842 North Collins Blvd Suite F
Covington, LA 70433
Gaudet Jr, Steven M D.D.S.
1211 Museum Dr
Houma, LA, 70360-6073
Gregg, Jarrod D.D.S.
1148 Logan Sewell Dr
Vidalia, LA, 71373-3342
2301 Williams Blvd # B
Kenner, LA, 70062-5721
Westlake Dental Care
902 Shady Ln # A
Westlake, LA, 70669-3902
We have all seen smiles that you know have dental crowns in the front. You look at them and say to yourself that something is not natural. Many times, it is the dark rim of gum tissue that gives it away. The dark rim of gum tissue does not occur around natural teeth, only around teeth that have been covered with dental crowns.
The dark line is associated with an old porcelain dental crown. This style of dental crown is referred to as porcelain fused-to-metal dental crowns because it uses tooth-colored porcelain on the outside and it uses metal under the porcelain for strength. The dark line originates from the edge of the dental crowns where the porcelain and the metal meet at a knife-edge at the gum line. At the knife-edge, a very thin amount of the metal always shows. One of the illusionary techniques cosmetic dentists have used was to hide the thin dark line under the gum line. Over time, the gum tissue would recede and expose the dark line. In some patients the dark line would show through the gum and make it appear dark as well.
The only way to eliminate the esthetic problem is to replace the dental crowns. When replacing just one single dental crown in the front, you should expect that it might take more than one try-in of the new dental crown before it is permanently cemented into place. Because your central incisors are the most prominent teeth in the mouth, matching them is the most difficult esthetic challenge. Only the best dental technicians are able to mimic one central incisor tooth next to another.
Some of the clever ways dentists and dental technicians have been able to mimic natural teeth is through the new advancements in dental materials. New all-tooth-colored ceramic dental crowns are the latest technological advancement cosmetic dentists have to recreate natural teeth. In comparison to porcelain fused-to-metal dental crowns, all-ceramic dental crowns do not contain any metal, thus no dark line can appear.
Some advantages and disadvantages of all-ceramic dental crowns are as follows:
Dental crowns often need to be replaced after several years of service for esthetic or functional reasons. With the growing esthetic awareness of patients and the available ceramic technology, this type of re-treatment is becoming more common in the dental office.
By Benjamin O. Watkins, III, DDS
There are many cosmetic dentistry situations which arise that lend themselves to treatment with dental veneers by your cosmetic dentist. One indication is for restoring teeth with discoloration that have been unaffected by the more conventional teeth bleaching approaches. Some examples of this are teeth that have severe tetracycline (an antibiotic) staining or discoloration from a previous injury to the tooth.
Another major indication is for teeth that require significant changes in their shape or contour. By placing dental veneers, small or misshapen teeth can be built up to regain a more natural appearance, spaces between teeth can be closed by making the teeth wider and teeth that are too short can be lengthened.
Porcelain dental veneers or composite veneers are a very popular dental care treatment option for a variety of reasons. They are one of the most conservative restorations that can be done by your cosmetic dentist. This means that the amount of tooth structure that must be removed is very small. Generally, only 0.3 to 0.7 mm needs to be removed from the surface of your tooth.
Dental veneers are then made and bonded to the teeth, incorporating the desired changes in shape and color. Since veneers are so thin and there is no metal in them, the esthetic potential is very high. Veneers can be made of two different materials, either composite or porcelain.
The major advantage of composite veneers is treatment time. If composite is used, the dental veneers can be done in one appointment. The dentist will actually make the veneers directly on the prepared teeth.
The veneers are then smoothed and polished to look like your natural teeth. Since it takes only one appointment, you can leave your dentist's office with a brand new smile.
One of the disadvantages of composite veneers is that they are not as strong as porcelain veneers and therefore are more prone to fracture. However, if a fracture does occur, they can be easily repaired because the same material that was used initially to make the veneers can be added in the same manner to fix it.
Another disadvantage is that the color, although stable, is not as stable as the same porcelain veneer restoration. This means that over time the veneers may get darker or turn yellow. Eventually, this change in color can warrant the replacement of the composite veneers.
Porcelain veneers require a longer treatment time. At the first appointment, your teeth are prepared and an impression is made of them. Temporary dental veneers are made out of plastic and placed on your teeth. They are used to protect your teeth while the real porcelain veneers are being fabricated. You can also use them to evaluate the look and feel of your teeth so that any changes you desire can be incorporated into your real veneers.
At the second appointment, the temporary veneers are removed and the porcelain veneers bonded to your teeth. Although they are thin, porcelain veneers are much stronger than composite veneers, so the risk of fracture compared to the composite veneers is much less. However, if a fracture does occur, repairing it is more difficult and may result in the veneers having to be remade.
In general, porcelain veneers can be used in a greater variety of situations with a higher level of predictability. Since they are made outside the mouth, the shape and color can be easier to control, thus enhancing the final result.
By Greggory Kinzer, DDS, MSD