Q. What are crowns?
A dental crown helps to strengthen a tooth by being a hard outer shell that encases the tooth structure that lies within it. For this reason, dental crowns are routinely made for teeth that have broken, worn excessively or have had large portions destroyed by tooth decay.
A crown will protect a weak tooth from fracturing, restore a fractured tooth, cover a dental implant, cover a discoloured or poorly shaped tooth or cover a tooth that has had a root canal treatment.
Since dental crowns encase the entire visible aspect of the tooth, a dental crown will in effect become the tooth’s new outer surface. Well made porcelain crowns should look almost exactly like your own teeth.
Crowns can be made out of porcelain (meaning a dental ceramic), metal (usually gold), or a combination of both. From an aesthetic aspect, all porcelain crowns are the material of choice but this not always possible.
Q. How are crowns made?
The tooth will be reduced in size so that the crown will fit over it properly. After reducing the tooth, we will take an impression to provide an exact copy of the tooth for the technicians who will then make the crown.
A temporary crown will be placed to cover the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is being made. When the new crown is ready, the temporary crown is then removed and the new crown is bonded or in some cases cemented over your prepared tooth.
Q. How long will the crown last?
While crowns should last for a very long time, they are succeptible to the same potential problems as your own teeth. The porcelain of a crown may occasionally fracture and discolour slightly over time (in exactly the same way as a natural tooth would) If the tooth is not kept clean and flossed you can get decay underneath the crown.
The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown is to practice good oral hygiene. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Also make sure you keep your regular 6 monthly hygiene visits.
Q. What are veneers?
Veneers can be made of high quality porcelain to create a shell bonded to the front surface of your teeth as a long term natural solution for
– Restoring broken, chipped, miss-shaped or crooked teeth
– Restoring unsightly, stained or washed out fillings
– Closing a space between teeth (diastema)
– Covering permanently stained or discoloured teeth
– Straightening your smile
Porcelain veneers are highly resistant to staining from coffee, tea or even cigarette smoking. They have a natural appeal to them. Porcelain veneers are brushed, flossed and treated just like natural teeth.
There are two types of dental veneers; porcelain veneers or resin composite veneers. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth.
Q. How are veneers made?
In most cases, two dental appointments will be required for the veneering process, which are typically one to two weeks apart.
When a tooth is prepared to receive a veneer, the enamel on the front side of the tooth (the side where the porcelain veneer will be bonded) will be trimmed back. This allows room for the veneer to be placed later.
An impression of your teeth is taken which is then sent to an Australian Laboratory which in turn constructs your veneer with the highest quality materials. Temporary dental veneers are placed on your teeth. These are made of resin composite and are moulded on to your teeth so that you can still smile confidently whilst the permanent veneers are being made.
Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, our dentists will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and colour.
Once happy with the product the tooth is cleaned, polished and etched which roughens the tooth surface to allow for a strong bonding process.
A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is placed on your tooth.
Our dentist will apply a special light beam to the tooth which activates the chemical in the cement causing it to harden or cure quickly.
The final step is to clean any excess cement and show the patient the transformation.
Q. What is a bridge?
A bridge is one treatment option to replace one or more missing teeth. The teeth at each end of the gap are used as anchors to support the replacement tooth and to restore aesthetics and function.
It is important to replace a lost tooth as soon as possible as teeth may realign and move into the open space and therefore changing your bite over time causing a collapsed bite. This changed bite may result in sore jaws, gum disease, even decay and difficulty in eating.