Crowns and Bridges

What is a crown?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is precision made to cover a damaged single tooth. Crowns are securely fixed in place, unlike removable devices such as dentures, which you take out and clean daily. Crowns are cemented onto existing teeth or implants and look and feel like a natural tooth.

What is a bridge?

Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. Bridges are also securely fixed in place and are used to fill the space of a missing tooth (or several teeth). Bridges do this by fixing an artificial tooth permanently to the adjacent teeth or dental implants. There are many variations of bridge styles, techniques and materials that can be used. Individual factors of age, space size, tooth position, bite position, aesthetics and hygiene will determine the best bridge treatment option for each person.

How do crowns work?

Teeth can become damaged or weakened for a number of reasons such as large fillings, decay, trauma, cracks or root canal treatments. The difference with teeth is that they cannot heal. Once a tooth has a crack the only certainty is it is going to get bigger. For teeth that are significantly weakened we must strengthen or repair any damage with crown and bridge restorations.

Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can also be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Your dentist may recommend a crown to:

  • Replace a large filling to prevent a crack splitting a tooth
  • Protect a weakened tooth from fracturing
  • Restore a already fractured tooth
  • Attach a bridge
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a discoloured or poorly shaped tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment.

What are crowns made of?

Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth and are very conservative to use. Other materials used to make crowns include gold and metal alloys, along with porcelain. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for back teeth.

Crowns and bridges are made by specialist technicians in dental laboratories to ensure that your bite is right and you don’t end up breaking the opposing or another tooth.

At Bite Dental Studios, we are very privileged to have our technician and his laboratory located on site. This means that he can come and meet you, take photos and actually see the smile that the crown will fit into. For this reason we can guarantee our crown and bridge work for 5 years. If any structural damage occurs to the restoration within that time that does not involve a trauma incident, and if regular check-ups are maintained, we will replace it.

What is involved in the crown procedure?

A crown or bridge procedure is completed over two appointments.
First visit (usually 60-90 minutes) – Involves tooth preparation and record taking.
Second visit (usually 30 minutes) - Two weeks later, after the technician has made your crown, we cemented it in place.

To give you an idea of how your crown procedure will unfold:

  • The procedure is performed using a local anaesthetic
  • We remove any decayed portions of the tooth and any affected filling
  • The tooth is shaped to make space for the crown “cap” and to create a satisfactory bonding platform
  • An impression of the prepared tooth is taken as a record for the technician
  • The technician will meet you and record the colour and shape of your teeth. He may even take some photos at this time.
  • A temporary crown (made of plastic) is made and cemented into place with temporary cement. This will stay in place until the second appointment – so you won’t leave with a funny looking tooth!

How long do crowns and bridges last?

The average lifespan of a crown is 15 years however with diligent maintenance, crowns can last over 20 years! We even have a few regular patients with crowns that were placed in the 1970’s. While crowns and bridgework are as permanent as it gets in dentistry, they do sometimes come loose or fall out.

The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown or bridge is to practice good oral hygiene. A bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily. As well, seeing your dentist and hygienist for regular check-ups and professional cleanings will significantly increase the long-term success of your crown treatment.

To prevent damage to your new crown or bridge do treat them with care and avoid chewing hard foods or taking the top off bottles with them!.

Are crowns expensive?

As with all medical and dental procedures, prevention is less expensive than cure.

With crowns and bridges the main factor that will affect the cost is who it is made by, where the materials come from and what materials are used to make it.

And like most things these days, there are cheap alternative materials from overseas that may look the same but there is no guarantee what they are truly made of and how long they will last.

The best way to find out the exact cost for you is to make an appointment so that we can take a look and see what treatment and material would be best for your situation. A ballpark figure for a crown is in the range of $1990.

As you would expect from Bite Dental Studios Brisbane we only use the best materials available in our treatments. Our laboratory is right next door so you know exactly where our crown materials come from. That’s why we will standby these materials and guarantee them for 5 years. As we treat our friends we make sure we do the right thing by them.

At Bite Dental Brisbane we know a lot of people are nervous about visiting the dentist even for regular check-ups and just the thought of having a treatment like a crown would cause them to feel even more anxious.

That’s why, with every procedure or treatment we perform, including crowns, we take the time to ensure our patients are relaxed and comfortable. Bite Dental Studios is the Brisbane dental clinic that puts patients first.

Call us now at 07 3221 5399 to arrange a consultation with one of our dentists.