In life, it’s normal for a little wear and tear. A scratched pair of sunglasses, a ripped pair of pants or even an outdated iPhone are all things that we replace and rejuvenate every once in a while.
But what about the wear and tear of teeth? Over time, the enamel on our teeth wears away. And in some cases, it’s of no fault of our own. Drinking highly acidic beverages like coffee and cola, clenching our teeth over time, or even sporting injuries can change the shape and condition of our teeth. In fact, reports suggest that Australians aged 15 and over have an average of 12.8 decayed, missing or filled teeth in their lifetime.
That’s where restorative dentistry comes in. Restorative dentistry repairs teeth to their optimal health and function.
Our patients have many options to choose from when looking to revivify their perfect smile. However, the most common are crowns and bridges. Crowns and bridges are fixed prosthetic devices that, unlike removable dental appliances, are cemented to existing teeth, and can only be removed by a dentist.
But what exactly are crowns and bridges? What is the purpose of them, and how do they benefit you?
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a cap or covering for the tooth. Unlike the Crown Jewels, crowns are used to shield and fix a single tooth if it’s been discoloured, cracked or heavily filled over time. So despite the name, think of your crown as a protective helmet for your tooth.
We recommend crowns for patients because they offer long-term protection. And, by encasing a damaged tooth with a crown, you’re safeguarding it from further wear and restoring the look of your natural teeth for as long as possible. By fitting your damaged tooth with a crown, you’re delaying or preventing the need to extract the tooth due to severe damage.
Thanks to modern technology and expertise from our professional dentists, we can accurately design and produce dental restorations that match the shape and colour of your existing teeth in one single appointment, reducing post-operative pain and discomfort. These crowns come in a variety of materials to suit your preference and range from ceramic, porcelain, zirconia, resin, metal or even gold.
When do you need a dental crown?
- A fractured tooth: If your tooth is showing fine lines and cracks, you run the risk of a complete fracture. By fitting a crown on this tooth, you’re protecting the cusps from splitting apart.
- A severely discoloured tooth: If your tooth is severely discoloured, a crown may help past the point that it can’t be addressed with normal whiteners or veneers.
- To follow root canal treatment: If a tooth is root canal filled, they are weakened and prone to fractures. Fitting a crown over this tooth protects it from fractures and bacterial infections.
- To anchor a bridge: If you’re missing a tooth, you may need crowns on either side of a bridge to anchor the teeth over the missing tooth.
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge consists of a ceramic structure that spans the gap of missing or extracted teeth. As tooth loss occurs, people see noticeable changes to their chewing habits, their speech or their smile which can often impact negatively on their life.
Dental bridges, otherwise known as a fixed part prosthesis, are fused between two or more dental crowns on either side of a missing tooth to act as an anchor. When designed, the anchor teeth are shaped to accommodate the crowns to be bonded securely over the missing teeth.
By wearing a dental bridge, patients may find the issues they face with missing teeth alleviated, as the bridge maintains the natural shape of the tooth and lessens the stress of the bite.
Four types of tooth bridges
- Traditional tooth bridges: A traditional tooth bridge is the most popular kind of bridge and refers to a bridge that consists of one or more artificial teeth held in place by dental crowns.
- Cantilever bridges: Cantilever bridges refer to tooth bridges that are supported by an abutment on only one side, rather than both
- Implant-supported bridges: Implant-supported bridges are used for one or more missing teeth. However, instead of being supported by crowns, the bridges are supported by dental implants.
- Resin-bonded bridges: Resin-bonded tooth bridges refer to an artificial bridge that is held in place by a metal or porcelain framework. This frame is bonded to the back of the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth.
Modern technology and expert dentistry in Gosford
At Gosford Family Dentist, we want to see you smile. That’s why we offer every patient professional and comfortable dentistry in our newly renovated practice. Our patients can expect in-depth, on-site dental x-rays, computer-generated implant placement for same-day procedures, and ceiling mounted televisions with noise-cancelling headphones for maximum comfort and relaxation.
Whether you need crowns, bridges, ceramic work or just a general check-up – our team offer care and professionalism paired with the latest technology to make your dental experience an unmemorable pain-free one! Contact us today.