01 Mar Veneers, Crowns, & Dentures: Choosing the Right Cosmetic Option for You
There are several dental restoration methods available in cosmetic dentistry. Veneers, crowns, and dentures are the three most common methods of dental restorations and can all improve the function and appearance of your teeth. Together, you and your dentist can discuss your preferences and medical needs and come up with a choice that best suits your needs. Here is a look at the specific benefits and differences between veneers, crowns, and dentures.
What Are Veneers?
A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain or other material that’s laid on top of your existing tooth. Because veneers don’t cover an entire tooth’s surface, they are considered less invasive than crowns or dentures. When your dentist prepares a tooth for a veneer, he will grind down approximately half a millimeter of the enamel from the tooth’s front to create a rough surface.
Next, your dentist will make an impression or scan the filed tooth and create a custom veneer. The dentist will then place the veneer on top of the rough enamel surface using special cement and harden it with ultraviolet light. Your dentist may recommend sleeping with a nightguard to protect your veneers if you grind your teeth in your sleep.
Veneers are best for cosmetic tooth restoration and shape corrections and are popular in aesthetic dentistry for their ability to enhance your smile. Your tooth needs to be in good shape to hold a veneer, so if you are dealing with a root canal or cracked tooth, veneers would not be a suitable option. Veneers are most often not covered by dental insurance because they are used for aesthetics.
What are Crowns?
A crown covers an entire tooth, and the process of preparing a tooth for the crown is more involved. Crowns are usually used when a portion of the tooth is missing due to decay or breakage. Crowns can also be used to protect the tooth after a root canal.
To install a crown, your dentist will likely grind down or file a significant tooth area. Your dentist will also address any cavities, decay, or root canals before installing the crown. Additionally, if a large portion of the tooth is removed due to decay, your dentist may need to complete a build-up on the tooth before attaching the crown.
Crowns are best for teeth that have large cavities, root canals or are very worn and cracked. You can choose between metal and porcelain crowns. Metal crowns are more cost-efficient, while porcelain crowns are more aesthetically pleasing and can last longer. Most dental insurances cover some portion of crown payment, so it could be a more cost-efficient option than veneers.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and the surrounding tissues. Partial dentures replace missing teeth and supplement remaining natural teeth. And complete dentures are used when all teeth are missing.
To prepare dentures, your dentist will take impressions of your jaw and measure how your top and lower jaws relate to each other. The dentist will then create a temporary or “model” denture to examine the size, color, shape, and fit. Once all aspects of the denture have been perfected – the final denture is cast.
Dentures are best suited for situations where natural teeth are missing or removed for medical reasons. Well-fitting dentures will closely resemble your natural teeth and should not alter the appearance of your face or smile. Denture use is necessary when the use of crowns or veneers could not save or restore natural teeth. Unlike veneers and crowns, dentures require some maintenance and will need to be removed every night.
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A skilled aesthetic dentist can advise you on the dental restoration option that is right for you. Veneers, crowns, and dentures are each right for specific situations. What they all have in common is that they should help you smile with confidence!
If you’d like to learn more about our dental restoration methods, don’t hesitate to contact us today.