Much as we would all like to have teeth for life, life does not always work out that way. Sometimes we have accidents that damage our teeth, or even knock them out. Sometimes decay gets the better of some of them and they have to be removed.
Mind the gap
It can be tempting to leave a gap where your teeth used to be but that doesn’t do the remaining teeth any good. Teeth are not set in stone but can very slowly wander around in our jawbones and over time they can tip into the gaps and come out of their sockets. Teeth need other teeth to prop them into place.
So, if you are missing 2 or more teeth in a row, then you may need to consider having crown and bridge work with us at The Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry in Glasgow.
What is crown and bridge work?
This is one way to replace lost teeth by suspending replacement crowns on a metal bridge between 2 healthy teeth. Attaching the bridge to 2 healthy teeth gives them stability so that you can chew on them like natural teeth.
The replacement crowns are usually made of precious metal so that they will last a long time. Remember gold teeth? Well these days you don’t have to have anything so obvious. Instead, we cover the metal with dental porcelain coloured, sized and shaped to blend in with your own teeth.
The way that the bridgework is attached to your neighbouring teeth is to create 2 more crowns that act like buttresses. They fit over your healthy teeth and are cemented into place. Doing this requires that your buttress teeth are reduced in size so that the buttress crowns are flush with your existing tooth line.
You can also have bridges fixed into your mouth with dental implants if your jawbone is strong enough. This negates any need to grind down existing teeth to act as buttresses. Dental implants can last for at least 15 years, and often last for decades, sometimes even the rest of your life.
Tooth roots are not just there to keep your teeth stable for eating and talking, they also keep your jawbone strong and healthy. Lose the root and the area of bone around it quickly stops renewing itself. Not only that but the bone actually starts to dissolve itself so that it can use the nutrients elsewhere in the body. Your jawbone shrinks back, and pretty quickly too.
That’s one reason why it’s a very good idea to keep your natural teeth going for as long as possible, even if the white part is falling apart or looking more grey than white after one too many fillings.
We can protect the now fragile upper part of your tooth with a crown. Back in the day crowns were usually made of metal. You’d see people with gold teeth. That’s not so usual these days because the dental porcelain used to make tooth restorations is so much stronger and more durable.
So, you can get your teeth protected and their life extended by quite a few good years with crowns that have been custom-made for you to blend in with your existing teeth.
What happens to your teeth with crowns
At The Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry in Glasgow, we prepare your tooth for a crown by removing any redundant material. We then also have to reduce the size of your own natural tooth so that we can fit a crown over it that will line up with your existing teeth. We put a temporary crown on while we get a permanent one custom-made for you in a laboratory. When you come back, we paste your new crown into place and if it’s a good fit, we will cement it there. If not, it is adjusted until it does fit well.
We also make crowns when we replace lost teeth with bridgework. This is when false teeth are suspended on a metal bridge between 2 healthy teeth, which act as supporting buttress teeth. To do this, they are reduced in size and crowns with the bridge attached are fitted over them.
Modern Scottish dentistry is all about helping you hang on to your natural teeth for as long as possible. Nothing is quite as good for your general health, the strength of your jawbone, and your ability to bite and chew as your own teeth.
That’s why at The Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry, we are big fans of the crown. In Glasgow, crown and bridgework are a combination of treatments that allow people to keep their teeth, and to replace missing teeth.
What are crowns?
Crowns are artificial covers, usually made of highly durable porcelain, that slip over damaged teeth to protect and strengthen them. They are often used to extend the life of teeth that have had large fillings, or have been infected and had to have root canal treatment. They are also used to cover teeth that have been broken. The basic requirement for a crown is strong and healthy tooth roots, or roots that have been canal treated. It takes a couple of appointments, about 2 weeks apart, to prepare the tooth and fit it with the new crown. It’s made of durable, colour-matched porcelain, the foundation of which is made in Sweden and then finished to match your other teeth in size and shape by our in-house technicians.
Bridgework, on the other hand, is one way of restoring teeth that are missing. They literally bridge the gap between your teeth, and are permanently fixed into the mouth to make eating easier. A bridge is made up of 2 anchoring teeth with a false tooth in between.
It usually takes 2 appointments to fit a bridge. During the first, the anchoring teeth are prepared by being ground into shape ready for a crown to go over the top of them. We also taken impressions of your teeth from which we create the artificial teeth that will go on the bridge. You get a temporary bridge to wear until your permanent one is ready. This is fitted during your second appointment. Sometimes we cement this in place temporarily for a couple of weeks so that we can be sure it fits properly. If it does, we cement it permanently at another visit.
Dental implants, combined with crown and bridge restorations, are the only permanent way to replace one or a few missing teeth. At the Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry, based in Glasgow, our skilled team of dentists and prosthodontists have helped many patients to regain confidence in their smile thanks to a combination of implants, bridges and crowns.
How it works
Crown and bridge restorations look and act much like natural teeth. Dental implants are in essence replacement tooth roots – small titanium screws that are placed directly in the jaw bone by your dentist in a minor surgical procedure here at our Glasgow practice.
The major advantages of implants to secure crown and bridge work are that they provide unrivalled stability because of their integration with the jaw bone, while also helping to prevent the common problems of bone loss and movement of remaining natural teeth that often occur after tooth loss.
If you are interested in using implants to replace one or two missing teeth, your first step should be to book a consultation with one of our skilled implant dentists here at our Glasgow dental practice. They will carefully examine your mouth and will assess your suitability for implant treatment.
As long as you are suitable for treatment, we will next make an appointment for your implant(s) to be placed. If you need one tooth replaced, you will have one implant with a crown attached. For two or three adjacent teeth, we may recommend an implant-secured bridge.
Your implants will be placed here at our Glasgow practice under local anaesthetic or sedation, depending on your preference. In most cases you will require a healing period of a few months, during which temporary crown and bridge restorations may be fitted.
Once the healing process is complete, your final restorations will be attached.
A prosthodontist is a dentist who performs crown and bridge work, as well as dentures, to replace patients’ missing teeth. At our Glasgow dental practice, the Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry, our team of prosthodontists are highly skilled at creating restorations for patients of all ages who have lost or damaged their natural teeth.
Denture, crown and bridge-work is carried out here at our Glasgow practice (the bases of some of our all-ceramic crowns are sometimes made in a specialist lab in Sweden before being shipped back to us to be finished to our exacting standards). Our prosthodontists create traditional crowns, bridges and dentures along with those that are supported by dental implants.
What crown and bridge-work can do for you
Crowns are sometimes described as caps placed over the top of weakened or damaged teeth. When a single tooth is replaced with a dental implant, a crown will be used to complete the restoration, resulting in an entirely natural-looking, natural-looking false tooth.
They can be used to restore front or back teeth. Your dentist will ensure that your crown looks just like a real tooth, so nobody will notice the restoration. Crowns may be used for aesthetic reasons during smile makeovers, but are most commonly used to add strength to a weakened or worn tooth – particularly teeth with large fillings and those that have had root canal treatment.
At our Glasgow dental practice we use porcelain, porcelain fused to precious metal, and gold to create our crowns. Your dentist will help you to choose the best option for your needs.
Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth. Conventional bridges use crowns on adjacent teeth for support, whilst adhesive bridges use wings attached to adjacent teeth. It is also possible to fix a bridge with a dental implant when two or more adjacent teeth are missing.