Dental crowns versus dental veneers – Which should you choose and why?

Dental crowns versus dental veneersPeople often wonder whether they should choose dental crowns or dental veneers, the choice is often not particularly simple and sometimes there may not be a choice at all!

Let’s begin by explaining what crowns and veneers are.

What is a dental crown?

What is a dental Crown?dental crown is used to replace damaged tooth structure. They are used when there is significant loss of healthy tooth structure due to decay or trauma. The dentist will remove any damaged tooth structure and possibly a small amount of healthy tooth structure in order to facilitate placement of the Crown and maintain good oral health afterwards. The remaining tooth is then prepared to a stump, the dentist then takes an impression of the stump and surrounding teeth.

This dental impression is then used to replicate your mouth, on top of this replica a crown is then manufactured.

Once the crown is manufactured it is returned to the dental practice to be fitted. Whilst the crown is being made you will be fitted with a temporary crown.

Dental crowns can also be used for cosmetic dentistry, a crown will be selected if there are drastic cosmetic improvements to be made to existing teeth.

Dental crowns can be made from a combination of materials including:

  • Feldspar/quartz.
  • Lithium disilicate.
  • Zirconium dioxide (zirconia).
  • Cobalt chrome base with feldspar quartz ceramic layered on top.
  • Gold alloy base with feldspar quartz ceramic layered on top.
  • Titanium base with feldspar quartz ceramic layered on top.

There are a variety of reasons why a dentist may choose one type of dental crown over another including cost, strength and cosmetic appearance.

Is a ceramic dental crown better than metal or stainless steel?

As with many things in dentistry the answer depends upon your clinical situation. A metal free crown made from feldspar/Quartz, lithium disilicate or zirconium dioxide tend to let light pass through in a more natural way. Zirconia crowns also have extremely high strength making them almost as strong as a metal crown in many instances.

Metal free crowns of therefore generally the treatment of choice wherever possible.

Which metal used in a metal dental crown?

The metal is usually an alloy, these are usually split into three categories:

  • Precious
  • semiprecious
  • nonprecious

Precious metal crowns typically contain:

  • 48% gold
  • 40% palladium
  • 4% zinc
  • 4% 10
  • 4% indium

Semi precious metal crowns typically contain:

  • 79% palladium
  • 8% tin
  • 5% cobalt
  • 5% gallium
  • 2% gold

Nonprecious metal crowns typically contain:

  • 54% nickel
  • 22% chromium
  • 9% molybdenum
  • 4% iron
  • 4% niobium
  • 4% tantalum

Data courtesy of www.animated-teeth.com/dental_crowns/t-dental-crown-gold.htm

What is a dental veneer?

A dental veneer is used In exactly the same way as a dental crowns, to replace damaged tooth structure. However, they are used when the damage is minimal, if the damage exceeds a certain amount then a dental crown may be required.

Dental veneers can also be used in cosmetic dentistry and provide a more minimally invasive approach and using dental crowns as they are a very thin layer of ceramic. Although dental crowns may be necessitated if the amount of cosmetic change is drastic.What is dental veneer?

Dental veneers are made in much the same way as dental crowns and usually fit over the front surface of the tooth, they can be made from the following materials:

  • Dental composite.
  • Feldspar/Quartz.
  • Lithium disilicate.

There are a number of reasons why a dentist may choose one type of dental veneer over another including ease of repair/fitting, cost and cosmetic appearance.

Whilst your permanent ceramic dental veneer is being made by a dental laboratory your dentist will usually fit a temporary veneer.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of porcelain veneers?

Advantages

  • Can help to restore broken down or chipped teeth.
  • Can help to brighten a particularly dark smile which can’t be whitened with teeth whitening
  • Can help to reshape teeth.
  • Are a more minimal approach then using a full dental Crown.

Disadvantages

  • Any treatment of the tooth should be carefully considered. There maybe minimal removal of healthy tooth tissue but it is still removal nonetheless.
  • Can be prone to fracture in certain circumstances.

Is it a bad idea to veneer healthy teeth?

Generally speaking most dentist will prefer not to veneer healthy teeth, preferring to keep teeth as untreated and natural as possible. However, there is always a balance. Sometimes the distress that an unsightly tooth causes a patient means that the risks of veneer are outweighed and it is decided to veneer natural teeth.

Should I get dental veneers or dental bonding?

Generally speaking both dental veneers and dental bonding (Often called composite veneers) are used in similar situations. However, dental bonding with a composite material can often be offered for more minor correction of unsightly or decayed teeth. Dental bonding using a composite resin is also a more minimal approach to treatment and will usually be considered prior to dental veneers as veneers require more tooth structure to be removed, although not as much as dental crowns..

Your options for cosmetic dentistry explained

Cosmetic options in Croydon explained

Your options for cosmetic dentistry explained

As you may know, one of the things our Croydon Dentist is passionate about with cosmetic dentistry  is what is known as ‘Minimally Invasive Dentistry’ – this means we do the absolute smallest amount of treatment possible to achieve the desired result.

In years gone by the only way to restore broken down, discoloured or misaligned teeth was to either have train track braces (which many people didn’t like the look of) or to have dental veneers (which can, in some circumstances, remove otherwise healthy tooth tissue). However modern advances in 3 key areas have changed this dramatically.

  1. Our ability to move crooked and misplaced teeth in to the perfect alignment with modern orthodontic techniques that are almost invisible
  2. Modern advances in Teeth Whitening & bleaching techniques to reduce the dark and/or yellow colour on teeth
  3. Advances in materials for dental bonding to restore broken tips and make minor changes to the shape of teeth

This philosophy is known as ‘Align, Bleach, Bond’ for obvious reasons, and so this blog is written in that order to reflect our conservative and minimal approach.

Ways to straighten crooked teeth

Orthodontics

Orthodontics can straighten crooked teeth with a variety of techniques.

  1. Lingual orthodontics – these fit on the tongue side of your teeth so are not visible in everyday use. Not everyone is suitable for lingual orthodontics due to the amount of space required, especially on the top teeth.
  2. Lifestyle orthodontics – these include things like Damon braces which can use clear brackets which are virtually imperceptible.
  3. Almost invisible orthodontics – treatments such as Invisalign have revolutionised the way orthodontic braces are used. Invisalign uses clear aligners rather than brackets and wires to straighten teeth.

What do the different orthodontic braces look like?

Lingual orthodontics
Lingual orthodontics

Lingual orthodontics-notice how the braces cannot be seen from the front

Lifestyle orthodontics
Damon braces

Notice the difference between the lifestyle Damon braces on the front top teeth and the regular train track braces

Almost invisible orthodontics
Invisalign braces

Notice how these braces are completely clear and virtually imperceptible when they are in place

Using veneers or bonding to straighten crooked teeth

Sometimes it can be more advantageous to use dental veneers or bonding to straighten crooked teeth, typically these would be used when:

  • The patient requires a more rapid result, veneers and bonding can usually be done in a few weeks compared to many months for orthodontics.
  • The basic shape and/or colour of the teeth is not desirable. If the teeth would require covering with bonding or veneers in order to alter the basic shape or colour then it may be decided to change the alignment of the teeth at the same time with that veneer or bonding, thereby eliminating the need to have orthodontics.

Many times however, orthodontics and veneers or bonding are used in conjunction with one another. Teeth can be moved to an ideal position and then veneered or bonded to restore the colour and/or shape.

How to whitening dark teeth

The quickest, simplest, easiest and most cost-effective way to white and dark teeth is to have teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is one of the few treatments which almost everyone can have, making it an extremely popular choice for whiter teeth.

If your teeth are particularly dark then you may not be able to whiten them to the desired colour, if this is the case then dental veneers and/or dental crowns may be preferred as they can cover up the dark tooth.

How to rebuild a broken tooth

  • Dental bonding – this can restore broken down teeth, particularly chipped teeth. Dental bonding using a composite resin is applied to your teeth directly by the dentist.
  • Dental veneers – these can be build more severely broken down teeth and tend to last longer than dental bonding as they are made from a stronger material. Dental veneers are made by a highly skilled dental technician.
  • Dental crowns – for the most severely broken down teeth dental crowns may be required. Dental veneers only cover the front surface of your tooth whereas dental crowns, the whole surface. Dental crowns made by a highly skilled dental technician.

Which type of cosmetic dental treatment is right for me?

This is a great question. Many times a cosmetic dentist, such as ours in Croydon, Surrey will use a combination of techniques to achieve the desired result.

The best thing to do is to tell your dentist the outcomes you are looking for, rather than the treatment that you want. The dentist will then have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and can then give you a range of options.

 

What is cosmetic dentistry and what treatments does it include?

What is cosmetic dentistry and what treatments does it include?

Cosmetic dentistry is often considered a standalone aspects of dentistry however, it possible for all dentistry to be cosmetic and for everything to look good as well as keep your teeth healthy and in great condition.

What follows is an overview of treatment is normally assigned to the category of cosmetic dentistry, we’ve listed them by dental problem rather than by specific treatment, this allows you to find the best cosmetic solution for you.

How can I straighten crooked teeth?

Straightening crooked teeth can be done with a variety of different treatments depending upon the level of correction required, timeframe and cost.

  1. Dental bonding
    1. Timeframe: immediate, dental bonding can be applied in the dental chair whilst you wait.
    2. Level of correction: usually only suitable for a couple of teeth at a time, mild correctional changes only can be made.
    3. Cost: Low – from £99/tooth
  2. Dental veneers
    1. Timeframe: usually 2 or 3 weeks from start to finish.
    2. Level of correction: dental veneers can treat fairly extensive crooked teeth, but because the teeth are not moved bodily this is still limited.
    3. Cost: medium/high Depending on the number of teeth to be corrected – from £598/tooth
  3. Orthodontics
    1. Timeframe: anywhere from six months to one year
    2. Level of correction: Orthodontics give the highest level of correction and can be achieved with orthodontics as the teeth are moved bodily from their crooked or misaligned position to their new position.
    3. Cost: medium/high. Treatments typically start from £1650

How can I whiten dark teeth?

Whitening dark teeth can also be achieved with a variety of treatments, depending upon the amount of whitening required.

  1. Air abrasion and/or polishing
    1. Regular dental hygiene appointment can remove surface stains of teeth quite quickly, particularly good for smokers stains.
    2. Cost: from £50 per appointment
  2. Teeth whitening
    1. Teeth whitening can whiten teeth to your desired colour, usually in a couple of weeks.
    2. Cost: from £259 per arch (top or bottom)
  3. Dental bonding
    1. Bonding can lighten a single tooth if that tooth has become dark, perhaps due to an underlying problem with the tooth, decay or root canal treatment. This is often only possible if the tooth is set back from the other teeth as the bonding will form a liar over the surface of the tooth.
    2. Cost: Low – from £99/tooth
  4. Dental veneers
    1. Dental veneers can lighten extremely dark teeth which cannot be lightened adequately with teeth whitening.
    2. Cost: from £598/tooth

How can I replace missing teeth?

Missing teeth are unsightly and can affect confidence, they can also be a trap for food which can lead to dental decay. Adjacent teeth can also drift into the gap meaning that, over time, your bite can be affected.

The options to replace missing teeth will depend upon the convenience, cost and number of teeth to be replaced.

  1. Dentures
    1. Convenience: usually the least convenient option as the teeth are not fixed permanently and the dentures can become loose overtime requiring continuous maintenance. Dentures can have a tendency to fracture if not maintained although repair is usually quite simple.
    2. Cost: usually the cheapest option with acrylic dentures starting from £400
    3. Number of teeth: Dentures can be used to replace a single missing tooth right way through to replacing all missing teeth.
  2. Dental implants
    1. Convenience: the treatment can take up to one year to complete but once done, so long as the dental implants are looked after they can be an exceptionally good way to replace missing teeth as they support the teeth either side and can help to prevent further bone loss.
    2. Cost: From £949 per implant to have a dental implant placed and then from £629 per tooth to have the implant restored with a crown. Pricing can be a little complex due to the number of variables.
    3. Number of teeth: It is not always required to have one implant her tooth which need replacing, for example often six teeth could be replaced with two dental implants. Implants can replace anything from a single missing tooth up to a full mouth.
  3. Dental bridges
    1. Convenience: treatment usually takes approximately 2 weeks and once done, so long as the bridge is maintained can last many years.
    2. Cost: from £498 per tooth
    3. Number of teeth: bridges require standing teeth as this is where the new. It will be attached. Therefore in order to have a classic dental bridge (without implants) you need to have existing teeth either side of the gap. To replace a single missing tooth is easy with a dental bridge. In order to replace multiple missing teeth it’s usually only possible to replace three standing teeth in a row, a healthy tooth needs to be at each end of these three teeth. If this is not the case then either a denture or dental implant may be required.

 

7 Celebrity options for a brighter smile

With so many people wanting a brighter whiter smile it’s quite common to turn to celebrities to see what they are doing. Celebrity endorsement counts for much these days and this blog post looks at some of the best tips and tricks that celebrities are using to enjoy their brightest, whitest smile.

Hacks for whiter teeth without a dentist

#1 Dark Skin

Yes, you guessed it, tanning can actually help your teeth to look whiter. It’s all about the contrast, if your skin is darker then your teeth will have a tendency to look whiter by comparison. It’s a classic trick that many celebrities use.

#2 Red Lipstick

Red lipstick also has a tendency to make teeth look much whiter. Your lips form a perfect frame around your teeth and your smile, when slightly yellow teeth are framed by red, the contrast between red and yellow means that the yellow has a tendency to look whiter. Again, this is a common trick used by celebrity make-up artists to make teeth look much whiter instantly.

#3 Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpastes are now on the market and can offer a slight improvement in the colour of your teeth. It’s important to know the whitening toothpastes can only remove very minor surface staining due to the restrictions on any active ingredient which are in force with regards to toothpastes. You will need to use a whitening toothpaste twice per day for an extended period of time in order to see any noticeable change in the colour of your teeth.

Celebrity dentist treatments for a brighter smile

#4 Air abrasion

Air abrasion involves using a micro blaster which gently blasts extremely fine sand (aluminium oxide) against your teeth. This gentle air/sand abrasion then removes any surface staining present.

The technique can be done in approximately 20 min and if your dark teeth are due to surface staining then this technique can be really effective. It’s particularly good if the teeth are stained due to something you have consumed (perhaps red wine or some dietary supplements) it’s also very effective to remove staining caused by smoking.

#5 Teeth whitening

This is the most obvious solution for a brighter, whiter smile. Teeth whitening will only work on natural teeth and can’t be used if you have restorations such as dental veneers, crowns, bridges or bridges. Teeth whitening works by having a small amount of released hydrogen peroxide as an active agent in the teeth whitening gel, the teeth whitening gel is held against your teeth by a close-fitting and precision made bleaching tray, this ensures the whitening gel does not touch the delicate gum area around your teeth.

Teeth whitening should always be undertaken by a dentist to ensure that your teeth and gums are in a good enough condition to accept the teeth whitening without causing any further damage. The whitening/bleaching trays made by a dentist will also be custom-made and precision fitting ensuring you get the whitest smile in the safest manner.

Before Teeth Whitening

Before Teeth Whitening

After Teeth Whitening

After Teeth Whitening

#6 Dental veneers

Sometimes teeth whitening is not able to whiten teeth adequately enough, perhaps your teeth are exceptionally dark naturally or have darkened down with age or due to the tooth having root treatment. If this is the case then a dental veneer can be placed over the surface of the tooth to completely cover it thereby changing the shape and colour of the tooth itself.

Many celebrities have dental veneers to completely transform their smile. The procedure takes approximately 3 weeks from start to finish including all of the preparation work by the dentist and having the dental veneers manufactured by a highly skilled dental technician.

Celebrity white smile

image source: flaxdental.com

Celebrity dental veneers

Image source: huffpost.com

#7 Teeth straightening

Whilst teeth straightening is not directly related to whiter teeth it can help to give a much brighter smile. Teeth which are twisted and rotated can fall into the shadows in your mouth, these shadows have a tendency to look dark. If your teeth are straight the shadowing disappears and the overall effect is that your smile looks brighter.

When teeth straightening is coupled with teeth whitening a dramatic difference in the brightness of your smile can be achieved.

 

If you would like that celebrity brighter smile with cosmetic dentistry we recommend talking to your local Croydon dentist today.