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Crowns (aesthetic dental treatment)
A natural dental crown (your original tooth) is made of white enamel on the outside and yellow dentin supporting the enamel beneath it. An artificial dental crown sometimes called a “cap”, replaces missing or damaged natural tooth structure with tooth-colored materials like porcelain and/or metals such as gold.
Grinding your teeth, an improper bite, age, fillings and tooth decay can all be contributing factors in the wearing down, cracking or breakage of your teeth. Dental crowns cover the entire visible surface of your affected tooth and add strength, durability and tooth stability.
There are three basic types of dental crowns:
All porcelain crowns are the most aesthetic and are used primarily used for front teeth where the need for strength is not as critical.
Porcelain fused to metal (e.g. gold)
For a very natural appearance, porcelain fused to metal crowns is the answer. However, they have a metal substructure and require an opaque below the porcelain. This can make the translucency of natural teeth difficult to replicate. Occasionally a darker line will be visible at the edge of the crown, near to your gum when it recedes with age.
Where a tooth colored dental crown is not a priority the gold dental crown is an excellent choice. Gold dental crowns are the most durable and offer the most precise fit. While it is possible to chip porcelain crowns, gold dental crowns provide no such possibility.
When a tooth or teeth are lost the teeth around it tip and move toward the space formerly occupied by the missing tooth or teeth. This shifting of the teeth alters the direction of force applied to the remaining teeth, their roots and the jaws during chewing. These misdirected forces accelerate tooth movement and allow the teeth that used to chew with the missing tooth or teeth to move up or down out of their sockets into the empty space. Dental bridges can correct an altered bite, improve your chewing ability and speech and prevent the collapse of your facial features that can cause premature wrinkles and age lines.
A dental bridge is a false tooth or teeth which are fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth or teeth. The false tooth is held with the two crowns attached onto your teeth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges are permanent.
There are 3 types of bridges:
Fixed Traditional Bridges
A dental bridge is a false tooth, known as a pontic, which is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. There two crowns holding it in place that is attached onto your teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures.
Resin Bonded Bridges
The resin bonded is primarily used for your front teeth. The false tooth is fused to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth with a resin which is hidden from view.
In areas of your mouth that are under less stress, such as your front teeth, a cantilever bridge may be used. Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth on only one side of the open space. This procedure involves anchoring the false tooth to one side over one or more natural and adjacent teeth.