Dental Crowns & Bridges
Dental Crowns: a fixed tooth-replacement solution for patients with sufficient remaining teeth
Treatment using a crown is required when we want to preserve a tooth which can no longer be repaired using a filling or an inlay due to the extent of damage to the tooth. Crowns increase stability and form a protective cap around the tooth. If a tooth is already becoming unstable due to deep-set caries or a root-canal treatment, then replacement using a dental crown can restore the patient’s ability to chew again. Procedures in Aesthetic Dentistry make use of dental crowns to treat teeth that are not aesthetically-pleasing.
Before a tooth can be covered (or capped) using this type of artificial tooth replacement, it must first be filed down to a stump following administration of a local anaesthetic. Following this ‘tooth-preparation’ phase, the dental crown is created in our laboratory. During this intermediate period, the stump is protected with a provisional cap made from plastic. Once the finished crown arrives from the laboratory, the Dr. Hager dentists fix it onto the stump using a specialist dental cement.
What are the dental crowns used by our dentists made out of?
A crown can be manufactured using a range of different materials. Unlike conventional metal-ceramic crowns, our dental centres in Konstanz and Bietingen use a more aesthetically-pleasing approach to Tooth Replacement: full-ceramic crowns. These crowns have a substructure made from zirconium oxide ceramic onto which the veneer ceramic is fused.
These zirconium crowns, made from bio-compatible, white ceramic materials mean that metal can be completely avoided. It is almost impossible to tell our dental crowns apart from natural teeth as there is no metal which could otherwise show up through the ceramic veneer. It is for this reason that we even use dental crowns and bridges made from this material in the most critical area aesthetically-speaking: the front teeth.
Full-Ceramic Crowns and Bridges
Zirconium oxide is a bio-compatible ceramic material which is used by our dental technicians to create dental crowns, bridges, ceramic inlays and prostheses. Modern dentistry is increasingly making use of this material for tooth replacement as it mimics the white colour of teeth, and is better tolerated by patients than solutions using metal alloys and plastic materials as well as being more resistant to breaking than other ceramic materials. Dental crowns or bridges made from zirconium oxide that are used in the area of the front teeth are covered with an extra ceramic layer: this is how our dental technicians can simulate the slight transparency seen in healthy natural teeth. It is almost impossible to tell jacket crowns or veneer crowns apart from real teeth.
Dental Bridges – To Close Gaps Between Teeth
Unlike with dental crowns, bridges are set onto more than one tooth. This approach to artificial tooth replacement uses adjacent teeth for support to close a gap between teeth in the upper or lower jaw. One or more missing teeth can be ‘bridged’ using this treatment. As long as the adjacent teeth are healthy and meet the required stability criteria, they are filed down to create two ‘posts’ for the dental bridge. The process for creating a bespoke bridge for each individual’s specific tooth replacement needs is similar to that of the crown.
The difference lies in the creation of an additional central component, meeting specific shape and functional requirements, to replace the missing tooth (or teeth). All the materials used for creating a dental crown can also be used to create bridges. This means that our modern full-ceramic construction can be used, just like we use for our crowns.
Options for Reconstruction When Using Crowns
Depending on which teeth are available in the mouth to be used as supporting posts for the bridge, there are different options for fixation of the bridge. If there are lots of tooth-gaps, then the health of the remaining teeth and the position of the gaps within the jaw will determine whether a treatment using dental bridges is possible. It may be, for example, that more posts need to be created by replacing teeth with dental implants.
This will particularly come into play in cases where the last teeth in a row are missing, also known as a “free-end situation”, or if the tooth substance is too damaged for a crown to be considered. The health of the surrounding areas of supporting bone (periodontium) and gums must also be ensured, which may in some cases require a corresponding pre-treatment. Patients who have lost teeth due to Periodontitis are treated for their gum inflammation before their dental bridge is adjusted. A tooth-replacement or dental prosthesis should certainly be provided in all cases as the chewing motions counteract any threatening loss of bone.
Frequently asked questions
How long do bridges and crowns last?
How long bridges and crown will last for depends mainly on the work put in by the patient. If properly cared for, they can last for a lifetime. Our crowns are manufactured using zirconium oxide and aesthetic feldspath ceramics. Recent studies have shown that 96% of crowns and bridges are still in place after 20 years. If the crowns are looked after correctly, then it can be assumed that they will last for a lifetime.
How much to crowns and bridges cost?
Prices can vary depending on the material, the anatomical conditions, the number of supporting posts required for the bridge, and the types of gaps which need to be bridged. Each ceramic crown is priced at around € 1,325. Initial consultations are entirely commitment-free, and we will provide you with a quote that has been drawn up specifically for your case, including a fixed-price guarantee.
How are dental crowns and bridges fixed into place?
Our full-ceramic crowns and bridges are generally held into place by dental cement. In the case of crowns and bridges set onto implants, the “supporting posts” are screwed into place depending on the implant type, and then crowns are cemented into place just as for a living tooth.
How should dental crowns and bridges be cared for/cleaned?
It is recommended to wait a few weeks (approx. 3 weeks) from when the crowns or bridges are cemented into place or inserted so that the gums can adapt to the new crowns or bridges. Once this has occurred, we recommend making an appointment with our dental hygienist to go over the best “cleaning utensils”, e.g. interdental brushes can sized correctly in order to ensure the best possible care is guaranteed.
Why do I need a dental crown, and what is it?
When a tooth has a defect that is either very large or which burrows down deep beneath the gums (e.g. due to caries or a fracture), then a ceramic crown is needed. When dental defects are large, fillings can no longer provide the stability required, and the tooth can be in danger of breaking. This is where dental crowns come in: they surround the tooth, and provide additional stability. In the case of deep defects, it is not possible to guarantee the right drainage, which is essential for maintaining tooth stability. The cement used to fix crowns into place is impermeable to moisture.
Why do dental crowns come loose?
Our crowns are permanently fixed into place with cement. If you find that a crown is becoming loose or has detached, then it is important to get to the root cause of the problem. Please contact our team to make an appointment as soon as possible. Reasons for this might include:
- Insufficient height of the supporting post due to anatomical conditions, i.e. poor stability.
- It is possible for the tooth/implant itself to become wobbly.
- The cement has been washed away due to aggressive saliva (with a high acid content), and needs to be replenished.
These issues, amongst others, can all be investigated at our practice during a dental appointment.
Why can I feel pain in my crowns?
Mild complaints due to hard/warm/cold foods or drinks may occur, but these should resolve gradually over the course of a few weeks following your procedure. Imagine that the nerve that is contained within the tooth has to take some time to recover following the treatment. Otherwise, please make an appointment to come in to see us at the practice. It may be that the crown has been disrupted, e.g. during a knock when eating, and requires additional filing down.