Today, how you look is more a matter of choice than genes, and it is no different when considering your choice of smile.
We all want healthy teeth and gums, fresh breath and the confidence and comfort to choose whatever we would like to eat. But we also want to smile freely, with poise and the assurance that our smile does what it is meant to do: to present and represent us and to be an attractive and welcoming feature.
With good planning we are now able to determine the very best cosmetic dentistry solutions, show you the potential results and allow you to choose your ideal smile. You can discuss what you don’t like about your teeth, learn about your options and receive an accurate quote for the treatment involved.
The smile you deserve is only a call away.
A crown is a restoration that is placed over a damaged tooth to restore it to its natural colour, shape and strength. Crowns are typically used to cover a heavily filled, decayed or broken tooth as well as to provide strength after a root canal treatment.
For many years, traditional metal-based crowns have been used to strengthen or rebuild teeth. Today, porcelain crowns and pressed ceramic crowns, such as IPS e-max crowns, are now an effective, aesthetically pleasing option which are completely metal-free. They are made to match the exact colour, texture and translucency of your natural teeth. e-max crowns have improved strength due to the way they are constructed in the laboratory. They are pressed to full contour with no layering providing maximum strength with no weak spots or risk of porcelain fracture. Plus the fitting surface of the crown is etched and bonded to the prepared tooth, which has the effect of making the tooth and crown combine into one structure, leaving a very low risk of fracture.
If you are missing one or more teeth a bridge is a permanent solution which will look and feel just like your natural teeth. Unlike dentures, a bridge is not removable, giving you increased support and stability within the mouth.
Bridges are natural-looking artificial teeth that can replace a section of missing teeth. This treatment crowns the two teeth either side of the ‘missing teeth’ and false teeth are fixed to them, therefore ‘bridging the gap’.
Because they are custom-made, bridges are barely noticeable and can restore the natural contour of teeth as well as the proper bite relationship between upper and lower teeth. It is important to replace missing teeth to prevent stress on other teeth and the shifting of adjacent teeth.
Bridges are usually made of a precious metal. If the bridge will show, porcelain is then bonded to the base. Sometimes, there are other non-precious metals used in the base for strength.
Are crowns and bridges expensive?
Although a crown or bridge may initially seem costly, they can be a wise investment that will give many years of good service. It will also improve your appearance and bite. Crowns and bridges use the considerable skill of the dentist and technician, and in this way, it’s similar to ordering a piece of hand-made jewellery.
How are crowns and bridges made?
Firstly, a thorough clinical examination is conducted with radiographs by your dentist. The suitability for crowns is assessed and any preparatory work is carried out. Your dentist will also be able to advise on material choices, treatment sequence and any other concerns you may have.
At the second appointment, the teeth to be crowned are prepared. This involves reduction of the tooth size (usually under local anaesthesia) followed by an impression or mould of the prepared tooth. This trimming of the tooth is required to create space for the crown to be fitted. The mould taken is then sent to a laboratory where skilled technicians will fabricate the crown. In the meantime, a temporary crown is made and fitted onto the trimmed tooth.
At the third appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the tooth surfaces cleaned. The completed crown is tried on the tooth for fit, harmony with the bite, and appearance. Finally, the crown is cemented onto the prepared tooth with dental cement.
How long do crowns and bridges last?
Crowns are made of inert materials that do not deteriorate over time. However, the underlying tooth is still prone to decay and gum disease. Ceramic on the surface is prone to chip or fracture so avoid chewing excessively hard substances like ice or bones. Daily brushing and flossing are essential for maintaining good oral health as well as keeping the crown trouble-free. The most vulnerable portion of the crown is the margin or the junction between tooth and crown. Regular check-ups will enable your dentist to detect any problems with your crown and recommend necessary treatment.
How do I look after my crown or bridge?
You need to clean your crown and bridge every day, to prevent problems such as bad breath and gum disease. Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to clean around the bridge.
An inlay is a solid restoration which can be used to fill a cavity. It is a suitable alternative when it is no longer possible to fit a standard filling because of significant decay or damage in the tooth.
Inlays are most commonly used on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where they help to restore strength and function. Once fitted a porcelain inlay will blend in beautifully as if it was always there. It is placed directly onto the surface of the tooth, fitting within the confines of your other teeth so that it feels comfortable and natural.
Although more expensive, inlays are more hard-wearing than standard fillings. They can withstand larger forces, and because they are very precise in their manufacture, they fit the tooth perfectly, making them easier to clean and helping to protect the tooth and gums from decay.
Inlays can actually help to increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75%, making them a successful, cost-effective and long-term solution. Often an inlay doesn’t just help to prolong the life of a decayed tooth – it can prevent the need for further treatment in the future.
Gold inlays have been used for many years and have proved very reliable and hard-wearing. Newer types of porcelain inlays now offer patients the option of a more natural finish whilst retaining the strength and durability of gold. When properly maintained and looked after correctly a porcelain inlay can last for over 20 years. Porcelain inlays can be made in just one visit with our CAD/CAM CEREC inlay equipment.
Most people have fillings of one sort or another, but today, because we are much more conscious of our smile, we can choose a natural looking alternative – the composite or tooth-coloured filling.
The main advantage of composite fillings is their aesthetic appeal. Composite fillings are strong, but may not be as hard wearing as amalgam fillings. Composite fillings are tooth coloured and are made from powdered glass quartz, silica or other ceramic particles added to a resin base. After the tooth is prepared, the filling is bonded onto the area and a light shone onto it to set it. The dentist will choose a shade to match your own teeth, although over time staining can happen.