Dental treatments aren’t your typical topic of conversation. It’s not very common to rank them by glamour or popularity and it’s quite rare to find a group of friends discussing which dental treatment gets the most media coverage – but if you had to pick the least glamorous of all of the dental treatments, then you could argue a good case for crowns, veneers and bridges. They are quite possibly the quietest members of a metaphorically larger band of treatments.
But despite this arguable consignment to the quieter regions of the dental industry, they are perhaps the three of the most regularly performed treatments. So with this in mind, it might well be time to give them a little spotlight.
Put very simply, crowns (or caps) are a very successful way of restoring heavily damaged or broken teeth by placing a tooth coloured cap over the existing tooth.
Over just a few appointments with your dentist, impressions of the affected teeth are taken and crowns are created with the goal of reaching the perfect fit and look.
They are also a very durable treatment, with an expected life of 10-15 years, depending on how well you look after them, of course.
A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain that is individually made to fit over the front of a tooth. These can be used to easily change the shape and colour of a tooth and can also be used to disguise unwanted gaps between teeth.
Veneers can improve the colour, shape and position of your teeth. A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured tooth or to lighten several front teeth.
In many cases, by covering the whole of the front of a chipped tooth with a section of porcelain to conceal the broken part, a chipped tooth can look intact again. Veneers can also be used to close small gaps, when orthodontics (braces) are not suitable. (BDHF, 2013).
A bridge is fitted where a tooth is missing. The teeth either side of the space are crowned to support a false tooth that’s fitted in the space between.
Teeth only remain where they are in your mouth because they all support each other, if one is lost, then commonly the teeth each side of the space start to move into the space and tilt. This can lead to food getting trapped between your teeth and gum disease around the tilted teeth. The way your teeth “bite” may also change. A well-designed bridge will last many years and is a very good method of replacing one or two teeth. They can be made to replace more teeth than this if there are enough teeth in your mouth to attach them to.