Dental Problems

What are Dental Crowns and Bridges

Dental Crowns and Bridges:


When a tooth has been heavily broken down or weakened by extensive decay, trauma or wear, a crown is often necessary. A crown (cap) fits over the existing natural tooth and replaces the natural crown, the part of the tooth seen above the gums.

Teeth before treatment applying crowns teeth after crowns have been applied

Heavily broken down teeth are susceptible to fracturing and studies have shown that teeth that are greater than 70% filling material are overloaded. The tooth ultimately fractures and requires extraction. A crown will not only strengthen this tooth, and enable you to keep this tooth for many years, but it will restore the tooth back to its natural appearance.


Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of an artificial tooth anchored to the natural teeth on each side of the gap. Unlike a removable denture to replace a missing tooth, a bridge is cemented onto the teeth and is not removable.
An image of a dental bridge
There are three main types of bridges.

Fixed Bridge
-two crowns connected to replace a missing tooth/teeth.

Cantilevered Bridge
-a bridge connected to one tooth to replace a missing tooth

Maryland Bridge
-used only to replace a lateral incisor or lower incisor. The Maryland bridge is a conservative, semi-permanent technique whereby a missing tooth is replaced using a metal ‘wing’bonded onto the back surface of an adjacent tooth.

Preparation for Crowns and Bridges

Under local anaesthetic, the tooth is shaped to enable room for the crown to fit. An accurate impression is taken using a soft gel-like material and sent to a dental technician. It usually takes two to three weeks for the dental technician to fabricate a crown or bridge. In this period you will have a temporary crown placed on the prepared tooth/teeth for protection. So no-one will be able to tell you are having dental work completed.

For posterior work, accurate digital photographs are often taken to convey shade information. However, cosmetic cases may require a cosmetic consultation with my dental ceramist Mr Peter Vryonis who is located in Melbourne. Peter is an extremely highly sought after, respected and credentialed dental ceramist who will discuss with you all your expectations, the result you would like to achieve and select the desired shade to in which to make the crowns.

At the second chairside appointment, the crowns or bridges are permanently cemented onto the natural tooth.
Materials used for Crowns and Bridges

Gold Alloy – used for posterior teeth where aesthetics requirements are low and strength paramount.
Porcelain – Anterior and posterior teeth, high aesthetic requirements.

Comments are closed.