VENEERS

These are thin, tooth-coloured porcelain (ceramic) shells carefully crafted to bond to and cover the front of alternative teeth. They are a more conservative treatment than a crown and can often be used as an alternative if the underlying tooth is strong and healthy.

Veneers are excellent for treating chipped, discoloured, slightly misaligned or misshapen teeth or gaps between the teeth, especially if these defects affect the front teeth. A tooth that is too small or has irregularities can be successfully treated with a veneer. Two or three visits to your dentist will usually be required to prepare the teeth and fit the veneers. Your dentist will discuss your needs with you and plan the treatment that suits you best. Appointments typically depend on the number of teeth to be treated.

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CROWNS

When a tooth is fractured, has a large, old filling, or is severely damaged by decay, your dentist may recommend the placement of a crown, or a cap. Crowns strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure and can improve the appearance of your smile. Types of crowns include the full porcelain crown, the porcelain-fused-to-metal crown, the all-metal crown and the metal free crown.

Fitting a crown requires at least two visits to the dentist’s office. Initially, the dentist:

– Removes decay and shapes the tooth

– Makes an impression

– Makes and fits a temporary or traditional crown of plastic or metal.

In a subsequent visit, the dentist:

– Removes the temporary crown

– Fits and adjusts the final crown

– Cements the crown into place

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BRIDGES

Few incidents have greater impact on dental health and personal appearance than tooth loss. When one or more teeth are missing, the remaining teeth can drift out of position, which can lead to a change in the bite, the loss of additional teeth, decay and gum disease. When tooth loss occurs, your dentist may recommend the placement of a bridge. A bridge is one or more replacement teeth anchored by one or more crowns on each side. Initially the dentist:

– Prepares the teeth on each side of the space to receive crowns / bridges and makes an impression of the entire area; and

– Fits a temporary or transitional bridge.

– In a subsequent visit, the dentist:

– Removes the temporary crown / bridge;

– Fits and adjusts the final bridge;

– Cements the fixed bridge.

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