Crowns and bridges

What is a dental crown?

couronne-dentaireA dental crown is a way of restoring teeth when the tooth or implant is fully covered with the crown material.

In what cases are crowns used?

Crowns are most commonly used when the tooth cavity is too big to solve the problem with filling or inlay / onlay. In these cases the tooth material is weakened and there is an increased risk of tooth fracture which can be avoided by fitting a crown.

Another indications of using crowns are fractured tooth or a tooth with severely worn surface. Esthetical reasons like discoloured teeth or gap between the front teeth can indicate using crowns as well.

Implants also have to be covered by crowns. The implant is a titanium screw fit in the jaw at the place of a missing tooth and has the same function as the root of the natural tooth. The crown on bridge can only be fit if the implant is intergrated into the bone.

In what cases are dental bridges used?

Dental bridges are used when the patient lacks one or more teeth. The simplest situation is when a dental bridge is made of three teeth. The two side pieces are fixed on the patients own teeth or on implants and the middle piece covers the place of the missing tooth.

How are crowns produced and what materials are used?

Crowns can be made of several materials including a metal frame covered by ceramics, ceramic composite or zirkon. The crowns are fixed to the tooth with special dental cement.

If a crown is fixed on a natural tooth, the tooth has to be prepared first which means that the tooth material is partially removed with special filing techniques to enable the tooth to receive the crown.

The dentist takes extreme care to remove as little of the natural tooth as possible, taking the long term stability and the gum protection into consideration as well.

To produce the crown an impression has to be made of the prepared tooth first. The final crown which fits perfectly to the tooth is made in a dental laboratory, using this impression. The production time is usually 4-5 working days (or more in case of a more complicated prosthetic work) so in the meantime a temporary crown is used.

Types of Crowns

couronne-ceramiqueIn VitalCenter all the prosthetic works are carried out at the highest quality, with the latest materials, with cutting edge laboratory background and in the shortest time possible!

Metal Ceramic Crowns

It is the most commonly used type of crowns due to its value and durability.

First an impression is taken of the teeth and a metal frame is manufactured based on the impression. Then a ceramic layer is burnt onto the frame. The ceramic layer is coloured matching to the shade of the natural teeth.

The advantages of metal ceramic crowns are being accurate fitting, durable and strong, and due to the porcelain cover their colour can be adjusted to the shade natural teeth.

There is only one disadvantage of metal ceramic crowns: over the course of time, if the gum reduces, the dark metal edge of the crowns become visible.

Zirkon crowns

For patients who find the aesthetic appearance the most important, the ceramic crown burnt on a zirconium dioxide frame is the right choice.

Zirkon crowns are even stronger than metal ceramic crowns and their appearance is identical to the natural teeth even in their transparency. For all these features they are ideal for replacing front teeth.

In case of metal ceramic crowns after 5-10 years the dark edge of the metal frame will become visible at the meeting point of the crown and the gum due to the recession of the latter.

To manufacture perfectly fitting zirkon crowns state-of-the art CAD/CAM technology is used enabling accuracy of as high as 5 microns.

When a zirkon crown is made, first an impression is taken of the prepared teeth then the impression is digitalized and displayed in the computer. The size, the shape and the frame of the crown can be designed in the computer based on this.

The next step is the milling of the frame with another computer which is connected to a milling machine. This machine is able to mill the frame out of the zirkon block inserted in the machine with micron’s accuracy.

couronne-metalliqueFinally, the ceramic cover is burnt onto the frame. The shade of the covering layer is choosen by the patient taking the shade of the natural teeth into account.

There is only one disadvantage of the zirkon crowns: due to the exclusive quality their price is slightly higher than the other crown types.

Full Ceramic Crowns

The full ceramic crown is the result of the aesthetics-centered modern trends of the dentistry.

As these crowns are made without metal frame, and their transparency is adjusted to the natural teeth appearance, teeth of perfect beauty can be made of them. Another advantages include being anti-allergenic, colourfast and wear-proof.

The strength and the flexibility of full ceramic crowns are somewhat lower those of metal ceramic crowns, so they are not recommended for replacing molars.

Full ceramic crowns are therefore most suitable for replacing front teeth, because front teeth bear smaller chewing forces than molars and the aesthetics have higher importance.

Golden Ceramic Crown

This strong, resistant and durable crown is a sub-type of the metal ceramic crown, in which the metal frame is made of gold.

Main advantages:

  • The golden ceramic crown minimizes the risk of tooth decay due to the production technology during which the golden frame is built on the gypsum model of the patient’s teeth with a galvanizing technology. This method enables perfect fitting with no gap between the crown and the tooth so no tooth decay can develop.
  • Gold is a biocompatible metal, so any allergy to metals can be excluded when used.
  • As the yellowish colour of gold is similar to the colour of the dentin (the layer under the tooth enamel) so the final appearance of the crown is close to natural.
  • The golden frame can be made thinner than other metals so considerably less has to be taken off of the original tooth material.

Composite Crown

Composite crowns are made of a mixture of ceramic material and synthetic resin. Their main advantage is that less tooth material has to be taken off than in case of metal ceramic crowns. This kind of crown is however less durable than metal ceramic crowns. It’s mainly used in case of front teeth, if the patient seeks for a solution with lower price than porcelain veneers and other types of crowns.
Metal Crown

Due to the unnatural, metallic appearance this type of crown is very rarely used now. Apart from this one significant disadvantage metal crowns have many advantages: durability, attractive price and thinness which allows to remove as little of the tooth material as possible.


bridge-dentaireIn VitalCenter all the prosthetic works are carried out at the highest quality, with the latest materials, cutting edge laboratory background and in the shortest time possible!

What is a dental Bridge?

Dental Bridges are used when missing teeth have to be replaced.

bridge-dentaire-2In case a dental bridge, the replacement tooth is held by the two neighbouring teeth with crowns fitted on them, too. In many cases the neigbouring teeth are also damaged but in case their roots are healthy they are suitable to hold the bridge. The teeth might be root canal treated but might have intact roots as well. In some cases, when the visible part of the tooth is not sufficient a post and core has to be fixed in the root to enable the tooth to hold the bridge.

How is a dental bridge made?

The first step is taking an impression of the prepared teeth. Then the bridge is made in a dental laboratory. The shape and the shade of the bridge is matched to the patients original teeth. The two side piece of the bridge are fitted on the patients prepared own teeth and the middle piece(s) replacing the missing teeth are connected to them.

During a second visit the bridge is tried in the patient’s mouth and adjusted if required. If everything is perfect, the bridge is permanently fixed and the patient leaves the clinic with an aesthetic solution whose usability is nearly equal to the natural teeth. There are further methods for replacing missing teeth. Removable partial denture is a lower price solution for this problem. In this case the removable part is fixed with visible attachments. It is an aesthetically weaker solution and there is a risk that the attachments damage the teeth.

The missing tooth can be replaced by fitting implants though this solution can be used only on some conditions.

In VitalCenter all the prosthetic works are carried out at the highest quality, with the latest materials, with cutting edge laboratory background and in the shortest time possible!

Dentist at workShould the need arise removable dentures are also available in our clinic.

Please note that traditional removable dentures have a palatal part across the top of the mouth which hinders taste sensation and talking.

If it is medically possible crowns, bridges and dentures fixed with implants are strongly preferred. The palatal part of an implant fixed denture is considerably smaller and as a result eating is more enjoyable and talking is easier.

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