Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect. The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using a procedure known as bonding. This indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very esthetic. The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally more comfortable. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.
See the video about veneers.
A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.
Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular, because they resemble your natural teeth. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.
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A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.
There are two types of bridges. You and Dr. Durbin will discuss the better option for your particular case. The "traditional bridge" is the more popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. The second type is a porcelain fixed bridge that resembles your natural teeth. Bridges consist of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.
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A diastema is a space or gap, most often between the two upper front teeth. At some stages of dental development, it's normal to have a diastema, and the space eventually closes after the permanent canine teeth (eye teeth) erupt into the mouth. However, in some people, the space does not close. We treat some diastema problems with bonding but some cases require treatment by an orthodontist.
See the video about diastema.
A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and filled with a composite filling. There are many types of filling materials available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. You and Dr. Durbin can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today. Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth. As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.