Crowns

The natural crown of a tooth is the visible part of the tooth. It is made of hard enamel, but it can still be broken or chipped or reduced in strength by:

  • trauma from a fall or being hit
  • tooth decay
  • a filling
  • root canal treatment
  • general wear and tear.

It is sometimes best to replace the damaged natural crown with an artificial one, so the tooth is protected and strengthened – and thus saved. The artificial crown is especially made and then fitted over the existing damaged tooth that has been especially prepared for that.

Bridges

If a tooth is lost due to accident or because it was so damaged by decay that a crown could not be used. A bridge which is an artificial tooth/teeth anchored to its adjacent teeth that is used to replace a lost tooth.

If it appears that you will need a bridge, Dr Le and associates at Rawson Dental will also discuss dental implants with you as they can also be used for replacing a missing tooth.

 

Procedure for a dental veneer, crown or bridge treatment

Dr Le and associates at Rawson Dental will recommend a crown procedure for you based on:

  • your dental and medical history
  • X-rays of your teeth and jaws
  • an oral examination.

A straightforward crown procedure can be done in one visit these days, but if you need root canal therapy, or the insertion of a post or foundation or bridge more than one visit will be required.

Together, we will choose between one of two methods for the crown procedure, based on aesthetic considerations and the condition of your mouth:

  • the traditional method
  • a CEREC [a CAD/CAM system of dentistry using a computer] method.

At first, we will take an impression of your upper and lower teeth as a record of their appearance and how they fit together when you close them [occlusion]. Traditionally, a jaw-shaped tray is filled with a soft gel, then pushed onto your teeth and immobilised for three to five minutes while it sets. With CEREC we will use a camera attached to the computer to create a 3D virtual impression.

After numbing with a local anaesthetic, the damaged tooth is ‘prepared’ i.e. made smaller by a couple of millimetres and shaped with a drill. Traditionally and with CEREC, another impression is taken of your teeth [including the prepared tooth], to record the new shape and dimensions.

Traditionally, both impressions plus with our specifications are sent off-site to a dental technician who will make the crown. With CEREC, the new crown is designed digitally, milled and fired straight away on-site at Rawson Dental.

Traditionally, as you have to wait a few days for the crown to be made, we will protect your prepared tooth by covering it with a temporary crown, which will not be as strong as the new long-term crown. You will need to chew on the other side of your mouth and avoid sticky or hard foods in the interim.

Traditionally, when the new crown arrives, we will first remove the temporary crown. The new crown is then tried out for its fit and colour. If they are right, we will cement the crown into place with dental cement, which sets within the hour and is fully hardened within a day. With CEREC, as the new crown is available within 40mins, we will cement it into place the same day.

The new crown should feel naturally comfortable in your mouth. We will check its fit by how you feel about your bite, so make sure you say if it feels a little odd or uncomfortable. We can easily make minor adjustments to make it completely comfortable.

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