There are various situations where a dental crown is the perfect restorative solution.
A crown protects and restores a fractured tooth where much of the tooth has been lost, or if the tooth has undergone root canal therapy. A crown is also usually placed onto an implant as the final restoration after the implant has become bonded to the bone.
Although mainly used for reconstructive purposes, crowns are also a cosmetic restoration. Crowns can be made entirely from porcelain, or porcelain bonded to a precious metal when additional strength is required, such as for back teeth where the chewing and grinding forces are large. Maximal strength is achieved if the crown is gold, with no porcelain on it at all.
Receiving a crown is usually a three-appointment process, but following a thorough examination by Dr Baetz to assess that a crown is the best option, a personalised treatment plan will be developed.
At your first crown appointment, Dr Baetz will carefully and precisely reshape the tooth receiving the crown so once it is placed; it will look as natural as possible. This treatment is completed under local anaesthetic to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during the procedure. After an impression is taken at your second visit, your replacement crown is created at a dental laboratory ensuring an exact fit. A temporary crown is usually placed to allow you to have function and a smile between the first and final treatment visit. At your third visit, the final crown will be placed. It is secured into place with a specially formulated dental adhesive. Once placed, your crown will function and blend as seamlessly as possible with your natural teeth.
A bridge can replace one or several missing teeth. Replacing missing teeth will help to maintain your oral health by preventing the remaining teeth from moving out of alignment and so damaging your smile.
If your teeth move out of alignment, they will not bite together in an ideal way. Some dentists believe that such a poor bite may in some circumstances place extra strain on your jaw muscles and jaw joints causing them to become sore. Misaligned teeth can be more difficult to clean effectively. This may predispose to tooth decay and gum disease and thus the possibility of further tooth loss.
A bridge is essentially a construction of false teeth secured into place by crowns bonded onto natural teeth on either side of the space being filled. A bridge is usually made of tooth-coloured materials such as a combination of porcelain fused to precious metal. Dr Baetz will recommend the best material for your particular condition.
Just like a crown, receiving a bridge will usually involve three or more appointments. Firstly, the teeth to which your bridge is to be secured on either side of the space are carefully reshaped. Impressions are taken at a second visit, and these are used as a template by a dental laboratory onto which they make your bridge. The bridge is fitted to you about two weeks later, at the final and third visit. Of course, you will during the production phase of this final bridge, generally be wearing a temporary bridge, mostly for cosmetic reasons. When your new bridge is ready, it is bonded into place in the same way that a crown is. It may take a couple of weeks to become fully familiar with the feel of your new teeth. It is not uncommon that a few minor adjustments need to be made to improve your comfort, after the bridge, or indeed any dental restoration is fitted.
The longevity of all of your dental restorations depends on the health of the supportive and nearby teeth and gums. You should see our dental hygienist at least twice a year for preventative maintenance. It is incumbent upon you that you look after all restorations in an appropriate manner. You will be taught how to do this.
Dentures, Full and Partial
When you first receive your new denture, it will, as a foreign body in your mouth, feel awkward. After a few weeks, you will become familiar with the feel of your denture. While you are getting used to your denture, you may occasionally bite your tongue or lip, so care is advised. Speech may be affected by any dental restoration, but this is almost always a transient problem.
You will be provided with comprehensive instructions for the care and management of your dentures. Dentures are generally removed at night and placed in a glass of water to prevent them from drying out and becoming brittle. This also allows time for your gums rest after they have been supporting your denture all day, and functioning under load, when you eat.
When you are missing teeth, your gum contour will slowly change. Therefore from time to time you will need to schedule appointments to have your denture base relined. This means that the base is reshaped by the addition of new pink plastic, to replace your resorbed pink gum, and bone tissues. This reline procedure will refit the denture to the new gum shape so that the denture is as comfortable and as secure as possible.
Whereas a partial denture replaces only a few missing teeth, a full denture replaces an entire upper or lower arch of teeth. A complete denture, as it is known, has no teeth to help to hold it in place, and so it is bound to move in your mouth. Lower dentures are generally more loose than upper dentures and are more difficult to get used to than are upper dentures. If you notice that a denture is too loose, then you should schedule an appointment with Dr Baetz to have it relined, or to discuss the placement of implants, which can be used very successfully to stabilise a denture.
Please note any surgical or invasive procedure carries risk. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion by a suitably qualified healtcare professional.