Crowns and Bridges
Over time, teeth can be worn, damaged, decayed or lost. The options for repair and restoration are versatile, but crowns and bridges are excellent options.
Drs Ratan and Singh use a crown to cover or “cap” a damaged tooth entirely and dental bridges, also known as removable dentures, are made up of two or more synthetic teeth to bridge the gap created by missing teeth.
The process of designing, manufacturing and fitting crowns and bridges typically requires several appointments. With the incredible Cerec® CAD/CAM technology used at Ratan and Singh Dental Studio, we can complete the entire process at the practice so the treatment process is much shorter. This dental technology requires high-level training, and we are proud to be able to offer you this service.
What are Crowns?
Crowns are used to cover or ‘cap’ a damaged, fractured, or decaying tooth and protect it from any future damage. The crown aids in restoring the tooth to its previous state of health and functioning as well as improve its shape and appearance. Crowns can also be placed on top of a dental implant to replace a missing tooth or be used as a replacement for a large filling. While a crown can only cover one individual tooth, people can have many individual crowns simultaneously.
What are Bridges?
Dental bridges are made up of two or more synthetic/prosthetic teeth and are used to bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Dental Bridges use your healthy teeth as anchors for porcelain that will support your prosthetic teeth. By using your good healthy teeth as an anchor they prolong the ‘lifespan’ of your bridge and allows it to replace more than one missing tooth at a time. Bridges are also a viable alternative to permanent dental implants.
Both crowns and bridges have porcelain prosthetic teeth replacements that match your existing teeth.
How much do crowns cost in Cape Town?
The average cost of dental crowns can range between R 2000 for a temporary crown and R4000 – R6000 for a dental or porcelain fused to metal crown. The cost of a crown can vary based on the following factors:
- The brand of dental crown and quality guarantee.
- The number of crowns needed. Multiple crowns are more expensive than single crowns.
- The location of the tooth the crown will be covering. Front teeth crowns are more expensive than back teeth crowns.
- The extent of the damage will have a big impact on the cost of your procedure. The higher the level of decay or degree of damage to your tooth, the higher the cost of your crown procedure will be.
- The type of crown/the material the crown is made of. While your dentist will help you choose a material that best suits your condition and desired outcome, the material can affect the cost of your crown. Materials not only vary in price, but quality and overall aesthetic. Common materials used for crowns include resin, metal, gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all-porcelain and all-ceramic, and zirconia. While zirconia crowns are the most expensive option, they offer excellent durability and outstanding aesthetics. Out of all the materials, zirconia most closely mirrors the colour, texture, and translucency of your natural smile. All-porcelain and all-ceramic crowns are also more expensive materials, however, similar to zirconia crowns, they mirror the colour and aesthetics of your teeth – allowing for an elevated, yet natural looking smile.
- Whether it’s a new crown or a replacement crown. A replacement crown is cheaper than a new crown.
- Whether sedation is needed. As dental crowns are not typically placed during surgery, most patients do not require sedation or any form of local anaesthesia. However, some patients who have a fear of the dentist or suffer from a dental phobia may choose to receive medication or intravenous (IV) sedation to ease their anxiety during the procedure.
- Another factor that will impact the overall cost of your procedure is whether or not it will be combined with other dental treatments. Although crowns can help restore strength, structure, and aesthetics to your teeth, you may require additional treatments if you have extensive oral health or dental issues.
- Laboratory fees.
As every case is different and treated as such, it is generally advised to consult a dental specialist for a quote that is tailor made for you.
How much do dental bridges cost in Cape Town?
The average cost of dental bridges can range anywhere between R 9000 – R18 000. The costs associated with dental bridges can vary based on a range of factors:
- The brand of dental bridge and quality guarantee.
- The type of dental bridge. There are primarily four types of bridges, a traditional fixed bridge, a cantilever bridge, Maryland bonded bridges or resin-bonded bridges, and implant-supported bridges.
- The number of teeth the dental bridge will replace. The cost of your dental bridge is directly influenced by how many teeth you need to replace.
- Where in your mouth will the bridge be placed? If the bridge is placed in the front section of your mouth, it is generally more expensive. When dealing with front teeth, the shape, colour, and positioning has to match perfectly with the existing teeth to ensure your smile looks both natural and beautiful. This may require more advanced methods and extra effort which will influence your final cost.
- The dental materials used will have an impact on the cost of your dental bridge. Dental bridges can be made from a variety of materials, including zirconia, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or all-ceramic. It is important to keep in mind that while porcelain, zirconia, and similar materials may cost more, they offer the best long-term and aesthetically pleasing results.
- Whether or not tooth extraction is required.
- Is bone grafting needed? Sometimes patients require augmentation of bone to areas that have a deficiency in bone and thus there are additional costs involved, such as bone materials for grafting.
- Laboratory fees.
- The complexity of the case and if any additional dental procedures are required.
- As every case is different and treated as such, it is generally advised to consult a dental specialist for a quote that is tailor made for you.
Why do you need to get a Dental Crown or Bridge?
Dental crowns and bridges are the most common and viable alternatives to permanent dental implants.
Why get a Crown?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped ‘cap’ that is placed over a damaged or decaying tooth to cover and/or restore its shape, strength, structure, and size as well as improve its overall aesthetic. When the crown is cemented into place, it fully encases the entire visible portion of the tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weakened tooth from breaking, chipping or cracking or to hold parts of an already cracked tooth together.
- To restore an already broken, chipped or fully cracked tooth or a tooth that has been severely damaged and worn down. Once a tooth is chipped, cracked, or broken it is important to get it fixed as soon as possible to ensure that an infection can’t set in.
- If a tooth is decayed to the point where it is affecting neighbouring teeth, it is time to consider a crown. The crown will prevent the spread of the bacteria to the neighbouring teeth and other areas of the mouth.
- In the case where there isn’t a lot of a tooth left, a crown can be used to cover and support the tooth by means of a large filling.
- To cover severely discoloured, stained, or misshaped teeth.
- Crowns are often used to hold a dental bridge in place or to cover a dental implant.
- They are used for large cavities that can’t be filled as well as for when a patient needs a root canal. A dentist will typically recommend a root canal when a tooth has become irreparably decayed or infected. Once the root canal is completed, a crown will be utilized to restore strength to the weakened tooth.
- For cosmetic reasons to fix the alignment, shape, and/or colour of your teeth and to elevate and enhance your smile.
In paediatric dentistry, a crown may be used on primary (baby) teeth in order to:
- Save a tooth that has been so severely damaged and decayed that it can’t support a filling.
- Crowns are the ideal solution for protecting the teeth of children who are at a high risk for tooth decay. This is of particular concern in children who have difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene.
- In an extreme scenario where an aversion to general anaesthesia demands the procedure, a crown might be appropriate.
Crowns have various benefits, including:
- As a dental crown completely covers the tooth over which it is placed, it is great in protecting the tooth against any further or future tooth decay.
- By ‘covering up’ your dental insecurities (such as stained, discoloured, chipped or unusually shaped teeth) it not only enhances your natural smile significantly, but gives you an immense boost in confidence.
- Crowns allow for improved chewing and eating in individuals that struggle with these tasks.
- A crown can keep a cracked tooth together and prevent or delay having a tooth extracted by your dentist.
- Crowns strengthen your teeth and restores them to their natural shape and size.
- Crowns are custom-made for you.
- A crown that fits correctly over your tooth can last for many years, even for decades.
Why get Dental Bridges?
If you are missing one or more teeth in a row but have healthy teeth on either side of the missing teeth, a dental bridge is a great option for you.
There are several reasons that constitute getting a dental bridge, some of which include:
- Having a severely decayed or damaged tooth that is beyond repair which has either fallen out on its own or needs to be removed.
- If you have one of more missing teeth.
- If decay or an infection has spread so deep within a tooth that neither a filling nor a root canal is sufficient enough, then a dental bridge needs to be considered.
Dental bridges have various benefits, including:
- Restoring a natural look to a person’s mouth/smile.
- It restores an individual’s ability to chew food efficiently. This makes a big difference to an individual’s quality of life.
- Dental bridges ensure that normal facial structure is maintained by preventing bone loss from the jaw at the site of the missing tooth/teeth.
- Bridges prevent adjacent teeth from moving or shifting around. When there is a gap in your teeth created by one or more missing teeth it can lead to a shift in the position of the adjacent teeth. This can not only affect your bite but cause a variety of dental issues and other complications.
How do crowns work?
As with all our dental procedures, you will come in for an initial consultation where we assess the condition of your teeth to determine whether a dental crown is the most suitable option for you. This process will involve a thorough examination. Once we have agreed that a crown is the best course of action, we can start the process.
It is important to note that the specific dental procedure is highly dependent on the extent of the damage and type of crown.
The procedure will begin by numbing the tooth and the surrounding affected area. Once the tooth is sufficiently numbed, the next step is to shape the tooth. This involves ‘trimming’ away some of the tooth structure. The amount of tooth structure that needs to be trimmed is dictated by each individual patient’s scenario, the extent of the dental damage, and the type of crown they will be receiving. This information is vital to ensuring the right fit and shape of the crown. While cement will ultimately secure the crown in place, only the proper size and shape will ensure that long-term strength and stability is maintained.
Once the affected tooth has been trimmed successfully and the proper shape is achieved, the next step is to take an impression of the tooth – this is what allows for the perfect crown fit. First the tooth will be thoroughly washed, cleaned, and dried. A retraction cord is then tucked around the tooth in order to push the gums back. This will allow the impression material to provide an accurate representation of the tooth. Next, the impression material is prepared, and the impression tray is pushed down over the tooth (as well as the adjacent teeth) until it melts into one unit.
The impression is removed (at this point it has solidified), offering a replica of the affected tooth that requires the crown. A ‘bite impression’ is often taken in order to ensure that the patient’s teeth are correctly aligned and come together properly for effective biting and chewing.
The impression is sent off to the lab where they make a plaster cast that is used to create your new, custom-made crown. This process can take anywhere between 1 – 3 weeks. While waiting for your permanent crown to arrive, you can opt for a temporary crown. This is advised to protect the area.
The final step of the procedure is the crown placement. First your tooth will be properly anesthetized, and the temporary crown is removed. The crown will then be placed on your tooth to gauge the fit and check the shape and appearance. During this step of the process the crown may be removed and adjusted multiple times to attain the ideal fit. Once the perfect fit is achieved, your crown will be permanently cemented into place.
Once the crown has been secured in place, you will be asked to bite down (often on cotton gauze or a nonwoven sponge) until the cement is set. The final step for the crown placement procedure to be completed is to scrape away any excess cement around the teeth.
When you’re getting a crown, we:
- Match the crown to your existing teeth in colour and appearance to ensure a natural looking smile.
- Ensure that it fits properly and is positioned correctly, so it’s strong and will last.
How do Dental Bridges work?
Before initiating any dental procedures, you will come in for an initial consultation where we assess the condition of your teeth to determine whether a dental bridge is the best way to proceed. From there, we will discuss a plan going forward. If any other issues or dental conditions are detected during the initial consultation, we will need to address those.
It is important to note that the specific dental procedure depends on the type of bridge you are getting.
The first step in the process involves preparing the abutment teeth on either side of the gap for the crowns that will hold the bridge in place. The preparation process involves the removal of some of the enamel (the outside layer of the teeth) to create enough room for the crown to be placed over the teeth. A thorough cleaning will also be performed during this phase of the process, removing any decay from your teeth.
Next, an impression of your teeth will be taken by using a soft putty-like material that you will bite into, leaving an indentation of the exact outline of your teeth. From this, a model of your teeth will be created by pouring a plaster-like material into the impression. The dental lab will use this indented model to make your permanent bridge. Until the final product is ready, a temporary bridge will be placed over the abutment teeth to protect them.
During your second dentist visit, your temporary bridge and crowns will be removed, and your permanent crowns will be checked for proper fitting. If both you and your dentist are happy with the fit of your new, custom-made bridge, it will be cemented in place using a strong adhesive / permanent type of cement.
Once your bridge has been secured in place, your dentist will check the crowns to ensure that your bite is not too high and adjust it accordingly if needed. Subsequent visits may be necessary to adjust the bite or any other issues that may arise.
How long is the dental recovery process?
Recovery varies from person to person and is directly correlated to the type of procedure and the extent of the dental work done. Your teeth, mouth and gums may feel tender and sore after the procedure. This is entirely normal. For most people, the discomfort and soreness will go away after a few days. However, your gums may need a few weeks to completely heal after undergoing a dental bridge procedure.
If symptoms continue to worsen over time, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
How long do crowns and bridges last?
If you practice good oral hygiene, keep up with regular maintenance and dental care, and see your dental professional for regular cleanings, it is possible for crowns and bridges to last for over a decade or more. For some, they even last a lifetime.
Crowns and bridges can however loosen and fall out over time. The main contributing factor to this is the damage caused by chewing hard food, ice, or other hard objects. Dental disease that causes tooth or bone loss is another reason crowns or bridges may loosen over time.
Both dental crowns and bridges have helped countless individuals restore their confidence in themselves and their smile. As technology continues to advance and evolve, crowns and dental bridges have come to resemble your permanent teeth. Technology continues to improve, which only means more and more people have had the incredible opportunity to enjoy having their smiles fully restored, and Ratan & Singh is beyond elated and proud to be part of each and every one of our patient’s journeys.