Cracked or Missing Tooth? You Have Options
A cracked or missing tooth is more than an inconvenience; it can have greater implications for your oral health. Whether you just noticed a flaw or you’ve been meaning to handle your missing tooth for a while now, you have options.
Restorative dentistry is never a one-size-fits-all situation, so your specific needs will depend on the severity of your issue and your dentist’s recommendations.
Below, we will discuss some restorative dental treatments: porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers, and dental implants.
Porcelain crowns are a type of dental restoration that covers the tooth to the gumline, protecting damaged teeth to improve functionality and aesthetics.
- Repair a broken tooth
- Restore a badly decayed or infected tooth
- Enhance the appearance of small, misshapen, or crooked teeth
- Serve as anchors for other restorative treatments
Crowns, sometimes called caps, are for mild dental issues, and the patient’s teeth must be in good health.
Am I a Candidate for Porcelain Crowns?
You may be a candidate for porcelain crowns if you have a badly cracked or chipped tooth or have an aesthetic inconsistency on one tooth.
Your dentist will assess the health of your teeth, root, and gum. Any underlying decay or damage must be fixed before crown placement, usually through root canal therapy, a filling, or gum disease treatment.
Once your teeth are healthy, your dentist will color-match the crown to your natural teeth for a more cohesive, balanced look. Then, your dentist will make an impression of the tooth and send it to the lab to create the permanent replacement crown. A temporary crown will be fitted to you during the appointment, as it often takes two weeks to fabricate your permanent crown.
Crowns not only help complete the look of your smile, but they are long-lasting solutions that look and function like natural teeth.
Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells that usually cover the front of the teeth to create a uniform, aesthetically pleasing smile.
Am I a Candidate for Porcelain Veneers?
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your front teeth, but they are otherwise healthy, porcelain veneers are a comprehensive way to restore and beautify the look of your smile.
Porcelain veneers can improve:
- Stained teeth
- Slightly misaligned teeth
- Small gaps in the teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Cracked teeth
The veneer process concerns color-matching your natural teeth with the porcelain composite material, taking impressions of the structure of your teeth, and filing down your natural enamel to accommodate the veneer shells.
Once your porcelain shells are created, they will be applied to each tooth individually and secured with dental cement.
While porcelain crowns and veneers require a natural tooth for application, dental implants replace the entire tooth. Missing one or more teeth not only detracts from the appearance of your smile but can also cause issues with your bite, chewing ability, and jaw structure.
When a tooth root is missing, the jaw bone will eventually weaken and deteriorate. This can cause instability for your other teeth and cause the structure of the jaw to lose definition.
Replacing missing teeth is crucial for overall oral health. Dental implants fully replace a missing tooth, from root to crown.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants can significantly improve the look, feel, and function of your smile, as they provide a permanent solution to missing and severely damaged teeth.
You may be a candidate for dental implants if:
- You are missing one or more teeth
- You have severely decayed or damaged teeth that must be extracted
- You are experiencing jawbone resorption due to missing teeth
- You are unhappy with traditional dentures
- You want to restore your teeth to full functionality
Dental implants require a multi-step process. If your remaining teeth and gums are in healthy condition and you do not need a bone grafting procedure, your dentist will make a small incision in the gums and place a titanium implant post that anchors the replacement tooth. The post must fuse with the underlying bone structure, which takes a few months. During this time, your dentist can fit you with a temporary crown.
Once this process is complete, your dentist will place your permanent restorative implant: either a crown, bridge, or denture.
Interested in Learning More About Restorative Dentistry in Chicago, IL?
Dr. Fedin of Chicago Dental Arts is an experienced and meticulous dentist who performs cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry in Chicago, Illinois. A master of restorative dentistry, Dr. Fedin can help you improve and complete your smile.
If you would like to schedule a consultation, call us today at (312) 951-5230.