A crown is used to “cap” or completely cover a damaged tooth. In addition to strengthening damaged teeth, crowns also improve their appearance, shape or alignment. They can also be placed over an implant to provide tooth shape and structure of function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be adapted to the colour of your natural teeth. Other materials such as gold, metal alloys, acrylic and ceramics are also used. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and can be recommended for posterior teeth. Porcelain crowns bonded to a metal shell are often used, and are both strong and attractive.
Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They are cemented to the natural teeth or implants that surround the empty spaces. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is then attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist will help you choose based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), function, esthetic considerations and cost. No matter what you choose, porcelain or ceramic bridges can all be adapted to the colour of your natural teeth.
In dentistry, veneers are small, very thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin that are placed on a tooth either to improve its aesthetics or to protect its surface from damage.
A composite resin veneer can be built directly in the mouth, or indirectly made by a dental technician in a dental laboratory. It will be bonded to the tooth later with a resin cement. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, can only be manufactured in a dental laboratory.
Dentures are replacements for missing natural teeth. They can be removed and put back in your mouth and take some time to get used to them. And although they never feel like your natural teeth, today’s dentures are more comfortable than ever.
There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. Your dentist will help you choose the one that best suits your teeth and your budget.