A bridge is a fixed dental restoration (a fixed dental prosthesis) used to replace a missing tooth (or several teeth) by joining an artificial tooth permanently to adjacent teeth.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth -- to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance.
In dentistry, a veneer is a layer of material placed over a tooth, either to improve the aesthetics of a tooth or to protect the tooth's surface from damage. There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer: composite and dental porcelain.
Having a crown made for you and inserted over your tooth like a cap, saves the tooth and avoids having an unnecessary extraction. The crown strengthens a tooth that has been compromised by large fillings or dental decay and trauma.
The latest technology creates crowns made with porcelain material. This makes the tooth look and feel very natural and improves the appearance of the smile. While an amalgam or metal allow shows the extent of dental work, a porcelain crown will have a white reflective shine, mimicking your own teeth.
If the crown is made from porcelain, it can be made to exactly match the shade and shape of your other teeth so that it blends in with the adjacent teeth, making it difficult to discern from the surrounding ones. When the lining is porcelain as well, then even though the gum line may recede (which is typical in the aging process), the crown will look like your other teeth.
The operative site where the crown or bridge will be placed can be made numb with local anesthetics.
Crowns are generally placed on the two teeth adjacent to the bridge to be attached for strength to these teeth. Then the bridge, constructed with one or more artificial teeth, is attached to the teeth being covered, spanning the gap in between. Metal bands connect the crowns to the artificial tooth, holding it in the proper place. Unfortunately, some healthy tissue in the adjacent teeth is removed to make room for the appliance.
Bridges can last more than ten years if proper oral hygiene is maintained.
A fixed bridge, which replaces one or more missing teeth, cannot be removed from your mouth. It is fixed onto the two crowns adjacent to either side of the bridge.
Crowns and bridges look very natural now with the latest techniques and you can sport them with confidence
Well cared for composite resin veneers may last 5-7 years. They may chip or break on the biting edge if you are not careful. They will discolor in time which is the main reason for replacing them.
Porcelain veneers usually last 10-15 years. Chipping or de-bonding may occur if you grind your teeth, in this case a protective occlusal splint may be recommended.
Veneers cover the underlying teeth so that can give the appearance of straightening crooked teeth. Veneers do not change the angle that the teeth emerge from the gums so the appearance of the gums may detract from the overall aesthetic effect. Orthodontic treatment may be a better option for very crooked teeth.
The length of time is necessary to allow the dental technician adequate time to manufacture your veneer.
Porcelain veneers can chip or break if the veneer is taking all the force of biting. Hard foods such as nuts and can crack porcelain. Grinding may also cause chips or breakage. If this occurs contact us for replacement or a repair appointment.
As with any dental restoration, your veneer may feel strange for a few days, but you should not feel any pain or discomfort. Your bite should feel even on all teeth.
The tooth under the temporary veneer may be slightly sensitive for a few days, but should discomfort continue, please contact us. If the fit and bite of the veneer is correct, you should not feel any pain once the veneer is cemented. If you do experience pain it may be due to a high spot on the veneer, causing excessive pressure on the spot. Contact us to have this eased.
The veneer is cleared of excess cement once it is inserted; however it is possible for some cement to remain, which can cause difficulty flossing. If this occurs contact us to have it checked.