Dental reconstruction is a central part of what we do at our dentist in Marylebone, Plowman & Partners, allowing our patients to get back the lost function and aesthetics of their teeth. There are a lot of treatments that can be used in restoration, but let’s focus on two of the most important; crowns and bridges.
Function and aesthetics
Reconstruction has primarily been focused around returning function over aesthetics, often seeing cosmetic improvement as secondary. It is certainly true that teeth that appear attractive but are brittle and are causing discomfort are of little use, not only for the patient day to day, but also for the longevity of any cosmetic work. But the two are no longer separated by our team.
What are crowns?
Crowns are fixed prosthetics that are secured over the top of a prepared tooth, The prosthetic itself is an enamel shell, with a metal or acrylic base. They are resistant to staining and wear, but will eventually require replacing; the longevity of the prosthetic is usually limited by the health of the underlying root.
Preparation of the tooth is vital for strong and long-lasting restoration. First, any active decay has to be removed, as it contains actively spreading bacteria which if allowed will spread down the root. The upper surface of the remaining tooth is modelled, traditionally this was done by taking a dental mould, but small handheld scanners give us the option of taking an accurate three-dimensional depiction of the tooth more quickly and conveniently. The surface is the interface between the prosthetic and the remaining tooth, so its accuracy is critical for the strength and longevity of the restoration.
What are bridges?
Bridges are sets of crowns affixed to one another; they can be used to replace large gaps in your smile of two to four teeth, bridging the vacant space. There are two main types of bridges; fixed and removable. Fixed bridges are more solid; they use a set of white loops to anchor themselves in place with less rocking, so they feel more natural. Unfortunately this relies on healthy teeth being available and also creates additional challenges when cleaning underneath the bridge. This makes the daily maintenance of removable bridges simpler and more akin to a partial denture.
The lifespan of a fixed bridge is shorter than that of replaceable ones, as they generate additional stress on the healthy teeth, potentially even cracking them over time. So, they require regular maintenance from our team.
What’s right for you?
During the reconstruction, there are lots of factors that have to be considered: the patient’s age, lifestyle, quality of adjacent teeth and whether any tooth decay is only in the top of the tooth or extended into its root.
This variety makes it very difficult to guess which reconstructions are appropriate without a check-up at our dentist in Marylebone and setting a goal for the restoration. This is the role of our dentist in Marylebone and we will provide you with all the information you need and present the options, allowing you to make an informed decision.