Dental Crowns, Veneers, Bridges and Implants
These are often used to address patients’ aesthetic or functional concerns. There are a wide range of indications for these treatments that range from compromised or weakened teeth to filling missing gaps.
Dental Crowns (either ceramic or gold)
These are often indicated to provide teeth with support, such as in the case of heavily filled teeth. Such teeth often have little tooth structure and are often at risk of snapping off if not supported properly. Root canal treated teeth are another example of teeth requiring support and tooth structure is usually much less than in unfilled teeth. In a few situations, teeth may also be crowned to improve appearance.
Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays are a special type of filling that is fabricated by the dental lab to replace your existing composite or amalgam fillings. These can either be made in Gold or Porcelain. There are several indications for these types of fillings so it’s best to talk to us about them at the consultation appointment.
These types of restorations can help improve the appearance of your teeth and your overall smile. Veneers are delicate thin porcelain structures (less than 1mm in thickness) that can greatly transform your smile. Whether its unsymmetrical tooth shape or size, Veneers may be the solution for you. We are happy to discuss this treatment option with you at the consultation appointment.
Dental Bridges are usually indicated when teeth are missing or removed. Missing teeth can often be replaced by partial dentures, bridges or implants. The major difference between bridges and dentures is that one is removable while the other is not. Dentures need to be removed, cleaned after meals and should often be left out at night. Bridges are fixed structures that never need to be removed and use the adjacent tooth or teeth for support. The underlying metal or high strength porcelain structure used to fabricate bridges ensures their strength, while the fine artistic ceramic used to finish the bridges provides you with a restoration that is hard to distinguish from your natural teeth.
Dental implants are now considered the gold standard for tooth replacement worldwide. Whether they are used in the front or back of your mouth, you can be sure that you will get superior aesthetics and an incredible track record for longevity. Research suggests that the superior properties of today’s implants make them worth the investment.
Implants have also become more affordable over the last few years making them suitable for a wide range of patients requiring either single or multiple tooth replacements.
Implant supported crowns can provide superior aesthetics in the smile region as they do not rely on support from the adjacent teeth (unlike bridges and some partial dentures). There are no clasps or metal objects that will affect the seemingly beautiful appearance of an implant supported crown – in fact, most people can hardly tell the difference between them and your natural teeth (even dentists can get this one wrong!). The faultless hand-crafted ceramic crown that screws on to your implant often extends under your gums to mimic the emergence profile of a natural tooth.
Strength & Longevity
Dental implants are generally made of titanium making them extremely tough in demanding oral conditions. If maintained properly, implant supported restorations have been shown to last longer than crowns and bridges. A life expectancy of longer than 15 years is usually expected.
Replace single, multiple or all your teeth
Dental implants can be used to replace single teeth (resembling crowns), or multiple missing teeth (resembling bridges). But you don’t just have to own your teeth to enjoy this technology – implants can also be used in denture wearers. Implant supported dentures are often indicated in people who have a hard time controlling their dentures, either while eating, speaking or just at rest. Implants can improve the retention of a dentures to give you increased confidence and function. Generally speaking, implants are often used for lower dentures with great success (often only 2 implants are needed, although this may depend on your mouth conditions).
Implant therapy is considered an advanced form of treatment requiring a high degree of technical skills as well as planning skills. Therefore, we often spend as long as needed to understand your requirements, discuss this treatment option in detail and contrast to alternative options. We also spend a large a mouth of time examining clinical markers that help us determine whether implants would be a suitable option. Factors like medical history, quality and quantity of supporting bone and space are often very important in the decision making process. We will often take study models at this time and go away to do some planning.
The second stage involves us referring you to an oral surgeon or gum specialist who will go on and place the implant in the desired position we have planned and indicated. This procedure is often done under local anaesthetic and is very much non-traumatic (even better than having a tooth removed!). Once the implant is placed and allowed to integrate with the bone, we can place the final restoration. This procedure may differ slightly between people so feel free to ask us any questions you may have if you’re considering implants.
Quality of Our Work
At Merivale Dental group, we use the highest quality materials and techniques to ensure you receive the best quality fillings and restorations. We constantly review new research on materials and techniques, and only incorporate it into our clinic when there is enough evidence to suggest its superiority over currently used practices.
Most Crowns, Veneers & Bridges are fabricated indirectly by a dental lab technician. This ensures unrivalled aesthetics and precision fit. Most of the labs we work with are within Christchurch, although certain types of work may also be sent to other labs in New Zealand. In some cases, we will also use international Australian, European & American labs (again for certain types of work that require very specialised equipment). Regardless of the lab, however, we inspect each unit once it arrives and also in your mouth – so you can be sure you are getting the best quality work. We stand by our workmanship.