Dental Crowns are a tooth-shaped cap which is fixed on a damaged tooth to restore its shape, size, and appearance. It also enhances the strength of the tooth. If the major part of the tooth is missing due to decay or fracture, then the crown is the best solution for it. By placing the crown, a tooth can function normally again.

A bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more natural missing teeth. A fixed bridge is usually an artificial tooth cemented to two or more existing natural teeth adjacent to the missing tooth/teeth. The natural teeth are prepared and crowned to attach the false tooth. Unlike removable partial denture, a fixed bridge cannot be taken out of the mouth by the patient.

Crowns and bridges are used with implants also to replace missing teeth. These can be made of various materials like metal, metal fused to ceramic and full ceramic esthetic crowns.

veneers and laminates

Veneers for Teeth

In dentistry, a veneer is a layer of material placed over a tooth. Veneers can improve the aesthetics of a smile and protect the tooth’s surface from damage.

There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer: composite and dental porcelain. A composite veneer may be directly placed (built-up in the mouth), or indirectly fabricated by a dental technician in a dental lab, and later bonded to the tooth, typically using a resin cement. Usually used for treatment of adolescent patients who will require a more permanent design once they are fully grown. The lifespan of a composite veneer is approximately 4 years. In contrast, a porcelain veneer may only be indirectly fabricated. A full veneer crown is described as “a restoration that covers all the coronal tooth surfaces (Mesial, Distal, Facial, Lingual and Occlusal)”. Laminate veneer, on the other hand, is a thin layer that covers only the surface of the tooth and generally used for aesthetic purposes. These typically have better performance and aesthetics and are less plaque retentive.

Medical uses

Veneers are a prosthetic device, by prescription only, used by the cosmetic dentist. A dentist may use one veneer to restore a single tooth or veneer with high quality that may have been fractured or discolored, or in most cases multiple teeth on the upper arch to create a big bright “Hollywood” type of smile makeover. Many people have small teeth resulting in spaces that may not be easily closed by orthodontics. Some people have worn away the edges of their teeth resulting in a prematurely aged appearance, while others may have malpositioned tooth/teeth that appear crooked. Multiple veneers can close these spaces, lengthen teeth that have been shortened by wear, fill the black triangles between teeth caused by gum recession, provide a uniform color, shape, and symmetry, and make the teeth appear straight. Dentists also recommend using thin porcelain veneers to strengthen worn teeth. It is also applied to yellow teeth that won’t whiten. Thin veneers are an effective option for aging patients with worn dentition. In many cases, minimal to no tooth preparation is needed when using porcelain veneers.

When preparing, in between prep and fit appointments of the veneer, you can make temporaries, usually out of composite. These are not normally indicated but can be used if the patient is complaining of sensitivity or aesthetics. According to a leading Cosmetic Dentist, temporaries are really important to design and finalize the aesthetics of the final veneers. Temporaries help patients and the dentist decide on the right color, length and shape of the veneers.