What are Porcelain Veneers?

Your teeth are healthy but due to a variety of reasons traditional whitening methods aren’t working. Or maybe in a friendly backyard football game one of your front teeth got slightly chipped or you have that one tooth that has always been just a little sideways compared to its mate on the other side of your mouth. These are all great reasons to consider porcelain veneers. Simply put, porcelain veneers are custom made porcelain shells bonded over the front of the tooth to change its color, shape, size or to mask chips or cracks. Porcelain veneers reflect light and resist staining better than a resin composite veneer, though the basic concept is still the same.

Applying dental veneers is a fairly simple process, requiring only two dental visits and a follow-up appointment. The first appointment is to prepare the tooth for the veneer by shaving off a thin layer of the natural enamel to accommodate the additional thickness of the veneer. A new popular option is a “prepless” veneer which requires no or minimal grinding of the tooth’s outer layer. A model of the tooth will then be taken so the actual veneer can be made.

After the veneer is constructed your dentist will ensure the shell is the right size, shape and color before cementing it to the natural tooth. A specialized curing light is used to activate the chemicals in the compound. Then any stray bits of cement are chipped away, your bite is checked and a follow-up appointment scheduled.

While veneers provide a very natural appearance it is important to remember the process is not reversible so don’t hesitate to discuss all options with your dentist before committing. Interested in learning if porcelain veneers are right for you? Please contact Ellis Dental today.

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Zirconia Crowns for the Best Smile Around

Patient Crown

Patient Crown

Over the years crowns have been constructed from many different materials, some good and some not so good. Porcelain crowns look fantastic but if they chip or crack, they are very difficult, if not impossible, to repair. Ceramic crowns work well for people with metal allergies while metal crowns are definitely the most durable but aren’t aesthetically pleasing. The newest material choice for crowns these days is Zirconia. Crowns and bridges constructed from this material are extremely strong and can withstand the daily wear and tear we put our teeth through. From the biting motion of the front teeth to the biting/grinding of the back teeth, Zirconia crowns can handle it all.

The top priority when considering a crown is obviously your overall dental health. Generally crowns are recommended when dental restoration is required. For example, if a tooth is cracked or broken or if there is more filling that enamel in a tooth, then a crown is usually suggested.

Next the aesthetics of a crown needs to be taken into consideration. Zirconia looks so close to real tooth enamel in color it’s often difficult to tell the difference. It can be shaded to matching the surrounding teeth and a Zirconia crown also has the ability to reflect light the same as a natural tooth. This is important if the crown is on one of your front teeth.

Other positives of Zirconia crowns are they are corrosion free and there is no sensitivity to heat or cold typically felt with crowns made from other materials due to a lack of electrical conductivity. Plus the unattractive black often seen at the gum line when porcelain or metal is used doesn’t occur.

Please call Ellis Dental today at 314.965.1334 for more information on Zirconia crowns