Guide to Removing Crowns and Bridges
The usage of crowns and bridges in dental work is a fairly common and straightforward procedure. These restorations can help restore dentition or function to damaged teeth. Today, crowns and bridges typically have a longer lifespan then they did in the past. The complexity of bridge and crown removals will vary on the whether the restoration was permanent or temporary, the age of the restoration, and the material from which it was made.
Placement and utilization of dental crowns to restore damaged teeth is fairly common procedure, and one that dentists perform on a regular basis. Despite the use of new advances in the materials used for these restorations, crown removal may need to be performed for a number of reasons, including:
- Temporary crowns need to be removed for a more permanent restoration
- Dental caries around or under the crown
- Damage to the crown
- Normal aging of the crown
- To treat an infected tooth
Temporary crown removal is a fairly straightforward procedure due to the nature of the restoration. In most cases, only the use of a hand tool, such as a scaler or large spoon excavator, is required to apply pressure parallel to the axial length of the tooth. Once the cement has been broken, crown removal occurs gently and with little to no damage done to the tooth.
Permanent crown removal is a little more complicated. Historically, this has meant the destruction of the crown and damage to the underlying dentition. Over time, however, many devices have been developed to facilitate crown removals while minimizing damage to the tooth or restoration. KaVo’s CORONAflex Crown and Bridge Remover is one such device. It utilizes compressed air to destroy the adhesive cement that connects the crown to the tooth. In most cases, this can be done without breakage of the crown. The CORONAflex makes a sometimes difficult procedure significantly easier and less painful for the patient.
The CORONAflex comes with a variety of accessories that can be reused and are suitable for all types of crowns and bridges. To use it for crown removals:
- Position the forceps at the margin of the crown, and the crown remover against the forcep to ensure that force is pulled axially.
- Trigger the impact pulse via the button on the instrument.
In most cases, the forceps are able to remove the crowns. However, the CORONAflex also comes with a specialized clamp that can be helpful in removing difficult crowns on the posterior teeth.
Though dental bridges also usually have a long lifespan (can be up to several decades), most bridges will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. Bridges can fail for several reasons, including:
- The bridge has broken
- Presence of cavities or caries in the abutment teeth
- Fractured abutment teeth
Because the bridge completely covers the abutment teeth, it can be difficult to detect damage or decay in those teeth. Patients may complain of pain or sensitivity of the gums or teeth surrounding the bridge, or they may even report feeling that the bridge has a chip or crack.
A simple fracture or chip can sometimes be repaired instead of having to remove the entire bridge. However, if the issue is with the abutment teeth, the bridge will most likely need to be removed in order to repair the damaged tooth. As most bridges are permanent, this means that bridge removal will likely require that the restoration is completely removed, or destroyed in order to gain access to the abutment teeth.
In addition to crown removals, KaVo’s CORONAflex can be used to remove a bridge with minimal risk of breakage. The remover comes with a loop and loop holder, which can be used to facilitate bridge removal. It is simple and easy to use:
- Thread the loop (which is connected to the loop holder) under the bridge as close to the anchor tooth as possible
- Position CORONAflex against loop holder
- Apply axial pressure against the loop holder and trigger the impact pulse again to loosen the restoration
Crown and bridge removal doesn’t have to be a difficult and painful procedure for your patients. The use of specialized tools, such as the KaVo CORONAflex, can simplify bridge and crown removals so they are quick and easy, and with minimal to no damage to the teeth and restoration. Contact KaVo today to get more information about this product and see how it can benefit your patients!