Although the external surface of a tooth is made of strong enamel, teeth can chip, break or weaken due to:

  • Trauma – i.e. a knock or a fall
  • Dental decay
  • Root canal treatment
  • Large amalgam fillings
  • Age related wear and tear

A crown or ‘cap’ is often the best way to save and strengthen a tooth. It fits over your existing tooth.

A bridge replaces one or more missing teeth where an artificial tooth is attached to the adjacent natural teeth.

Crowns and bridges are made from porcelain, metal alloy or both. Porcelain is commonly used as it is strong and can be made to match the colour of the natural teeth.

Our dentists use technology known as CAD/CAM to produce the crowns for most patients. The system can restore teeth in a single appointment.

The procedure is conducted under local anaesthetic. The crown is about two millimetres thick, so the dentist first shaves this same amount off the existing tooth to avoid awkward-looking, over-sized teeth. He or she will also re-shape the existing tooth so the crown can easily sit over the top. Your dentist will use a camera to electronically capture and store photographic images of the prepared tooth. The data is used to craft a 3D design of what your tooth will look like. The information is sent to a machine which uses specially designed diamond burs to mill the restoration from a solid ceramic block into a pre-determined shade matching the former or adjacent teeth. It is then polished, fitted and cemented into place.

With good oral hygiene and regular maintenance, crowns and bridges can last many years.