Although healthy teeth are very strong, teeth can become chipped, broken or weakened by many things. These include large fillings, tooth decay, trauma, wear from grinding or root canals. In order to reinforce your tooth, a crown may be needed. A crown is like a helmet which fits over the remaining tooth structure and binds it together.
Crowns can be made in several different materials. They can be made in porcelain over a metal alloy, all ceramic or gold. There are advantages to all of the different materials, and we will discuss which material is most suitable in your situation.
A bridge is a dental restoration which replaces missing teeth, generally by crowning the teeth on either side of the gap with a bridge tooth in the middle. Unlike a denture, the bridge is cemented in place and will not come out when you are eating.
Veneers are different from crowns, as they only cover the front of the tooth. Veneers are used on the front teeth to improve the aesthetics of broken, misshapen, poorly coloured teeth, or close gaps between teeth.
Crowns, bridges and Veneers take two appointments to complete. In the first appointment, your dentist will prepare the tooth and take an impression to send to the laboratory. You will have a temporary resin restoration in place for approximately 2-3 weeks while your crown is being custom made. This appointment will generally take around 90 minutes. At the second appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is cemented in place. This appointment will generally take around 20-30 minutes.
Your new crown will not only improve the aesthetics and function of this tooth, it will also maintain the natural bite and prevent drifting and overeuption of adjacent teeth. The crown will increase the longevity of the tooth, and they can last up to 25 years with regular dental maintenance and excellent oral hygiene.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.