Crown & Bridge Work
If you have a tooth that is too damaged to be repaired with a filling, a crown can be a good way to restore it and prolong its life. Dental crowns are custom-made to fit over your existing tooth stub (after all decay and damage is removed). It will give the tooth new surfaces on all sides and be shaped precisely so as to meet the opposing teeth comfortably without affecting your bite.
Types of Porcelain Crowns
Cerec CAD/CAM technology makes it possible to make crowns, veneers, inlays and onlays in a single visit. Once the tooth is prepared, it is scanned and then the dentist will use 3D software to design the crown or restoration after which it is milled from a solid porcelain block. It has no ugly metal lining and gains its strength by being bonded to the existing tooth structure. Cerec technology is available in Summerstrand and Uitenhage.
- A PFM crown has a gray metal lining to increase the porcelain strength to compensate for the weaker cementation method. Initially a new crown’s lining is slightly below the gum line, but as we age or due to inflammation or trauma, our gums may slowly recede and expose this dark edge.
More recently Zirconia has been developed as a lining for the porcelain. It is a white metal substance. It may also be exposed by receding gums, but being white, it is not as unsightly. The crown on the right is an example of this.
Veneers are ultra-thin sheets of ceramic that are bonded directly to the front surfaces of teeth. They require very conservative and minimal invasive preparations. Porcelain veneers have become increasingly popular due to their simplicity and versatility and are also highly resistant to coffee, tea or even cigarette stains.
Veneers can correct the appearance of:
- Chips and cracks
- Broken or misshapen teeth
- Small gaps
- Crooked teeth
When you have one or more missing teeth, one of the fixed options for filling the gap is a bridge. The teeth next to the gap are preparedfor crowns, an impression is taken and a lab technician will then fabricate a bridge that will be cemented onto the prepared teeth. The bridge will look like three crowns fused together. If the neighbouring teeth are badly decayed or heavily filled, it may be good option, but cutting healthy teeth might seem a little too invasive for many and this is where dental implants become the treatment of choice.