Our past three blogs have discussed cosmetic dentistry and a couple of different dental procedures utilized to improve the aesthetics of your teeth. As you may remember from the previous blogs, cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of your smile, which involves your teeth, gums, and bite. The focus is on improving the aesthetics in color, shape, size, alignment, and overall smile appearance.
Crowns and veneers are two dental procedures typically performed to improve the aesthetics of your teeth and correct the issues listed below.
Teeth with missing tooth structure
Teeth with extensive or circumferential (surrounding the tooth) decay
Discolored teeth (in cases where bleach does not help)
Crowns cover the entire tooth and are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or all metal. Veneers are a thin layer of porcelain or other ceramics bonded to the front of your existing tooth. So how do you know which procedure is right for you? Let’s discuss both highlights and how you know if you are a candidate.
both cosmetic and restorative
covers the entire tooth structure, which makes it stronger
feels like a tooth to the patient
looks and functions like a tooth
cemented or bonded to the tooth
thin porcelain layer that covers the front surface and edges of the tooth
typically used on the front top and/or bottom eight teeth (the smile zone)
bonded to the tooth
effectively fills small gaps between teeth
can correct small misalignment of teeth after orthodontic procedures
You are a candidate for a crown if you have
large metal fillings in cases where new fillings are not indicated
damaged teeth with missing tooth structure
large and circumferential (surrounding the tooth) decay
deep intrinsic staining where bleaching is not indicated
root canaled teeth
Second chance at a healthy tooth
Replaces large worn-out fillings
Restores dental implants
Restores cracked, injured, or damaged teeth
Corrects discoloration or alignment
Reshapes your teeth
Protects the underlying tooth after a root canal
Durable and last for years
More similar appearance to natural teeth
Protects the entire natural tooth from further damage and decay with proper hygiene care
Could require replacement or repair if proper oral hygiene is not performed
Can fall out if not fitted correctly
Can collect bacteria if not fitted properly
Can cause temporary sensitivity to hot or cold
The procedure can be damaging to the nerve, resulting in needing a root canal
You are a candidate for veneers if you
want to change the shape, size, and color of your teeth
have discolored teeth (due to root canal, stains from meds, excessive fluoride)
have teeth that are worn down, chipped, broken, misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped
have gaps between your teeth and want to close the space between teeth
Provide natural tooth appearance
Great for solving irregular tooth shape, uneven tooth size, and crooked smiles
You can choose how bright you want the veneer
More of the original tooth is preserved
Provide structural support to minimally damaged teeth
Can last 5-15 years with proper care
Can cause sensitivity to hot and cold
They may not match the color of other teeth
Not suitable for people with unhealthy teeth
Teeth need to be straight for the veneer to stay attached
Not suitable for people who clench or grind teeth
Now that you are armed with information about crowns and veneers, let’s discuss the process involved in each dental procedure.
Family Dentistry of Lakewood has the equipment and ability to complete most crowns in-office. The procedure requires one visit that lasts around 2 to 2 ½ hours from start to finish.
We will use our intraoral camera to create a 3D image of your damaged tooth. The CEREC machine will make your same-day crown in our office. We will prepare your tooth for the crown, and once it is ready, we will fit the crown on your tooth, making any necessary adjustments. There are times when we cannot complete your crown in our office. In those instances, we take impressions of your tooth and send them to our lab, and they will make the crown within 2-3 weeks. Once the crown is complete, you will come to our office, and we will cement the crown on your tooth.
If you decide you want veneers, you come to the office, and we get an impression of your teeth. We send the impression to the lab, and they make a wax-up of the veneers. A wax-up is a model of what your dental work will look like. You will get an opportunity to see what your veneers will look like, and we will make temporary veneers for you to wear while waiting on the final product.
When your veneers are ready, you come to our office: we prepare your teeth and fit the veneers, making any necessary adjustments. The veneers are then bonded to your teeth. The entire process, from start to finish, can take a year or two, depending on the condition of your teeth. It is crucial to ensure your teeth are straight, so we can get your bite correct. Otherwise, you may have issues like veneers popping off your teeth.
As you can see both procedures will correct a variety of aesthetic issues you may experience with your teeth. If you would like to learn more and speak to a professional about what procedure will best fit your needs, please contact Family Dentistry of Lakewood at 253.584.3121 to set up an appointment. We look forward to helping you have healthy teeth and a beautiful smile.