum line is thoroughly cleaned of plaque and food particles.
How is a Crown Placed?
During your examination, our dentist will take x-rays and check to ensure your teeth are free of decay and infection. Your teeth will then be prepared for the dental crowns. If your teeth are whole, some of the structure may need to be removed to accommodate the size of the porcelain crowns. If your teeth have been broken or damaged due to decay, our dentist may need to restore them using filling material in order to provide sufficient support for the crowns.
Our dentist will then take impressions to make the crowns and to ensure they fit properly into your mouth. Temporary crowns will be placed to protect your teeth and allow you to get used to the sensation of wearing crowns until your permanent crowns are made. At your second visit, your permanent crowns will be cemented into place.
How is a Bridge Placed?
Placing a bridge may take between two and three appointments with our dentist. The first appointment usually involves a thorough cleaning and preparation of your teeth. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth, or abutment teeth, will be prepared for crowns. If you are receiving a Maryland Bridge, they may require less preparation to support the wings of the bridge.
Once your teeth have been prepared, our dentist will take impressions from which the crown and pontic, or replacement tooth, will be made. In the meantime, you will be fitted with temporary crowns to help you feel more comfortable with dental bridges and to protect your prepared teeth.
At your second visit, our dentist will remove your temporary bridges and adjust and place your new dental bridges. In order to ensure the fit and bite are accurate, our dentist may temporarily cement your new dental bridges for a few weeks. If the bite is correct and the porcelain bridges fit comfortably, our dentist will permanently cement your bridges, and you will have a beautiful, natural-looking new smile.