Many times, the demands of cosmetic changes in the mouth are too great for simple bonding. This is when porcelain laminate veneers may be used. Porcelain veneers (sometimes referred to as laminates) can change an entire smile.
Porcelain laminate veneers are quick, painless, and dramatic. They can change shape, color, size, and arrangement of teeth or any combination of these factors. They can be used as an alternative for orthodontic treatment. The best part about porcelain laminate veneers is that they can be placed in two visits.
When there is not enough tooth structure left, or the chewing demands in the mouth are too great for laminates, a stronger, more extensive restoration is needed. In this case, porcelain jacket crowns are used. Porcelain jackets are pure porcelain crowns placed on a fully prepared tooth. They are the most life-like of all full crown type restorations.
When biting pressure is too great for porcelain jackets, teeth are loose due to periodontal disease, or gaps from missing teeth must be filled in, metal alloy must be placed under the porcelain for strength. This is the porcelain fused to metal crown technique. More tooth structure is removed to accommodate both metal and porcelain. Once an impression is taken, a metal coping is made on the prepared tooth. This is then covered with porcelain. Porcelain fused to metal crowns do not have the translucency of pure porcelain crowns. However, a talented ceramist with experience in custom staining can usually come close to overcoming this limitation. When individual back teeth are broken down but some good healthy tooth structure remains, porcelain fused to gold inlays are used. This is the strongest and longest lasting back teeth restoration procedure. Once the tooth is properly prepared, the technique is similar to the porcelain fused to metal crown technique. The benefit of this restoration is the advantage of gold underneath which supports the tooth during heavy biting, therefore protecting the tooth and the nerve. Even better are "Lava" crowns or "IPS e-max CAD" crowns and onlays.
Discolorations can be caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Tooth dullness or staining is an indication that whitening should be considered. Smokers and those who drink coffee and/or tea on a regular basis accelerate the discoloration and require cleaning more often. This is among the most common reasons for teeth whitening. Teeth Whitening is usually the first solution to try due to its lower cost.
Bonding is a tooth-colored composite resin (similar to an enamel color) that is bonded to the tooth surface to repair and/or change the color or shape of a tooth, then sculpted into shape, hardened, and polished. When teeth are chipped or slightly decayed, bonded composite resins may be the material of choice. Bonding also makes a great tooth colored filling for small cavities and broken or chipped surfaces. It can also be used to close spaces between teeth. Additionally, it is used to cover the entire outside surface of a tooth to change its color and shape.
Bridges are designed to replace missing teeth. Not only do they fill the unsightly spaces left by lost teeth, but they also help support the teeth adjacent to, and directly opposite, the missing teeth. Often a dentist will recommend an Implant to fill in the space as well.
In some instances, simple reshaping (contouring) of the front teeth, even without anesthesia, may produce a dramatic result to correct jagged, chipped or slightly uneven teeth. The cosmetic dentist simply utilizes sanding discs and creativity, to create a natural look with existing teeth.
Crowns are used when making cosmetic improvements to the teeth is the goal, and serve an additional purpose. A crown is placed over a tooth, replacing most of its enamel. It surrounds the tooth, giving it strength and providing a strong, durable biting surface.
Porcelain onlays are considered durable, with a manufacturing process that enables a high degree of accuracy in placing the onlay. Porcelain onlays bind onto the tooth and increase the overall strength of the tooth. These onlays may cost more than other types of filling procedures. Ceramic onlays are used to repair somewhat damaged back teeth. They are made of very strong and durable industrial ceramics. Bonded into place with special adhesives, they hold the damaged parts of the tooth together. These onlays are quiet durable, and look exactly like a tooth in every way. They are also significantly stronger than regular filling materials.
Orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry that addresses occlusal problems, or the mouth's ability to close with the teeth in the proper position. Orthodontics brings the teeth, jaw bones, and facial profile into proper alignment. An orthodontist is a dentist who has completed an additional two to three years of continuous study in an ADA approved, university affiliated graduate orthodontic program.