Dental bridges and crowns, known by many patients as dental caps, are functional solutions that, in many cases, also restore the aesthetics of the teeth. When patients are offered restorative treatments such as bridges, crowns and dental veneers, a series of questions arise. Do you want to know what they are? Let us tell you!
Frequently asked questions about dental bridges, crowns and veneers
1. What are dental crowns and bridges?
A dental crown is a fixed prosthesis that is placed on the tooth to be restored in order to restore function and aesthetics. When two or more crowns are joined together to cover teeth that have been damaged, it is called a dental bridge. These fully customised pieces are usually made of porcelain or zirconium.
Porcelain crowns have a similar appearance to the original teeth, they have multiple properties that provide a natural and aesthetic appearance. There are porcelain crowns with a metal base and others that are metal-free. The main advantage of metal-free crowns is aesthetics, as they allow light to reflect in a similar way to natural teeth, which makes them the preferred treatment for anterior teeth.
On the other hand, there are zirconium crowns, a latest generation material that does not need a metal base to add strength and is therefore highly aesthetic. Other outstanding properties of zirconium crowns are their optimum durability as it is a material that suffers very little wear and tear and has exceptional biocompatibility.
2. What are dental veneers?
Dental veneers are mainly used for aesthetic treatments and are bonded to the vestibular part of the tooth after a small amount of wear, if necessary, on the surface of the tooth enamel. These thin films are used to improve aesthetics and give a more harmonious appearance to the smile. They are also useful for correcting diastemas.
When it comes to materials, there are composite, porcelain or ceramic dental veneers. Composite veneers are excellent for closing gaps (the black triangles that form between the teeth) and are the most commonly used because they adapt seamlessly to the natural colour of the teeth.
When dental veneers are required on more than one tooth, porcelain veneers are often used. Porcelain veneers, unlike composite veneers, are not permanently stained and can be more durable.
3. How are dental crowns, bridges and veneers made?
The digital transformation plays an important role in the fabrication of fixed prostheses in dentistry, thanks to which we can achieve the highest quality indirect restorations, with high aesthetics, durability, perfect fit and contact points, all in a very short time.
The most innovative technology of our time is CAD/CAM, where CAD stands for "Computer Aided Design" and CAM for "Computer Aided Manufacturing". This totally digital procedure scans the patient's mouth in the first instance and, thanks to laser reproduction, facilitates the design of the prosthesis via a computer with three-dimensional software which is capable of calculating the insertion axes, amongst other things. Once this process has been completed, the last step is the manufacture of the final piece by means of robotised milling.
As you can imagine, restorations are very precise with this technology, as there is no potential for human error and the planning of the restoration is more accurate than with traditional methods. Also, patient visits to the dental clinic are reduced with this process.
Of course, this technology is more expensive and is not yet able to replace traditional methods of fixed prosthetics, where the dental laboratory performs the meticulous work of fabricating the restoration from an accurate model of the patient's teeth.
4. How long do crowns, bridges and veneers last?
Dental crowns and bridges can last for years, even decades, if the patient is careful about oral hygiene. But their lifespan also depends on the material from which the restorations are made. For example, zirconium crowns can last a lifetime. For ceramic crowns, their lifespan ranges from 15 to 40 years with good maintenance.
Equally, the material is also a key factor when it comes to dental veneers. Porcelain veneers also last up to 15 years without changing colour. Meanwhile, even with identical conditions and care, composite veneers have a lifespan of approximately five years.
Of course, the durability of these dental restorations also depends on the characteristics of the patient's mouth. If they grind their teeth (bruxism), this lifespan may be reduced. In any case, routine visits to the dentist to check that everything is as it should be are essential to prevent anomalies and to preserve the fixed prostheses in perfect condition for as long as possible.
5. How are crowns, bridges and veneers bonded to the teeth?
Resin Cements are the material chosen to create a durable and definitive bonding of fixed prosthesis, they must be able to bond the tooth to the different types of materials which crowns, bridges and dental veneers are made out of.
Manufacturers usually have different shades to choose from, the most common being A2 and translucent, which are used for the cementation of aesthetic restorations in the anterior sector. With these cements it is also important that the film thickness is minimal, in order to not to alter the height of the restoration.
TOP 3: The best resin cements for your restorations
There are several options for resin cements, but to make your decision easier we have complied this ranking, according to the best characteristics of each one:
m-Zem Plus: Medicaline Self-Adhesive Resin Cement
Designed for the definitive cementation of metal, ceramic or composite restorations.
- Dual curing.
- Minimal film thickness.
- Self-etching and self-adhesive.
- Fluid texture, ideal for easy removal of residues.
- Easy and fast application.
- High radiopacity.
- Available in A2 and TW colours.
RelyX Unicem 2 Automix: 3M Dual Self-Adhesive Resin Cement
Designed for inlays, onlays, crowns and all-ceramic, composite or metal bridges and restorations.
- Dual polymerisation.
- Allows for flexible dosing.
- Long-term durability.
- Provides high adhesion and high resistance to colour changing
- Excellent results without pre-treatment of the tooth.
- It has an optimal consistency for dispensing.
- Allows very easy removal of excess material.
Variolink Esthetic DC: Ivoclar Vivadent Self-mixing Resin Cement
Variolink Esthetic is a dual-curing composite and is used for permanent cementation of the most demanding ceramic in aesthetic restorations and composite restorations.
- Natural fluorescence.
- Excellent colour stability.
- Impressive radiodiagnosis.
- Balanced and simple Effect color system.
- Easy and precise elimination of excess.
- Flexible situational consistency.
If you want to find out more, don't miss out on our Article about Resin Cements.
Remember you can follow us on our social networks to always be up to date on all the news in the dental sector, and if you liked our article, don't forget to share it with your friends.
See you next time!