Crowns, Bridges, Veneers
A dental crown/veneer is a type of long term dental restoration. Dental crowns/veneers are also known as “caps,” as they fit on top of existing teeth. Dental crowns/veneers are most often made of porcelain, a material that is both strong and non-porous (thus more resistant to staining like tooth enamel), and reflects light in much the same way as a natural tooth.
If a tooth is broken, cracked, or damaged, the ability of the enamel and crown to protect the tooth is compromised. Dental crowns/veneers are needed in order to protect the inside of the tooth and seal out bacteria and food particles. Otherwise, the tooth is vulnerable to infection and decay, and eventual tooth loss or other dental emergency.
Dental crowns/veneers are often needed after root canal therapy, and are also used when creating a dental bridge, or when replacing one or multiple teeth.
What are the steps involved in a Dental Crown/Veneer?
If the dental crown/veneer will be placed over your original tooth, such as with dental bridges and root canals, the tooth or teeth must be prepared so that the crown can fit snugly on top of the tooth structure. Tooth preparation and the delivery of the permanent crown are usually done in two steps.
First, the dentist will numb the area to be treated with local anesthetic. Next, they will reshape the outside tooth by shaving and removing enough of the tooth material to allow the crown/veneer to sit on top and fit with the rest of your teeth. Once this process is complete, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth, which will be sent to a dental laboratory where a permanent crown/veneer will be created to match your smile. The dentist will create and place a temporary crown/veneer to seal and protect the tooth temporarily until your permanent crown/veneer is ready for placement. For certain teeth you will be required to go to the laboratory for a custom shading/staining to ensure the crown/veneer match your teeth perfectly.
During the placement of the permanent crown/veneer, the dentist will remove the temporary crown/veneer, ensure the prepared tooth is clean, and cement the permanent crown/veneer over the prepared tooth. The dentist may need to make adjustments to ensure your crown/veneer fits and feels natural in your mouth before permanently cementing the crown/veneer into place.