If you want to improve your smile, dental veneers are a simple option. A porcelain veneer is a thin shell that is custom-made to fit on the tooth. The thin coverings are placed over the front (visible) part of the tooth. They look like natural teeth. Veneers can be used to correct a wide range of dental issues, such as:
- Teeth that are stained and can't be whitened by bleaching.
- Chipped or worn teeth.
- Crooked or misshapen teeth.
- Uneven spaces or a large gap between the upper front 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. The crown, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of tooth left
- To cover misshapened or severely discolored teeth
- To make a cosmetic modification
A dental bridge is used to bridge the gap between two healthy teeth where one or more teeth are missing. In most cases, a dental crown is placed on the healthy teeth on each side of the gap to support the bridge in between them. These teeth are known as anchor teeth or abutment teeth. The bridge essentially creates a false tooth, known as a pontic. The pontic may be constructed from various materials such as gold, alloys, porcelain or a mixture of these materials. The dental bridge has the following benefits:
- Restore the appearance of the smile and overall face shape
- Hold the adjacent teeth in place and prevents them from moving to fill the gap in the jaw because of the missing tooth.
- Improve the function of the jaw and aid with chewing and speaking in a normal way.
- Help to distribute the forces of the patient’s bite that changed due to the missing teeth.