Crowns & Bridges
Repairing damaged teeth
Dental Crowns & Bridges in London
If you have a weak tooth or are missing one or more teeth, you may need a crown or a bridge. A crown sits over a tooth that may have been broken or weakened and serves to return the tooth to its former strength and natural shape. If you are missing one or more teeth, a bridge may be fitted to stop the surrounding teeth from moving out of place and will be anchored by one or more crowns to restore the appearance and function.
Dental caps are exactly the same as crowns and bridges and is the more commonly used term amongst the general public. Dental caps are often spoken about in the media and the press however the official term is a crown or a bridge so you will be unlikely to find any dentist refer to them as caps!
Dental Crowns for Front Teeth
When we make crowns for your front teeth, generally speaking, the appearance is the most important factor. One of the problems that is faced with dental crowns is finding a material that is strong and resilient enough to last in the oral environment with the constant impact and use that your teeth get.
The issue is one of the transmission and reflection of light through the dental Crown. We need to use a material which exhibits the same transmission and reflection of light as a natural tooth does, if we do not then the crown will look different to its surrounding natural teeth.
In years gone past gold alloys were used for dental crowns. The existing tooth was reduced down to a stump, a gold alloy thimble was made over the top and then highly aesthetic dental ceramic was applied to make the Crown look like the natural teeth. This technique is still used extensively today and the results are often excellent.
The problem with this type of porcelain fused to metal Crown is again one of the transmission and reflection of light, clearly light cannot pass through the metal and so it is reflected back. This has the tendency of making the Crown look brighter. It certainly is possible to make this type of Crown look fantastic, however a highly skilled dental technician is always required to work closely with the dentist to ensure that the result is perfect.
In more recent years metal free crowns have become more popular, especially with the advent of materials like zirconia which are used extensively in general surgery in the replacement of hips. Zirconia crowns can often be more expensive to manufacture than porcelain fused a metal crowns and some research shows that they may not be quite as resilient.
However, over all metal free crowns are far better to use in the front teeth area due to their natural light reflecting and transmitting properties which make them similar to natural teeth.
Problems with Dental Crowns
As dental crowns have been in common use since the 1960s they have had a considerable amount of research, testing and trialling and have proved themselves over and over to be an excellent choice to restore a broken down tooth. Dental crowns can be problematic in the following areas:
Aesthetic and functional problems with dental crowns can almost always be noticed at the initial fitting stage. So when you go to the dentist and have a crown fitted you need to make sure that it is comfortable with your surrounding teeth and blends in, looking great. Once the crown is fitted it is often almost impossible to remove it again, and so this really is the opportunity at which you need to tell the dentist your honest opinion.
The longevity of dental crowns is down to the precision of their original manufacture and your ability to look after your teeth.
You need to continue to brush your teeth and floss between them taking special care to ensure that the tooth/crown margin is kept clean.
Grey Lines on Dental Crowns, Why Does This Happen?
The Procedure for Dental Crowns
Each of these steps requires a separate appointment and so the whole process can take four or five weeks from start to finish.
Of course, each dental practice and dentist in London will have a slightly different procedure for their dental crowns, however they will all have at least the minimum steps laid out above.
Dental Crowns and Bridges London FAQs
When well looked after, a dental bridge can last several years. Typically, our patients benefit from up to 15 years or more with their new dental bridge, and there are things you can do to ensure you get the best out of yours by:
- Maintaining good oral hygiene, brushing and flossing regularly
- Keeping up with regular check-ups with your dentist
- Modifying your diet, to limit or avoid starchy, sugary foods and drink
Your dentist will be able to advise you on the best ways to maintain your new dental bridge, but if you have any concerns, our team will be more than happy to help.
Although having a dental bridge fitted is invasive, it shouldn’t be painful. Before we start the procedure, we will ensure the area is completely numbed, so the only discomfort you should feel will be the numbing injection. This will ensure you’re comfortable and pain-free for the duration of your treatment.
You may experience some discomfort after the procedure, which is completely normal. However, if you find that the pain is very severe or lasts for a week or more, you should seek advice from your dentist.
Although it’s completely normal to experience some discomfort at first as the area heals, your dental bridge should eventually feel just the same as your natural teeth did. In some cases, were previously a patient has had fillings in their teeth, a dental bridge has felt even better and offered a feeling of restoration.
If your new dental bridge has been in place for several weeks but doesn’t feel quite right, it may be best to contact your dentist who can check the area to ensure everything is as it should be.
Because of the nature of a dental bridge, it is possible for food to become lodged beneath it. This is quite normal, but it’s important to maintain strong oral hygiene and to keep up with dental appointments so that your dentist can make sure no food is stuck beneath your bridge.
Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and using mouthwash can all help to maintain healthy teeth and gums.