5 common cosmetic dental restoration options
Bright, shiny teeth combined with an attractive smile can have a positive influence on one’s career, social life, and boost their confidence. For these reasons, many cosmetic dentistry procedures are developed and you can go for the procedure that fits your oral condition as well as your financial capacity.
This article will introduce you to a few commonly used cosmetic porcelain dental restoration options these days. Also, you will learn more about different materials used to make porcelain crowns and their pros and cons so you can take everything into consideration before you decide to go through with a restoration procedure.
Cosmetic porcelain dental restoration options
1. Porcelain crowning (Dental crowns)
This technique involves covering completely a tooth and restoring its original shape. Usually, the purposes of dental crowning are to:
- Cover a deformed tooth caused by an accident or a discolored tooth
- Protect weakened, loose teeth
- Restore damaged or worn out teeth
- Cover a tooth with a cavity that is too big to be managed with dental fillings
- Attach a crown to an implant during dental implantation
- Cover a tooth that has gone through root canal treatment
Crowns are usually made of porcelain. There are also crowns made of metals, plastics, or ceramic, etc. To prepare for the procedure, your dentist will make you a dental model with certain dental techniques.
2. Dental veneers
These veneers are typically made of porcelain and adhered to the front of your teeth with a special dental material. This procedure helps improve the color or change the shape of your teeth, bringing significant results.
You can opt for dental veneers if you have:
- Considerable gaps between teeth
- Cracked, broken, or eroded teeth
- Discolored or permanently stained teeth
- Unsightly tooth shape
- Askew growing teeth or misaligned teeth
Before the procedure, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth first. Then, your dentist will polish your teeth before putting the veneers on them. After that, the veneers will be exposed to special lights to harden the cement, allowing your dental veneers to be securely fixed on your teeth.
3. Dental bridges
These are used to replace one or more missing teeth with false teeth. Dental bridges can be made of porcelain, metals, or composites. However, porcelain is the most popular among these as it has a natural color that blends in the best with the original teeth.
During the procedure, the two adjacent teeth are usually reshaped. The crowns will be attached to these two teeth with false teeth in between to replace the missing teeth. This is a permanent dental restoration method. If you want to remove your bridge, you will need help from your dentist.
4. Dental implants
This is a rather expensive cosmetic dentistry procedure yet a long-term solution if you want to replace a missing tooth. A dental implant consists of 3 main parts:
- An implant is usually made of non-corrodible, stainless titanium alloy screwed to the jaw bone. This implant will play the role of a tooth root.
- An abutment, a two-headed metal bolt, is used as a connecting joint between the implant and the crown. It will only be screwed to the implant once osseointegration is fully completed.
- A dental crown is an empty tooth crown that will be attached to the abutment. This crown is designed based on the impressions taken from the patient’s tooth with the shape, color, and size fitting the rest of the natural teeth. Dental crowns can be made of different materials but the most common one is also porcelain.
The implant can last forever in your jaw bone if you practice good oral hygiene after the procedure. If the crown is damaged, you will only need to replace it with another without affecting the implant or the abutment.
The pros and cons of the most commonly used dental materials
Porcelain is still the most common material used to make false teeth in comparison to gold, silver, and other alloys. The color of porcelain teeth is almost as natural as that of the natural teeth, making them cosmetically elegant.
Nowadays, dental crowns are made of 4 main types of dental materials, including base metals, titanium, precious metals, and all-porcelain. As each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, thorough consideration is needed for you in order to choose the right material.
1. Base metals
These teeth have an inner metal frame and a porcelain outer covering. The metal inner part is usually made of chrome-nickel or chrome-cobalt alloys.
- Chrome-cobalt alloy is less likely to trigger allergic reactions in people than chrome-nickel
- More affordable than other materials on the market
- After a few years of use, the metal part will oxidize, resulting in grey gumlines that affect how your teeth look
- Your teeth can be cracked or broken with biting on extremely hard foods
This type has an inner frame made of a titanium alloy and porcelain covering. Titanium is commonly used in medicine as it rarely causes allergic reactions or cancer, and can be fused efficiently with the body’s bone structure, including the jaw bone in your mouth.
- Higher longevity
- Low sensitivity to foods at hot and cold temperatures
- Unlikely to cause bleeding and black gum lines around the tooth roots
- The tooth may look a bit opaque – not having the natural bright, shiny shade like that of non-metal teeth
- The gum area along the tooth roots can look grey as the metallic shade the frame comes out
- Titanium teeth don’t look as shiny and translucent as all-porcelain ones
3. Precious metals
Similar to the two types above, the inner frame of precious metal crowns are made of gold, platinum, or palladium. There is also a porcelain outer layer to give the tooth a more natural-looking color.
- High durability
- The tooth roots will not turn grey after many years of use like base metal crowns
- More natural color
- As gold has antibacterial properties, these teeth can help prevent infections and inflammation
- Higher cost because of the precious metals used and more demanding technical requirements
- Not many dental clinics are capable of making precious metal teeth. If you want to get these, do your research on reliable, high-quality dental clinics and the services they provide.
4. All-ceramic (non-metals)
These have an unchangeable natural color and are hypoallergenic. Cercon CAD/CAM crowns are the newest and most advanced generation of all-ceramic crowns to date. The whole designing and producing process is carried out on a computer.
- Beautiful, natural color
- Highly cosmetically elegant
- The high-tech zirconia frame is highly durable with a high bearing capacity
- Expensive machines and facilities required
- An all-porcelain tooth is fairly expensive
- Teeth won't be filed down too much like dental crown.
- Easy to shape, doesn't require too much detail before attaching to teeth.
- Veneers are attached tightly into the teeth so there's no need for special treatment or maintenance.
- Might fall out as the glue worn out overtime or biting down hard objects.
- Teeth might still experience decay
- High cost
Cosmetic porcelain teeth are a great investment to improve the beauty of a smile, so remember to have good dental hygiene habits for healthy teeth. This is not only to protect the false teeth but also to improve the condition of the real teeth, from which you will have bright, healthy teeth.