Bonding is a great way to improve your smile when there are gaps in between the teeth, or when there are instances of stains, chips, or cracks. Bonding is also used to fill cavities and to protect the root in an exposed tooth.
Veneers are a great way to improve your smile in instances when you have gaps, chipped, cracked or broken teeth. Veneers are custom made laminates typically made of porcelain that cover the front and sides of the teeth. They are used to change the color and shape of the existing tooth. Veneers are more conservative than crowns, last longer than bonding, and offer a superior appearance.
Crowns completely cover a tooth in instances when there is a discoloration, or a misshaped tooth. They are also used to protect a weak tooth and to restore a broken tooth. They are used to cover a tooth with a large filling, hold a dental bridge in place and are needed to cap off a tooth at the end of a root canal procedure. Crowns are made of metal, porcelain fused to metal, resin, or ceramic materials. In preparation for the permanent placement of the crown, the tooth is prepared and impressions are taken and sent to a lab where the crown is custom made.
Bridges are used to replace missing teeth. They are sometimes referred to as a fixed partial denture. Bridges are made of different materials. They can contain gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination. They are anchored to adjacent teeth that are prepared for the crown procedure. A false tooth is affixed to the crowns and the bridge is permanently cemented onto the prepared teeth.
Implants offer a permanent solution in instances where there are missing teeth. They are an alternative to bridges which use neighboring teeth as anchors and to removable dentures which rest on your gums. Implants are surgically inserted into your jawbone, and given time to fuse to the bone. The crown is then placed once the implant has had time to heal.
Implants have three sections: titanium metal which fuses to the jawbone, an abutment which fits over the titanium implant that is implanted in the bone and the crown which is custom made to give the appearance of a natural tooth.
Implants require several steps, including:
A comprehensive exam, X-rays, and consultation
Surgical implantation of the titanium screws
Taking impressions of the upper and lower jaws
Making a model for the creation of the dentures or crowns
Placement of the crown