Have you ever flipped through a magazine and grew totally preoccupied with the beautiful white smiles the models were flashing?
While you’re getting jealous over those perfect smiles, are you holding your hand in front of your mouth because you’re so self-conscious about that chipped tooth you got when you were involved in that minor fender bender?
Guess what? You’re in good company. Few people are actually born with perfect smiles and are able to keep them that way.
Regardless of how vigilant you are with your at-home oral care and visiting your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings, cavities and mishaps are likely to damage your teeth.
That’s why your dentist has a plethora of versatile treatment options like crowns and veneers that can not only restore your teeth, but also enhance your smile.
Here at 54th Street Dental, Dr. Meriem Boukadoum, shares her insights on crowns and veneers so you know how they can help you get that smile you’ve always wanted.
To better understand how crowns and veneers fit into the context of your oral health, let’s start by addressing the differences between restorative and cosmetic dentistry.
As its name suggests, restorative dentistry focuses on restoring or replacing. Procedures like filling a cavity fall into this category, as do root canals, treatment options that strengthen teeth like crowns, or treatments that replace missing teeth such as dental bridges and implants.
Unlike restorative dentistry’s focus on function, the goal of cosmetic dentistry is to enhance the appearance or aesthetics of your smile. Teeth whitening is one of the most popular procedures in this category. Other cosmetic dentistry procedures include tooth bonding and veneers.
Crowns, sometimes also referred to as caps, are a versatile treatment option that addresses two main functions. In the case of a particularly deep cavity, a crown is used to shore up or strengthen the tooth. Crowns also play an important role with bridges and implants to replace missing teeth.
Your dentist installs a crown in one or two appointments. Initially your dentist prepares the tooth for getting the crown by slightly reducing the size of the tooth so the crown will fit over it comfortably and not interfere with your natural bite.
Then, your dentist makes an impression or mold to ensure the proper fit. Next, they do a color match so your crown will blend in well with the surrounding teeth. They send this information to a dental lab that fabricates your custom crown. When the crown returns from the lab, your dentist adheres the restoration in place.
Also custom made, veneers are thin pieces of composite resin or porcelain that your dentist adheres to the front surface of teeth to cover imperfections.
As the ultimate cover-up, veneers can address issues like worn, broken, chipped, misshapen or unevenly spaced teeth and replace these cosmetic flaws with a new, attractive, aesthetically pleasing smile in two appointments.
Similar to the prep that takes place for getting a crown, at your first appointment, your dentist shaves about 1 millimeter of enamel from the surface of the tooth that is getting the veneer.
As in the case of crowns, your provider then takes a series of impressions and color matches, and gets all of the data to a dental laboratory where your veneer is created.
You return in about 2-3 weeks when your veneer comes back from the lab. In an appointment that typically lasts under two hours, your dentist places the veneer on the front surface of the tooth being treated, and bonds it in place.
You leave with the smile you’ve always wanted, and it looks so natural you may even forget that it’s not the smile you were born with.
At 54th Street Dental, your comfort is always job one. So whether you’re getting crowns or veneers or another service, you can relax in our comfortable operatory chairs. We may also offer options like nitrous oxide or oral sedation to decrease any oral sensitivity you may experience during your procedure.
If you have damaged teeth and think your smile can use a do-over, contact 54th Street Dental for a consultation to learn if crowns and veneers are right for you. To reach us, use the online booking tool or call our office in the Midtown West neighborhood of New York City at 212-333-3200.