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Although teeth are difficult to break, trauma or tooth decay may severely damage a tooth. When this happens, a crown or bridge, sometimes in conjunction with root canal treatment, may be the best way to save or replace the tooth.
What is a Crown?
A crown is an artificial tooth. Crowns are made from strong tooth coloured materials like porcelain or in combination with metals. Tooth coloured crowns are made to match the colour of your existing teeth.
What’s the procedure when fitting a crown?
Getting a crown involves the following steps:
- An impression is taken as a record of your upper and lower teeth.
- The area is then numbed with a local anaesthetic.
- The tooth is carefully reshaped to allow room for the crown.
- Another impression is taken to record the final shape.
- To protect the tooth between treatments, a temporary crown is made and fitted.
- The final impressions are then sent off to a special laboratory to make the custom-fit crown.
- Once the permanent crown is ready to be fitted, the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent crown will be cemented over the original tooth.
What is a Bridge?
If a tooth is lost then a bridge may be the most effective treatment. A bridge is an artificial tooth attached to crowns and anchored to the surrounding teeth. The artificial tooth then effectively fills the gap and replaces the missing tooth.
What’s involved in getting a bridge?
Fitting a bridge is very similar to fitting a crown. Once the teeth either side of the gap are reshaped, temporary crowns are used to protect the teeth in between treatments. A technician will then make the Bridge based on your dentist’s specifications, before it is cemented in place by your dentist.
What about Implants?
Another option may be to use an implant to replace the tooth. An implant is an artificial tooth, designed to replace a natural one. The treatment is similar to that of crowns and bridges and your dentist can advise you on your best treatment option.
So why should you get crowns, bridges or implants?
If a tooth is missing or severely damaged, it’s vital you get it replaced for the following reasons:
- To maintain your natural bite and chewing ability
- To help prevent damage to other teeth
- To help prevent other teeth from drifting and moving out of place.
To find out which treatment is best for you contact your local Primary Dental centre directly.
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