The proliferation of cosmetic dental techniques in recent decades has left many patients under-educated about possible treatment options. If you would like some help in bringing your knowledge of cosmetic dentistry up to date, read on. This article will discuss two of the most versatile and widespread treatments in use today.
A dental veneer affords both a measure of protection and a considerable upgrade in appearance to the front surface of a tooth. These shield-like prosthetics, which are attached to the tooth using a special dental cement, are specially constructed using porcelain. This gives veneers an excellent measure of durability, as well as a lifespan that can easily reach twenty years.
Veneers are an especially versatile treatment for cosmetic issues. They may be used to correct any of the following:
- chipped teeth
- broken teeth
- discolored teeth
- malocclusions, or excessive space between top and bottom teeth
- wide lateral gaps between teeth
If your dentist agrees that veneers are a suitable treatment option, the first step of the installation process will involve the removal of a thin portion of enamel from the applicable teeth. This is necessary in order to accommodate the thickness of the veneer. Without removing a layer of enamel, the veneer would jut out noticeably from the front of the tooth.
Not only that, but the removal of enamel roughens up the surface of the tooth. This helps to promote a tighter bond by increasing the surface area over which the dental cement can spread. Now the dentist will take a mold of the teeth in question, and this mold will be used by a dental prosthetics laboratory to craft the veneers. While this is happening, your dentist will likely provide you with a set of retainer-like temporary veneers. Once the permanent veneers have been crafted, you will meet with your dentist again for the installation.
A crown is similar to a veneer in that both are strategies for improving the aesthetics of damaged or otherwise unattractive teeth. Whereas veneers sit on the front surface of the tooth, a crown acts to encase the entire tooth, thus masking the damage from all possible angles.
Crowns are also differentiated from veneers by the fact that they tend to be around twice as thick. This grants them an extra degree of durability, reducing the likelihood that they will be compromised by cracks, chips, or other forms of damage. Further enhancing their durability is the fact that crowns can be manufactured not just out of porcelain but also out of metal.
Contact a dentist for more information.