Damaged or missing teeth can affect the way you smile and negatively impact your oral health. But there are ways to replace missing teeth and restore damaged ones so that you can have your beautiful smile and confidence back. Knowing the differences between the various options that are available to replace missing teeth or restore damaged teeth can help you make the right decisions to improve your oral health. Here are vital facts about crowns, bridges, and veneers.
- Dental Crowns
Meaning of dental crowns
A dental crown, also referred to as a dental cap, is a cover used to restore damaged teeth without having to remove the damaged tooth or implant a new tooth. A crown gets designed in such a way that it has the size and shape of the tooth that it is going to cover. It makes a tooth that has been restored by a crown look precisely like the original tooth before it was damaged.
When you visit a dentist for a crown placement, the dentist will place an appropriate crown over your existing damaged tooth and cement it in place.
Purpose of using dental crowns
The aim of using dental crowns is to cover and restore a damaged tooth that cannot get easily repaired through dental bonding or filling. There are various reasons why a dentist may recommend fitting a dental crown on your damaged tooth. These reasons are listed below:
- If the dental crown is to be used to hold a large filling when the damaged tooth that is remaining is not adequate to support the filling
- For the dental crown to be used together with a bridge
- To protect a week tooth or teeth from getting damaged
- To restore the appearance of cracked or severely damaged teeth
- To cover discolored or defectively shaped teeth
- To provide a covering for a dental implant
How dental crowns get fitted
The dental crown installation procedure typically requires at least two visits to the dentist. During the first appointment, your dentist will assess the affected tooth to determine whether it can hold a crown. After that, the dentist will file the tooth down in preparation for installing the dental crown. The dentist will also take an impression of the tooth and send it to the lab for it to get prepared. The filled tooth will get fitted with a new temporary crown.
On the subsequent visit or visits, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and then fit and cement the new dental crown.
- Dental Bridges
What is a dental bridge?
A dental bridge is a structure designed to resemble a healthy tooth (hence referred to as a fake or false tooth), which useful in replacing one or several missing or damaged teeth. The difference between crowns and bridges is that while crowns cover existing teeth, dental bridges fill spaces where teeth are missing. Bridges usually comprise one or more teeth with a dental crown on each end of the bridge.
The crowns get mounted over existing teeth on each side of the space where one or more teeth are missing. In this way, the dental crowns play a role as supports for the bridge.
Purpose of using dental bridges
The purpose of using dental bridges is to replace one or more missing teeth and to ensure that the restored tooth or teeth get anchored to existing teeth.
The use of dental bridges gets informed by the idea that missing teeth can negatively affect the appearance and functionality of your mouth and teeth. Teeth can change the way you bite, shifting teeth, and talk. Missing teeth increase your risk of getting a periodontal disease and tooth decay. Having dental bridges fitted improves the appearance and overall functionality of your teeth.
How dental bridges get fitted
Dental bridge installation also requires at least two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, your dentist will conduct a health examination to determine whether your gums and natural teeth are fit to accommodate a dental bridge. In the subsequent visits, the dentist will make molds on the natural teeth on which the bridge is to get inserted. The bridge then gets cemented on the teeth on which casts got made.
- Dental Veneers
What is a dental veneer?
A dental veneer is a thin white coating made of porcelain used to cover the surfaces of teeth. Unlike bridges, crowns, and dental implants, dental veneers mainly play, and the aesthetic role and are used to a lesser extent to fix dental health problems.
Purpose of using dental veneers
The primary purpose of dental veneers is to cover the front surfaces of your teeth to improve the teeth’s look. If your teeth are stained or discolored, you can use dental veneers to cover their front surfaces, which makes them appear white and shiny based on the nature of the veneers. According to the National Institutes of Health, veneers are stain-resistant. It means that you can easily maintain a white and shiny appearance of your teeth if you use veneers.
How dental veneers get fitted
To have dental veneers installed, you need to make at least to visits to a dentist. Your dentist will prepare the affected tooth or teeth and make a veneer that matches the shade of the teeth. During the preparation stage, the dentist may remove some of your tooth’s enamel to make it possible for the veneer to permanently bond on the tooth. The dentist will then test the dental veneers on the teeth to make sure that you are comfortable. The last step is to bond the dental veneer on the teeth to ensure that the cover gets firmly held in place.
Damaged or missing teeth should not hinder you from having a pleasant smile and engaging in activities such as talking and biting. If you are missing some teeth or your teeth are damaged, your dentist can help you by fitting crowns, bridges or veneers in your mouth. It would be best if you talked to your dentist to determine the solution that best fits your condition.