Crowns and Bridges

Crowns

A crown is a restoration that covers all surfaces of the tooth above the gumline. Crowns may be needed to:

  • restore severely broken down or worn teeth
  • restore heavily filled teeth
  • improve the appearance of irregularly shaped teeth
  • help protect a tooth that is vulnerable to fracture
  • restore a back tooth that has had root canal treatment

Crowns can be made from a variety of materials:

Gold. Usually only placed on the very back teeth, gold has been used in dentistry for centuries and produces very reliable restorations. Its use is declining simply because people now prefer tooth coloured materials.

Metal-Ceramic. A metal-ceramic crown has a metal inner structure to which a ceramic outer layer is fused. This combination can produce strong, natural looking restorations. When metal-ceramic crowns are indicated, we prefer to use gold as the metal rather than semi-precious or non-precious metals, due to the superior fit and biocompatibility of gold.

Ceramic. Ceramic is a great option for people who wish to have metal-free restorations or where the most natural looking results are required. There are several different types of ceramics available. Zirconia is a strong ceramic that can be used in crowns and bridges on back teeth. Other types of ceramics such as E-Max® and Procera® can be used in areas of the mouth where less strength is needed and appearance is of greatest priority.

Please visit our Photo Gallery to see examples of what can be achieved with ceramic crowns.

The Dental Laboratory

Producing a quality crown takes time, and the most aesthetic and well fitting crowns are produced in a dental laboratory by a skilled dental technician. This is why we recommend laboratory fabricated crowns rather than ‘single visit’ crowns made by a machine at the dental surgery.

Aesthetically pleasing, natural looking ceramic restorations are the result of careful planning and communication between the patient, dentist and dental technician. We only entrust our laboratory fabricated restorations such as crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, and porcelain veneers to the finest dental technicians in Australia.

Often, the communication process involves taking high quality photographs using a digital SLR camera to record the colour, shape and individual characteristics of the teeth. This is particularly important when it is necessary to match restorations to adjacent teeth.

In some cases, it is best for the patient to also visit the dental technician in person. During this visit our dental technician will use a Shade-X™ digital shade matching scanner to record the colour and characteristics of your teeth.

Bridges

Bridges can be an option to replace a missing tooth or several missing teeth. In a conventional bridge design, the teeth adjacent to the gap are prepared as they would be for crowns. The bridge consists of a false tooth (called a pontic) which is permanently joined to the crowns on either side.

More than one tooth can be replaced by a bridge, and various bridge designs are possible.

Bridges can be made from the same materials as crowns.