Tooth-colored fillingsTooth-colored fillings are made from durable plastics called composite resins. Similar in color and texture to natural teeth, the fillings are less noticeable, and much more attractive, than other types of fillings.
Cerec (same-day crowns and onlays)A recent innovation available in the offices of some cosmetic dentists is the "Computer-assisted design-Computer-assisted manufacture" crown, or "CAD-CAM." The company that is foremost in this technology is CEREC. This crown is milled by a computer to fit your tooth precisely, thus eliminating the laboratory step in manufacturing the crown.
With CEREC'S CAD-CAM technology, the crown is made by a computer while you wait, thus eliminating the second appointment and the temporary crown. These CEREC crowns are milled out of pure ceramic.
Porcelain fused to metal crownsPorcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns (PFMs) have a metal shell on which is fused a veneer of porcelain in a high heat oven. The metal provides strong compression and tensile strength, and the porcelain gives the crown a white tooth-like appearance, suitable for front teeth restorations. These crowns are often made with a partial veneer that covers only the aspects of the crown that are visible. The remaining surfaces of the crown are bare metal. A variety of metal alloys containing precious metals and base metals can be used. The porcelain can be color-matched to the adjacent teeth.
Metal Crowns and OnlaysWhere appearance is not a concern to you, gold could be the best choice. Since the gold metal is very workable, gold crowns are able to have a more precise fit than any other type. Gold also eliminates the slight possibility of chipping that exists with anything that contains porcelain. For simple longevity, nothing beats gold.
Porcelain VeneersPorcelain veneers, alternatively termed dental veneers or dental porcelain laminates, are wafer-thin shells of porcelain that are bonded onto the front side of teeth to create a cosmetic improvement for a tooth.
Porcelain veneers are routinely used by dentists as a way to make cosmetic changes for teeth that are discolored, worn, chipped, or misaligned.
BridgesDental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.
A bridge is made up of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap - these two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth - and a false tooth/teeth in between. These false teeth are called pontics and can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Dental bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants.
Implant CrownsA dental implant crown goes over a metal post which extends out of the implant into the mouth. The dental restoration itself is made of the same materials as a regular dental crown restoration.
PartialsA dental partial is a prosthetic that you place in your mouth to replace the function and appearance of a few missing teeth. A partial can be either a single unit (one tooth) or a multi-unit (several teeth). It is used in conjunction with the remaining natural teeth. It is usually made of metal and plastic.
DenturesComplete dentures can be either "conventional" or "immediate." Made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about 8 to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed.
Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.