A dental crown
is an indirect dental restoration which covers a damaged tooth. A crown improves the appearance and strength of a fractured or disclosed tooth, whereas a dental bridge
is a more extensive restoration which connects two or more teeth and replaces two or more missing teeth. A dental bridge includes a few fused crowns and replaces a missing tooth.
What are the indications for a dental crown?
A crown is indicated in case of an extensively decayed, damaged or discoloured tooth or a large filling that must be replaced.
Also, when a tooth is fractured asymptomatic cracked tooth after root canal treatment may require a crown.
What are the indications for a dental bridge?
You may require a bridge or dental implants
when you have one or multiple missing adjacent teeth. Dental bridges provide a more permanent solution rather than dentures.
What materials are used to fabricate crowns and bridges?
The following are the most commonly used materials for crowns and bridges.
Porcelain or ceramic crowns and bridges
Crowns and bridges made from the whole ceramic material look almost natural. Ceramic crowns are more suitable and aesthetically pleasing for the front teeth as they best match your surrounding teeth’ shape, size, and colour.
Metal crowns and bridges
Metal-bonded crowns are ideal durable material to protect the teeth as they have high strength to withstand heavier chewing forces in the long term without fracture. However, the whole metal crowns and bridges are contra-indicated in aesthetic restorations.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (PFM) and bridges
PFM crowns and bridges offer patients the advantages of both porcelain and metal. While the metallic framework provides strength and durability, the covering ceramic porcelain will make the tooth look natural. PFM crowns have been the most recommended crowns until this very late decade.
Zirconia crowns and bridges
The properties of Zirconia crown make it an excellent crown material as it offers both adequate hardness and elasticity. Zirconia crown looks great and are more resistant to fracture than porcelain crowns. Zirconia is also a great choice for holistic dentistry and a non-metal ceramic dental implant.
Benefits of crowns and bridges
- Reduce and gradually eliminate sensitivity and pain
- Improve the aesthetics
- Improve the bite and chewing efficiency
- Prevent adjacent teeth from rotating and shifting
How crowns and bridges are prepared?
After local anaesthesia, the underlying restoration and part of the natural tooth peripheries will be shaved by approximately half a millimetre to provide sufficient restorative space for a custom-made crown or bridge. An impression from the preparation margins will be taken and sent to the laboratory to fabricate the crown or bridge. After about two weeks, the permanent crown or bridge will be readily fabricated to be fixed onto the prepared teeth.
What can I expect after receiving a dental crown?
You may experience little short-term discomfort once the crown is permanently placed and the numbness has worn off. When you bite down on the crown or bridge, there may also be a strange feeling. Food and beverages with extreme temperatures may cause sensitivity for three to four days.
Sometimes the crown and bridges may feel too high when you bite down. Please consult with your dentist to have your crown adjusted if you feel the bite is wrong.