Crowns and bridges
Crowns and bridges are the most common restorative dental treatments.
They can be made of metal ceramics or all-ceramic material.
Crowns are the ideal way to rebuild a tooth that has broken or has been weakened through extensive decay. Crowns bond to the existing portion of the tooth, making it stronger and giving it a natural tooth shape and colour.
When to use a crown?
Where a tooth has fractured or is significantly damaged, a crown needs to be put in. Crowns can improve the existing tooth in terms of colour, shape and mechanical qualities.
- Where a tooth has become more discoloured than the rest a crown can improve its appearance
- Where only the root of a tooth is remaining it needs to be topped with a crown
- They are also used as supports for a bridge, or for stabilising or supporting dentures.
When to use a bridge?
Bridges are used when one or more teeth are missing. The toothless area is bridged over, the bridge providing teeth where they are missing and being fixed to the adjoining teeth. For a bridge to be a viable option there must be teeth either side of the gap where the teeth are missing, and the teeth which are to support the bridge must be sufficiently stable.
How a crown/bridge is made
- Preparing the teeth
- Taking an impression
- Temporary restoration (crown/bridge) put in
- Manufacture of final restoration
- Placement of final restoration
Dentures are made when a certain number of teeth – or all of them – are missing from the jaw.
Dentures facilitate chewing and speech and also maintain the natural facial appearance. Dentures are removable appliances, which the patient can remove and insert into his/her mouth at any time.
Where all the teeth are missing, a complete denture is made; if there is a partial loss of teeth a partial denture is called for.
The stability of the denture can be increased by bonding the denture to the teeth or to implants (known as combined dentures).
Combined dental prosthesis
Combined denture and bridge – advanced dental prosthetic technology
Combined dentures are comprised of two parts:
- a fixed part (a bridge)
- a removable part (skeletal denture)
Combined work is an option for patients who do not have enough natural teeth for a bridge to be made for them, or in the event that dental implants are not feasible.
A bridge is constructed on the existing teeth, with attachments on it for placing and stabilising the denture. Since the bridge is firmly attached to the teeth it is not removable, which significantly improves the stability of the denture.
The advantages of this type of prosthesis are:
- they take up a smaller area of the mouth, which means the patient gets used to them more quickly;
- their stability is comparable to fixed work (a bridge) which makes speech and chewing easier;
- the connection between the bridge and the denture can be concealed, which allows for excellent cosmetic results;
- lower cost in comparison with implants.
These dentures are built on a strong metal base, are smaller and are less intrusive in the mouth. Since the existing teeth are connected in a bridge they become more stable. The forces exerted during chewing are equally distributed over all the teeth (both the natural teeth and those in the denture), reducing load on the natural teeth and extending their lifetime.