Crowns are most often used to restore teeth that are significantly damaged or decayed, but can’t be fixed with a composite filling. Dental Crowns can be made from a variety of materials. Depending on the case , we will select the best material, aiming for a balance between esthetics and longevity.
A crown is a restoration that is placed on a single tooth, where a bridge is utilized to replace a missing tooth. A bridge connects at least one natural tooth or implant to the pontic (tooth being replaced) and frequently is 3 units, the missing tooth splinted to a tooth in front and behind.
The long–term success of a bridge is often dictated by the quality of teeth it rests on and how well patients do cleaning under and around it. The most frequent reason a patient has complications with a bridge is due to recurrent decay underneath as a result of improper cleaning. If the teeth the bridge rest on have had root canal therapy, the long–term prognosis of the bridge isn’t as good as on vital teeth. Bruxism (tooth grinding) can also lead to early failure.
The material chosen is based on many factors. Often the stronger and more durable the material the less aesthetic it is. Careful evaluation of force distribution, bite dynamics and expectations from you the patient have to be thoroughly discussed to make sure you receive a beautiful result that will last. We tend to stay away from some metals today and opt for more ceramics. They allow for minimal tooth reduction and can be bonded in for strength, giving you a minimally invasive, beautiful long–term result.
The grey line is the result of the material used, typically porcelain fuse to metal (PFM) and the margin (where the crown meets the tooth) was originally slightly tucked under the gums. Over time, if the gums recede the junction is exposed and can be unsightly and alarming. Just because its dark, doesn’t mean there is recurrent tooth decay, but you may elect to have the restoration replaced for cosmetic concerns and easier maintenance.
You will brush and floss your restorations just like natural teeth with some additional floss threading under the bridge to clean underneath it. The most common area to get recurrent tooth decay is under the tooth that is being replaced which cannot be flossed in a traditional method of snapping between the teeth as they are splinted together. The floss must be guided underneath (we have flossing aides to assist and will teach you) and then wrapped around each abutment tooth independently before going in an up and down motion.