Chipped, worn and missing teeth are unsightly and contribute to malnutrition and difficulties with speech. Modern dentistry offers many options for repairing and replacing damaged, decayed and missing teeth.
Veneers and crowns fit over the natural tooth structure. Veneers are fabricated from porcelain and can be used to correct small chips, gaps and crooked teeth. Veneers are made in a dental lab. A thin layer of the tooth structure is removed to account for the thickness of the veneer which is cemented to the front of the tooth. Crowns are utilized when a large amount of the natural structure has been lost to decay or trauma. All decay and sharp edges will be removed from the damaged tooth. An impression will be taken of the patient’s mouth and the crown will be fabricated in a dental lab, based on the patient’s dental impression. The crown can be made of metal, porcelain or a hybrid of porcelain fused to metal. Gold is the most popular choice of metal in this application as it most closely mirrors the natural tooth composition. Several crowns can be fabricated together to form a bridge and replace missing teeth.
Dental implants are a superior way of replacing teeth. They look and feel most like a natural tooth and can often be placed for the same expense as a root canal and crown. Dental implants can replace one missing tooth or can be used as anchors to replace several missing teeth.
Dental implants consist of an anchor that fuses with the jaw bone. After the healing process is complete, an abutment is added to the anchor on which a dental crown is placed. When used to replace multiple teeth, the implants will be spaced throughout the area and will act as anchor for a dental bridge. The same healing time is required to allow the jaw bone and the implant time to fuse. In most cases, an implant will last for the life of the patient.
Restoring missing, broken, chipped or discolored teeth is a great way to increase confidence and improve overall health.