CROWN & BRIDGES

OVERVIEW

WHAT IS A CROWN?

A crown is a cap that covers over and protects the whole tooth, restoring the tooth to the original shape, while sealing the tooth and protecting it from further damage.

WHY DO A TOOTH NEEDS TO BE CROWNED?

The following are typical reasons for doing a crown:

When a tooth is badly broken down, a normal filling may not be strong enough for chewing.

The tooth had root canal treatment done previously.

To improve the appearance and/or contour of a tooth that is discoloured, mis-shaped or out of alignment.

The tooth is under heavy chewing force, has cracked, or needs protection from wear and tear.

HOW IS A CROWN DONE?

Your dentist will do a thorough examination and diagnosis to determine if a crown is needed. The tooth is trimmed to make space for the crown and moulds are taken for the crown to be custom made in a dental laboratory.

When the crown is ready, it is firmly cemented over the tooth.

HOW IS A CAD/CAM CROWN?

CAD CAM (Computer-aided design and manufacturing) crowns use the latest CAD CAM technology to scan the tooth and mill the crown on the same day. So you can get an accurately made crown within a few hours. You do not need to wear a temporary crown or to return for another appointment for fitting. For more information on CAD CAM crown, please visit http://www.qandm.com.sg/Q&M-Dental-Group-Singapore-Services-CAD-CAM-Dentistry

WHAT IS A BRIDGE?

A Bridge is a special dental restoration for replacing missing teeth using crowns on the adjacent teeth. The teeth at the side of the missing area are trimmed and the bridge is cemented permanently to replace the missing teeth. Compared to other methods of replacing missing teeth, the bridge is significantly more comfortable than a denture and is cheaper than a dental implant.

WHAT ARE CROWNS AND BRIDGES MADE OF?

They can be made of full ceramic, full metal or a combination of porcelain and metal. For the metal portion, there are also various options available depending on the amount of gold content of the alloy. Newer material such as zirconia, that is whitish or tooth-coloured, has improved strength over other tooth-coloured materials. The material will perform well when they are used for the right indications. For example, gold or zirconia is usually used for the posterior teeth whereas more translucent full ceramic material is preferred for the front teeth. The price of the crown is also dependent on the material used. Crowns and bridges can last for a long time if they are well maintained.

HOW TO LOOK AFTER CROWNS AND BRIDGES?

It is important to keep the gums around the crown or bridge healthy, so proper brushing and flossing is essential. Do be careful of using the crown or bridge to bite on extremely hard items like bones or crabs otherwise there is a risk of chipping the porcelain portion. Do also go for your regular check-ups every 6 months for the dentist to check the crown or bridge.

I HAVE SOME OLD CROWNS THAT APPEAR DARK AFTER SOME TIME IN MY MOUTH. IS THERE A PROBLEM WITH THE CROWN? SHOULD I BE REPLACING THESE DARK CROWNS?

Old crown with metal supporting structure may cast a shadow through the tooth to give a dark line, especially if the gum has shrunk away from the tooth through time. Decay underneath the crown may also give rise to a black cavity. It is advisable to visit a dentist to investigate if the crown is still fitting well. Further x-ray investigation may be required.

If the crowns are defective after all the tests, replacements are required.

I HAVE MANY MISSING TEETH THAT I WOULD LIKE TO REPLACE, BUT I WOULD NOT WANT TO WEAR DENTURES. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

Besides conventional removable dentures, you can consider fixed prosthesis such as crowns and bridges, or implant supported crowns, bridges or dentures.

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