Have you noticed a tell-tale ache in your gums? Or maybe you’ve just chipped a tooth while playing soccer. Whatever your reasons for seeking the tender mercies of the dentist, here’s a quick guide to veneers and crowns.
Veneers are used to cover chips, cracks and other minor cosmetic problems in the mouth. There are two main types on the market:
Veneers made of composite resin are directly grafted onto your teeth. Consequentially, you’ll be in and out of the dentist’s office in a day. Composites are the quicker and more affordable option if you’re on a budget, but they’re also less effective than the alternatives in preventing further damage and discoloration.
Veneers made of porcelain are created outside the mouth and then bonded to your teeth after several visits. It can be a long process, and the prices are steeper, but you’re also paying for a higher-quality look. Porcelain veneers have great light-reflecting properties for bright white teeth. They’re also more resistant than composites against coffee, tea and other stains.
The right veneer for you will depend on your schedule and financial situation. Neither one is particularly better than the other; they each have their pros and cons.
Crowns are used for large cavities or when tooth decay has progressed to the point where the only option is to remove the damaged portion entirely. The crown will then be placed over the remainder of the tooth to protect and strengthen it.
There are a wide variety of dental crowns to choose from, but here are a few of the most popular:
Stainless steel crowns are a temporary measure. They’re strong enough for biting and chewing, but it won’t take them long to wear down. If you just need a crown to last a few weeks before you can come back for a filling, go with stainless steel.
Metal crowns are the toughest and most durable, but since they’re made of materials like gold, nickel and palladium alloys, their color will stand out against your regular teeth. You might consider using them for a molar or back tooth that isn’t visible when you smile.
Ceramic and porcelain crowns are what you’ll want for your front teeth. They aren’t as strong as other types, but they can be colored to the shade of your regular teeth, and most people won’t even realize you’re wearing them.
Whether you’re looking for surface corrections or severe repair, veneers and crowns can give you back your Hollywood smile after chips, cavities and other disasters. Use this guide to figure out which modifications are right for you.
Information Provided by Kucey Dental Group, an Edmonton Cosmetic Dentistry Group.