Crown and bridgework can be used in cases where teeth have decayed or are missing, or where they are heavily discolored. Crowns are used to restore single teeth, whereas bridges are used to fill a gap where one or more teeth are missing. Crowns require the tooth in question to be ground down so there is sufficient space for the restoration to be constructed. Bridges will need the teeth either side of the gap to be ground down so that the bridge can be anchored in place.
Once the teeth have been prepared we will take an impression which will be sent to our dental laboratory along with your prescription. The laboratory will construct your restoration so that it can be tried in on your next visit. If the result is perfect then it can be cemented in place during this visit, but if it needs any alterations you may need an additional appointment.
The restorations can be made from a variety of materials including gold, porcelain bonded to gold, or they can be made from an all ceramic material.
Gold crowns and bridges
Back teeth may be replaced with gold crowns which are made from a hard wearing gold alloy. This is because the back teeth are used for grinding and chewing and can come under a lot of pressure. These types of restorations are so far back that they are barely noticeable and are extremely long-lasting. They are also good in areas where there is insufficient space for a porcelain crown. Some restorations use a combination of porcelain and gold crowns so that gold may be exposed on biting surfaces where the space is tight.
Porcelain fused to metal crowns and bridges
Crowns and bridges can also be made using a metal alloy substructure which is then covered with porcelain. The bond between the porcelain and metal alloy is very strong and the finished crown is extremely natural. We will select the perfect shade of porcelain so that the crown or bridge blends in naturally with your teeth. The porcelain teeth can even be individually stained to create a good aesthetic result.
All ceramic crowns and bridges
All ceramic crowns and bridges use the very latest technology to produce metal free restorations. They are either made from a ceramic material that is pressed using heat and vacuum pressure, or they are milled from an incredibly strong material called zirconia using CAD/CAM technology. Zirconia is highly biocompatible and has a variety of medical uses including artificial hip joints. It's also used in the braking systems of German sports cars and on the heat shields of the space shuttle. Both zirconia and pressable ceramics have the advantage of being highly translucent. This type of restoration looks lively and natural and is excellent for situations where esthetics are extremely important, such as the front teeth.