Do you thumb through a magazine and wonder how is it all those people were born with such gorgeous teeth? In fact, they weren’t. Very few people are born with perfectly straight, even and brilliantly white teeth. Most of us have things we’d like to change about our smile – from accidents, decay, or just our genes. Let’s review your options for smile enhancement:
A veneer is a thin layer of ceramic placed over a tooth, either to reinforce weak tooth structure or improve aesthetics. Veneers are bonded to the front of a tooth. The average lifespan for a veneer is 5-12 years. In some cases they have been known to last 20 years.
Composite resin, a tooth-colored filling material, is used in the following ways to improve tooth appearance:
Crowns work as a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth -- to restore its shape, size, and strength, or improve its appearance. Cemented in place, a crown covers the entire tooth above the gum line.
Crowns are used to:
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
Bridges are comprised of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap. The two crowns are anchoring teeth or “abutment teeth”. Between the two crowns is a false tooth or “pontic”. Bridges are made from gold, alloys, ceramic, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.
Bridges are used to do the following: