A dental crown is a tooth-shaped ‘cap’ that is placed over a tooth or implant to restore its shape, size, and appearance. On natural teeth, crowns are placed to protect the tooth from fracture under biting forces.
Types of crowns:
● Temporary/ Provisional crown
After tooth preparation for a crown, your dentist will provide you with a restoration to prevent tooth damage and sensitivity while you wait for your crown to be fabricated by the laboratory after moulds (impressions) of your teeth are made. This will also allow you to test out aesthetics (new tooth shape or size) and function including the bite and phonetics.
● Definitive crown
1. Porcelain fused to metal crowns
These crowns are most commonly used for both anterior and posterior teeth as their colour is matched to your adjacent teeth. The underlying metal provides the brittle porcelain material strength. The porcelain portion rarely can chip or break-off especially under high biting forces. The metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line at the gum-line if your gum is thin or if your gum recedes.
2. All ceramic crowns
These provide the best natural colour match in comparison to any other crown type and are suitable for people with metal allergies (this is however rare) and high aesthetic demands. The Improved technology of porcelain allows for better fracture resistance. They are commonly used in the anterior region.
3. Gold crowns
Compared to other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed, and tooth wear to opposing tooth/teeth is kept to a minimum. They are used for full or partial coverage of the tooth. Its main drawback is its metallic colour; therefore, it is usually a good choice for out of sight posterior teeth (Molar teeth).
4. All resin crowns (indirect resin restorations)
They are aesthetically pleasing crowns that can be mainly used in tooth wear cases. Their advantages include that they require minor tooth preparation and are less expensive than other crown types, however, they can wear down over time. An occlusal night guard would be recommended with careful monitoring. If they chip during function, chair-side repair is possible.
5. Implant crowns
They are placed to replace a missing teeth over implants. They can be screw or cement retained.
A bridge is a fixed restoration that replaces missing tooth/teeth.
Types of bridges:
1. Resin retained bridge
These are adhesive bridges that do not require tooth preparation of adjacent teeth
2. Conventional bridge
This type of bridge requires tooth preparation of the adjacent tooth/teeth to the missing space/s.
3. Implant bridge
This bridge is supported by implants.
Veneers are shells of material that are used to:
1- Mask discoloured teeth
2- Build worn down and broken teeth
3- Improve aesthetics of mildly misaligned teeth without the need for Orthodontics
The materials used for veneers can be:
1- Composite resin (completed chair-side)
2- Porcelain (laboratory stage of fabrication needed)