A crown (or 'cap') is the name given to a repair of a broken tooth that replaces the top part of the tooth (the biting or 'occlusal' surface) entirely. (A filling, or an onlay or inlay is usually just the repairing of a pit or hole in an otherwise sound tooth.) The broken tooth is prepared by shaping it into a post over which the crown can be cemented. This method results in a very strong 'jacket' around the tooth that can take forces generated by chewing and looks just like a natural tooth. Sometimes, there is not enough of the tooth remaining to create a sound foundation for a crown – so an artificial post is prepared and inserted into the tooth to act as an anchor for a crown. The crown can be made of metal, porcelain fused to metal or be all ceramic. There was a time when crowns were made of gold! The porcelain and ceramic materials nowadays mimic natural enamel very well. The newer ceramic materials have the advantage of not having any metal frame and possess a degree of translucence which is virtually indistinguishable from a natural tooth.
A bridge repair is a chain of crowns made so as to replace a missing tooth (or teeth) using adjacent sound teeth as supports, much like a road bridge might cross a valley. The advantages of a bridge are many - they avoid the use of denture in some cases, the missing tooth, or teeth, are replaced in a way that blends in very well and maintenance of the gums under the bridge is relatively straightforward. A bridge is essentially a one piece construction made to look like adjacent teeth. Bridge are typically made of a metal subframe fused to porcelain to have the strength needed to support the chewing and biting forces on the 'floating' section. The newer ceramic materials do not need the metal subframe and achieve beautiful aesthetics, resulting in very natural looking restorations. The disadvantage of bridges, however, is that the supporting teeth must have their surfaces and shape prepared to be able to securely hold the bridge. Patients need to take extra care of their oral hygiene to ensure that the supporting teeth and gums stay strong and healthy. Alternatives to bridges are either dentures or implants.
Crowns and bridges will generally be made to match your existing dentition in shape, alignment and colour. These materials do not stain and dis-colour with time in the same way that natural teeth age, hence, if you wish to improve the shade of 'whiteness' of your teeth, it must be done before the colour matching of the man-made material. Artificial crowns and bridges cannot be whitened afterwards.
All our porcelain restorations are guaranteed against failure or materials defect for 1 year and the latest ceramic crowns are guaranteed against material and making defects for upto 5 years.
We are happy to arrange a consultation or examination, to listen to your concerns and offer possible treatment options taking into account what you wish to achieve. Delaying necessary dental treatment only makes matters worse, and the probable final cost higher so it really pays to deal with dental issues quickly. We can help with treatment costs by offering a mix of private and NHS options and by phasing out the treatment where possible. Why not call and make an appointment?
Making an appointment is Easy
CALL 0208 883 1356