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A crown is a synthetic cap usually made of ceramic or porcelain and is used to cover the chewing surface of a tooth that has recently undergone a root canal, is decaying, or is severely discolored and a patient is looking to cosmetically restore it. They are both protectors and preventers. While they are often confused with veneers, they are different in that they cover much larger areas and can withstand chewing pressures.
Once the root canal is completed or the tooth is shaped to accommodate the crown, an impression is made and sent to a lab to create the custom piece. In some cases, you are given a temporary crown until the permanent one arrives. The final crown is later positioned and attached with a special adhesive. With proper maintenance and regular visits, a crown can last up to 8+ years. Things like not flossing, teeth grinding, and eating hard foods can significantly shorten its lifespan or compromise the adhesive.
A bridge, sometimes referred to as a permanent partial denture, is a natural-looking appliance that replaces a section of missing teeth (multiple teeth). Dental bridges help restore bite relationships and jaw lines and protect exposed areas from gum disease. An anchor made of porcelain, gold alloys, or another combination of materials is placed below the gum line. A bridge made of fabricated teeth is then placed overtop them. While most bridges are permanent and can only be removed by a dentist, you can remove some types can be removed by the patient for daily cleaning.
If you are missing teeth and are uncomfortable with the idea of an full or partial denture or even a bridge, a dental implant is a permanent solution that replaces your natural tooth with an artificial one that mimics the look and feel of a tooth. A highly machined, screw-like titanium structure is placed into your jawbone as an anchor. The artificial tooth will be placed onto his after bone has grown into its support system to make it solid. It is common for implants to be used as anchoring point for dentures. However, your dentist must first establish if you are a good candidate for a dental implant. For the implant to successfully bond to your existing jaw, you must have the proper bone density and a strong immune system.
After the metal framework is inserted into the jaw, a period of time is needed for the implant to heal and take hold as the bone tissue build up the device. Metal posts are inserted during a follow-up to attach the new tooth onto.
Bonding is the direct application of a special material called a “composite resin” that looks like and feels like a natural tooth …it comes in many different shades of colors and is excellent for repairs, color and shape corrections. It can be used to fill small cavities or fix a broken or chipped surface. Bonding can also be used to close a gap between teeth. While it is not as durable as other forms of restoration, it only takes one procedure to finish.
Cosmetic Gingivectomy-Gum Lift
A certain percentage of the population has a natural overgrowth of gum tissue over their front teeth and therefore a “gummy” smile. If you feel your gums are too visible when you smile, an aesthetic procedure called a gum lift can be used to reshape and correct gum lines.