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A crown is a tooth shaped cover or cap which fits like a thimble over the prepared structure of your natural tooth/filling (large fillings often need crowns to hold the filling and tooth together) to protect and restore the tooth’s function. There are many materials, depending on the problem. One end of the scale is that they are brilliantly beautiful for the front of your mouth and for the back teeth where strength is imperative, gold might be used.

Crowns are used to:
• Strengthen teeth which have been weakened by excessive decay or over-large filling.
• Protect fractured, cracked and worn teeth.
• Improve the shape, alignment and shade of a tooth.
• Protect after root canal treatment. Because of the significant loss of tooth tissue, the weakened tooth needs the bracing support from a crown.

Making a crown is a two step process. Initially, part of the tooth to be covered is removed along with any fillings or core repairs. An impression is taken by using a gel into which your teeth are embedded. The indentations are an exact copy of your teeth and/or tooth preparations which enable our dental technicians to craft your restoration. Approximately 1-2 weeks later, the restoration is fitted and homecare instructions given for you to look after them.

Bridge – multiple crowns joined together

A bridge is one of the options to replace one or more missing teeth. It is a permanent fixture which is anchored to the adjacent natural tooth or teeth to ‘bridge’ the gap where the tooth (or teeth) is missing. This fills the gap and looks like a row of natural teeth. It helps spread the load when you chew and stabilize the replaced teeth’s position.

Bridges have the same advantages as crowns and are prepared in the same way. A bridge is a great option if you do not wish to have a denture to replace your missing tooth or teeth. There are many different designs and materials which can be used for bridges: we will discuss the best option for you.


Inlays and onlays are restorations that are used to rebuild a tooth like a filling but are normally much larger. It is a 2 step procedure with the first step being the preparation and the second, the fitting or bonding. Inlays fit into the tooth whereas onlays cover the top of the tooth.

Inlays and onlays can be constructed using porcelain/ceramic or gold.
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Harley Dentistry
344 Otumoetai Road
Otumoetai, Tauranga  3110
Phone: (07) 576-3104
New patients: (07) 576-3109
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