These are shells that completely cover a tooth. They can be made from metal alloys bonded to Porcelain or metal free crowns composed of lithium disilicate, alumina or zirconia bonded to porcelain. They are all strong materials but again need to be prescribed according to the situation.
Their strength is another advantage especially for cracked or root filled teeth. Many people have root filled teeth that have large amalgam fillings over the top of them. However, research now shows that these teeth may fracture and require removal. This is because the structure is considerably weaker once a root filling and large filling are placed. A crown can prevent the early loss of such a tooth.
Usually crowns require two appointments. One to prepare the tooth, select a shade, and take moulds. The next to fit the crown. We also have the capability to make crowns in one visit. These are Cerec crowns. This term describes a type of porcelain crown,inlay or onlay that can be prepared and fitted in one visit. Traditionally these take 2 or more visits to provide, as they are fabricated in a laboratory by skilled technicians. There will be a period of having a temporary restoration fitted. This is the main advantage of a cerec. It is an advanced technique involving a 3d camera and cad cam technology, and is applicable in many scenarios. We would advise where this or a laboratory made restoration is best depending on each individual situation.
Bridges refer to a restoration that is fitted when a tooth is missing. It provides a false tooth, fixed in position by attaching it to an adjacent tooth or teeth. There are two types of Bridges, bonded and Maryland. Bonded require the adjacent tooth or teeth to be trimmed similar to how a tooth is prepared for a crown.
The bridge then consists of ‘linked’crowns, holding the false tooth in place. This type of bridge is strong, but disadvantages include having to prepare the adjacent teeth and long term cleaning.
Maryland bridges consist of a false tooth held in the gap by cementing an attached metal plate to the back of an adjacent tooth. The advantage is that this adjacent tooth does not need to be prepared and trimmed down. The main disadvantage is strength, they usually do not last as long as bonded bridges.