A crown is a prosthetic procedure restoration that permanently remains in the mouth and as a case fully covers an extensively damaged tooth in order to protect it and retain its aesthetics and capacity.
Crowns are used when there is significant issue loss at a tooth due to decay and restoring it with a simple filling isn’t a safe choice since there is a big risk of a fracture. Moreover, teeth with extensive fillings are better protected with cases for the same reason. We also place a cases after most endodontic treatments , because in these cases tooth may also be fragile. In the case of a tooth fracture, and especially when the missing part is expensive, cases protect the remaining weakened part from further damage and possible total loss of it.
The procedure of placing one is pain free. We initially prepare the tooth to have the case, drilling it peripherally in order to create the necessary space. In some cases we might consider it necessary to have endodontic treatment as well as placing a axis in the root canal so that the crown is more secure and stable. We then take the patient’s dental print and based on that , the dental lab will produce a crown. Until then, we place a temporary crown and when the permanent is ready, we will place it and attach it to the tooth. In the meantime we will have also checked the fitting.
Bridges are in fact a group of crowns joined together with which we substitute one or more missing teeth. The 2 extreme crowns are placed on the natural teeth on both sides of the gap created by the missing tooth or teeth. This means that these natural teeth act as bridge supports , while in the middle we place the crowns substituting the natural teeth. Of course, a bridge can be supported by implants. Bridges are in fact a number of Crowns
In order to place a bridge, we must first correct any possible problems in the natural teeth-supports, such as dental caries and periodontitic disease. The procedure is similar to the one followed while placing the crowns.
With bridges we can face some of the dysfunctions found in our mouth when losing one or more teeth. More particularly , in case of a tooth loss, neighbouring teeth don’t have lateral support and gradually start to lean towards the remaining gap. As a result, the gums are becoming looser and may need to be extracted in the future.
At the same time, the remaining teeth, are burdened further because masticating forces are no longer evenly distributed. Of course with teeth loss, the whole functional capacity of the mouth is disrupted and therefore affects mastification, speech etc. Bridges offer a good solution to these problems while with up to date materials used to make them (all ceramic, zirconium) they offer highly aesthetic results.
When many or all teeth are lost, the available solution is artificial dentures. There are many types of artificial dentures that differ according to the way they are supported in the mouth as well as the number of teeth they substitute.
Whole dentures are used in cases the patient has lost all his teeth in one or both the jawbones. They consist of an acrylic part that substitutes the gums and another that includes the artificial teeth made of porcelain or acrylic.
Before placing them, we extract all problematic teeth that may still be in the mouth and wait for the healing to be completed. During the healing period we can place an immediate temporary denture, which will later be replaced by the permanent. The whole dentures are produced in a dental lab, and are based on dental prints taken from the patient so that the restoration has the right fit.
With whole dentures we can restore the mouth’s functional ability to a certain extent but definitely can’t offer the natural effect and the stability of natural teeth or of implants and also need careful maintenance. Because they don’t obstruct the bone’s absorption after the teeth loss, they have to be altered and adjusted in order to fit the gums.
Partial dentures are chosen when many teeth are missing from the jawbone but some are healthy and able to support the denture. With only one denture we can replace at the same time many teeth at different positions in the jawbone and therefore avoid placing many bridges.
Depending on the way partial dentures are connected to the healthy remaining teeth, they are categorized to these with metal hooks and to the those with precision links.
Dentures with hooks feature a metal frame made of a special amalgam ending in a plastic base. The artificial teeth are placed on it, while the whole structure is based on the gums and supported by the natural existing teeth with metal hooks.
For dentures with precision links we need to palce crowns on the natural teeth so that the special links of the denture fit steadily. Compared to compatible partial dentures, they offer better stability and are aesthetically superior because they don’t have visible metal arms
An onlay denture is a special type of whole denture that we can use when in the mouth we have a few remaining teeth that allow us to make the most of their roots to support the restoration
In order to achieve satisfactory stability we use special buoying means, which are precision links that are placed and firmly attached on the roots. An onlay whole denture offers much bigger stability and grip compared to the classic one supported only on the mouth’s soft tissue. For this reason it is a solution with much better functional effects and considerably improves the patient’s life quality. They also offer biger comfort since it is a smaller construction while the remaining roots obstruct the absorption of the bone.
We can also use onlay dentures on implants so that with a relatively small number of implants we can have a total restoration with exceptional functional ability and aesthetic effect.