Restoring broken down or missing dentition with conventional crown & bridge work has been the mainstay of dentistry for many years. Newer designs can now utilise adhesive technology, proven to create the same effect with less tooth preparation so that we can conserve our precious commodity, the tooth.

With many broken down and worn teeth it is possible to restore the teeth with crowns and bridges in a coordinated way to create a strong, healthy, good-looking set of teeth and to also reduce the likelihood of future problems – and therefore reduce the likely need for new treatment.


What is a crown?

dental crownA crown is a new outer shell that is placed over a tooth and held in place by cement. They can either completely or partial wrap around the tooth. When a tooth is very broken down it is no longer strong enough to withstand normal biting forces. The benefits of a crown are that it reinforces the tooth and can also be made into any shape or colour we want it to be. This gives the double benefit of saving the tooth from eventual loss and making it look as ‘good as new’.

Crowns are used for several reasons:

  • as a protective restoration for heavily filled teeth to minimise risk of breakages
  • as a permanent restoration for root treated teeth to provide a bacterial seal
  • to improve the shape (biting surfaces, outer contour) and colour (lighten or darken)
  • to correct minor problems in natural teeth like spacing and irregular shape

“Crowns offer a robust restoration to help reinforce and protect the remaining tooth tissue”

What are crowns made from?

It is the skill and experience of the specialist prosthodontist which will allow selection of the correct materials to fabricate a predictable long term restoration that meets your requirements.

Crowns can be made from a variety of materials: ceramic, acrylic and metal alloys, which are hand picked to determine the optimum material choice for each individual patient. The correct material depends on the tooth position and size, the bite, desired final appearance, strength required and your preference. Commonly a combination of metal and ceramic is used to maximise the strength and simulate the appearance of natural teeth.

How are crowns made?

Preparation – The suitability for crowns is assessed and any preparatory work is carried out.  The tooth is usually receives a new foundation filling and is then shaped (under local anaesthesia +- conscious sedation) followed by making a mould of the prepared tooth. The shaping of the tooth is required to create space for the crown to be fitted. A temporary crown is made and fitted onto the prepared tooth. Akit will advise on material choices, treatment sequence and any other concerns you may have.

dental labManufacturing – The crowns are custom made in the laboratory either by master technicians and/or computer driven milling or pressing techniques using extreme precision to create an outstanding, functional, aesthetic and hygienic restoration.

Fit – The temporary crown is removed and the tooth surfaces cleaned. The completed crown is tried and checked for its fit, harmonisation with the bite, and its appearance. Finally, the crown is cemented onto the prepared tooth with dental cement.

dental labMaintenance – They do not require any more special attention than natural teeth. Crowns are made of inert materials that do not deteriorate over time. However, these are artificial surfaces which can wear and the underlying tooth is still prone to decay and gum disease. Optimum hygiene is essential for maintaining good oral health and increases the life span of the complete restoration and therefore you may have to visit the hygienist regularly for cleaning maintenance.



What is a bridge?

bridgeWhen teeth are missing and those either side of the space are healthy, with well supported foundations, then replacement with fixed bridgework is possible, the procedures are effectively an extension of those used for single crowns. In situations when the supporting teeth have no fillings then it can be possible to fabricate a bonded bridgework which uses predictable adhesive chemistry with little or no preparation being required.

The replacement tooth can be supported by one (cantilever bridge) or two teeth. A bridge can provide a long-lasting and secure way to replace missing teeth, as an alternative to traditional removable prosthesis (dentures) or modern implant treatment.

Bridges are used for several reasons:

  • to replace missing tooth or teeth for appearance or function
  • to prevent unwarranted movement of remaining teeth into the spaces
  • as a protective restoration for the supporting tooth or teeth to minimise risk of breakages
  • as a permanent restoration for root treated teeth to provide a bacterial seal
  • to improve the shape (biting surfaces, outer contour) and colour (lighten or darken)
  • to retain tooth positions after orthodontic (tooth movement) treatment

“Achieving a natural-looking smile after tooth loss is possible using traditional bridgework or more modern methods.”

What are bridges made from?

Bridges are usually made using metal alloys with porcelain bonded to the base. Adhesive bridges are made from non-precious metal alloys for strength and adhesive capability.

How are bridges made?

dental labdental labThe critical factor to successful long-term bridgework, as with all restorative dentistry is an accurate diagnosis and planning prior to treatment being carried out. Akit will advise you whether a bridge or another replacement solution is the best solution for you.

Attention to detail by both the prosthodontist and technologist, during the operative and manufacturing procedures is paramount for precisely fitting bridgework.

Preparation, manufacturing, fit and maintenance sequence is the same as for crown work.

If you would like to see clinical cases of crowns and bridges, please view the gallery.

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