Everyone knows that dental veneers are a very popular way to turn a less-than-perfect smile into a gleaming one that could belong to a celebrity.
A veneer is a thin strip made of a dental porcelain (ideally) that is attached to the front of a tooth that is chipped, slightly cracked, too discolored for whiteners, too small, or too large (by reducing the tooth size first). A veneer can also cover a gap between teeth.
But veneers have their limitations as a simple covers. If a tooth is missing, it requires either a dental implant (which is like the root of a tooth that has been lost) topped by a dental crown, which looks like the tooth it is replacing. Alternatively, a dental bridge often consists of two crowns on either side of a gap, holding an artificial tooth in place.
A missing tooth cannot simply be ignored as the individual tries to hide it by not fully smiling. What happens is that the mouth tries to automatically adjust the bite to “fill the gap,” causing neighboring teeth to lean towards it. This ultimately not only causes a serious bite mismatch between the upper and lower arches, but eventually loosens other teeth that may fall out or our need to be extracted.
Sometimes a patient wants to achieve a better smile than they were born with by changing the length, shape, or color of some teeth with crowns.
A crown can also protect damaged teeth, such as when someone subconsciously grinds teeth, either when asleep or while awake because the individual is under stress or was born with a misaligned bite. If a tooth is cracked, a crown can hold it together and protect it from further harm. Crowns can also be placed on top of a tooth that has had its roots cleaned of an infection, known as a root canal procedure, which strengthens that tooth.
Unfortunately, not every dental practice uses dental porcelain for crowns, which can last 10 years or more and are the only type approved by Wilshire Smile Studio. Others offer a resin version that does not look exactly like a real tooth and is not nearly as durable, but cheaper.
Many also use discount dental labs, usually in other countries, to craft the crowns, which often result in a poor fit or inferior quality. Some also make their own crowns with a machine in the office, but the lower cost may not be passed on to the patient.
If you feel a dental crown may be important to achieve your unique perfect smile, call today to set an appointment for a full dental examination: 323-DENTIST (336-8478).