What are prosthetics?
There are many different fixed (crowns, bridges, etc.) and removable prostheses. Case examples
What is a crown?
Crowns are an ideal way to rebuild broken teeth or teeth weakened by decay. The crown fits over the remaining part of the tooth. It is strong and gives the tooth the contour and shape of a natural tooth.
Why would I need a crown?
There are a number of reasons. The most common are:
- The tooth is weakened by a large cavity;
- It may have become discoloured, it is not aesthetically acceptable;
- The tooth may have received root canal treatment;
- It may have been damaged in an accident;
- The tooth may hold a bridge or a denture in place.
What are crowns made of?
Crowns are made of a variety of materials. Many new materials and technologies have been recently introduced.
Some of the most common are:
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. The porcelain base is made of non-precious metals, then layers of porcelain are added over it;
- Zirconia-based ceramic veneers offer a great combination of aesthetics and strength. Ceramic crowns are not as strong as ceramic bonded to metal or zirconia-based crowns, but look very natural and are used for front teeth;
- Precious metal (gold, etc.) crowns. They are very strong and resistant, but for aesthetic reasons are only recommended for molar teeth.
How is a tooth prepared for a crown?
The dentist creates a form ideal to achieve excellent long-term results. In order to create an aesthetically pleasing crown, the outer surface of the tooth is removed and only the strong core is left. Once the tooth is prepared, impressions are taken and sent to a dental technician along with additional data.
Who makes the crown?
A dental technician, using the impressions sent by the dentist, pours a stone casts, on which he created a custom crown. Dental technician’s work is not only science, but art as well.
Is the crown noticeable?
No. The crown will blend in. It must look exactly like the neighbouring teeth. The shade of the crown is matched to adjacent teeth. However, a temporary crown is used, which might be distinguishable from the natural teeth, but is used only while your permanent crown is being made.
How long does the treatment take?
You will have to see the dentist at least twice: first time to have the impressions taken and the shade recorded. On the following visits the crown is checked and adjusted carefully. The crown is cemented only when the dentist made sure it fits perfectly.
Is preparation for a crown painful?
No, the procedure is performed under local anaesthesia. On the other hand, local anaesthesia is not necessary after root canal treatment.
How long do crowns last?
It depends on how it is cared for. Although decay will not affect the crown, it can start at the crown-tooth margin. Properly taken care of, a crown is very long-lasting.
How is a crown fixed to the tooth?
A special cement is used to fix the tooth securely and permanently to the tooth.
How does it feel to have a crown?
The crown form might differ from natural teeth; therefore it is likely that a few days you might feel some discomfort. However, it should go away in a few days. If it doesn’t, consult your dentist for appropriate corrections.
Are there any alternatives?
Sometimes a crown is the only suitable option.
There are many types of removable denture design. They are used when all or some of the teeth are lost. They are an alternative to fixed prostheses and dental implants.
In case of all teeth missing:
- Denture. In case there are no teeth left, a removable denture is fabricated from pink plastic base and white teeth. For best results, soft bases and ceramic teeth can be used;
- Implant-supported denture. In order to secure the denture in place and provide maximum comfort, implants are screwed into the jawbone to provide support for the denture. Depending on the design, 2 implants might be enough for the whole denture.
In case of some teeth missing:
- Regular partial removable denture. Like in previous case, the denture is made of pink plastic base and white teeth. Hooks can be added to provide anchorage to natural teeth. These dentures are popular for their simplicity, no required therapeutic interventions and low price. On the other hand, some patients do not tolerate dentures well;
- Flexible Valplast dentures. Flexible dentures are gaining popularity. They are not only very flexible, but also durable. They are more easily tolerated than regular dentures, but are slightly more expensive;
- Tooth-retained dentures. Often, poor tolerance to regular dentures is caused by the plastic base on the palate or near the tongue. In case of tooth-retained dentures, the plastic is replaced by a narrow rigid metal beam to provide stability. Special custom hooks ensure the denture is fixed securely to the teeth. The remaining teeth may be joined together, depending on the individual case. It is often possible to restore chewing function completely, while the connections and hooks remain completely invisible.
Friend of your teeth, Amicus Dentis