Crowns are a special type of restoration that is made by a dental laboratory and cemented or bonded onto your tooth. These can be made entirely out of porcelain, or have an inner lining made of precious metals or ceramics.
In order to achieve this, the tooth needs to be shaved down to a smaller size in order for a crown to fit on top. Since a significant amount of tooth needs to be removed to achieve this, it is generally recommended only for teeth that have been significantly compromised. Crowns can also be used to treat cracked teeth. Much like rings on a barrel, a crown can help hold all the pieces in place.
Bridges are an extension of crowns that help fill the space from a missing tooth. They consist of at least two crowns attached together with a fake tooth called a pontic. These can be used to replace a single missing tooth or multiple teeth. However, as is the case with crowns, significant amount of tooth needs to be removed from the end teeth. As such, this option should be reserved for end teeth that are heavily restored.
Veneers are another type of ceramic restoration that covers the front of the tooth. These are used for cases where aesthetics is the only concern (eg. heavy discolouration). They can alter the shape and colour of a tooth without needing to sacrifice a large amount of tooth structure. However, when dealing with aesthetic cases, it is almost impossible to perfectly match the colour of the veneer to your natural tooth and as such, it is usually recommended that multiple teeth receive veneers.
© Dr. E. Y. Choi Dental Office, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Information presented on this site is intended for educational purposes only. It does not replace consultation and diagnosis by a dentist. Please see your local dentist to get the appropriate diagnosis and management solution for your particular needs.