The wealth of dental techniques available today--both cosmetic and therapeutic--is truly amazing. In fact, the rapid proliferation of such techniques can make it hard to keep up. If you feel that you could benefit from a crash course in contemporary dental techniques, read on. This article will discuss two cosmetic procedures commonly used to treat damaged, discolored, or otherwise unsightly teeth.
Dental veneers are shield-like coverings that are permanently applied to the front facing portion of the teeth in question. They are custom created to match the size, shape, and color of adjacent teeth, thus making them as inconspicuous as possible. Veneers are constructed using porcelain, which is prized for its non-reactive and highly durable nature. In fact, veneers are so durable that they can easily last as long as twenty years.
As stated, veneers are particularly useful in the case of chipped or broken teeth. Yet that is hardly their only application. They also form an ideal solution when dealing with dental malocclusions, or areas where the top and bottom teeth do not come together evenly. Likewise, they can effectively treat instances of diastema, the clinical term for wide gaps between teeth.
The porcelain dental veneer implementation process is one that takes place over a series of visits with your dentist. After an initial overview and assessment, a second visit will be scheduled in order to prepare your teeth. At this time, a thin layer of enamel is stripped away from the outside of the teeth in question. This ensures that the veneers will sit at the appropriate height relative to other teeth. It also allows for more effective bonding of the cement used to attach the veneer.
Dental crowns are somewhat deceptively named. Rather than simply covering the top of a tooth, in fact they encase it entirely, thus improving the appearance of the damaged tooth from virtually any angle. In this sense, they can be thought of as three-dimensional versions of dental veneers.
Yet crowns differ from veneers in another key area: their thickness. Veneers usually have a thickness of approximately 1mm. Crowns, on the other hand, may be two or more millimeters thick. As you can imagine, this gives them a distinct advantage where durability and toughness are concerned, helping to protect them against cracks, chips, and other types of damage.
Crowns also differ from veneers in the range of substances out of which they can be made. This includes not just porcelain, but a variety of different metals as well. A metal crown, though more conspicuous, has the distinct advantage of never needing to be repaired or replaced. This makes them an attractive option for those who don't exactly look forward to future dental surgeries!