Crowns are designed to make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance. They fit over a tooth like an armour. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings would not solve the problem.
If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage does not get worse. It is also used to support a large filling when there is not enough of the tooth remaining, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth, or cover badly shaped or discoloured teeth.
A crown can cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there is not enough tooth structure left. In most cases, crowns are indicated after a root canal therapy, and are used to protect the devital tooth.
To prepare the tooth for a crown, it is reshaped smaller so that the crown can fit over it. An impression of teeth and gums is made and sent to the laboratory for the crown fabrication. A temporary crown is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. On the next visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown onto the tooth.
With proper care, crowns normally can last between eight and twelve years. With good oral hygiene, however, crowns typically enjoy higher life expectancy. It is important to clean between your crowns and teeth. Flossing is important to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth as it can cause dental decay and gum disease.
A missing tooth or several teeth impairs proper speech and lowers aesthetic appeal. Besides dental implants, a bridge is another option that can help restore your smile. It is actually made of several crowns connected together.
Bridges help maintain the shape of your face, as well reduce the stress in your bite by replacing missing teeth.
Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth. In most cases, bridges are very natural and unnoticeable. They literally bridge the gap where one or more teeth may have been. Unlike a denture that you can take out and clean, only a dentist can remove a fixed bridge.
Bonding is a process in which a resin material is applied to a tooth's surface, sculpted to an ideal shape, hardened, and then polished for an ideal smile.
Bonding is often performed in order to fill in gaps or change the colour of your teeth. It typically only entails one office visit, and the results may last for several years.
Bonding is more susceptible to staining or chipping than other forms of restoration such as veneers. When teeth are chipped or slightly decayed, bonded composite resins may be the material of choice. Bonding also is used as a tooth-coloured filling for small cavities and broken or chipped surfaces.
For larger restorations, bonding may not be suitable and veneers or crowns may be needed.
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain cemented over the front of your teeth to change their colour or shape. Veneers are used on teeth with uneven surfaces or are chipped, discoloured, unevenly spaced or crooked. They have a longer life expectancy and colour stability than bonding, and highly resist permanent staining from coffee, tea, or even cigarette smoking. They are almost always used in “Smile Makeover” cases.
Porcelain veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained by tetracycline, by an injury, or as a result of a root-canal procedure, and are ideal for masking discoloured fillings on front teeth. Patients with gaps between their front teeth or have teeth that are chipped or worn may consider porcelain veneers.
Typically, veneers entail at least three appointments: diagnosis and treatment planning, preparation, and cementation.
During the tooth preparation visit, a local anesthetic may be given to ensure the treatment is painless. The teeth shape is modified and a mould is taken of the teeth, and sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the veneers. At the final "bonding" visit, the veneers are checked for fit and colour before being permanently bonded to the teeth using special light activated adhesives.
If you have lost some or all of your natural teeth, whether from periodontal disease, tooth decay or injury, dentures can replace your missing teeth and your smile. Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. Without support from the denture, facial muscles sag, making a person look older. You will be able to eat and speak better - things that people often take for granted until their natural teeth are lost.
Dentures require approximately three to five visits, depending on the type of denture to be made. During the first appointment, the Denture Specialist (Prosthodontist) first takes measurements and makes models of the patient's jaws. The second visit measures and customises the bite and height of the denture, after which the patient will return for a third visit for the dentist to note the final preferences to the denture. After all necessary amendments and adjustments, the denture is ready for collection on the fourth visit.
Do note that even if you wear dentures, you still must take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque. All dentures should also be removed and placed in a cup of water before retiring for the night.