A crown involves preparation of a tooth using a drill to create space for the crown. This is quite destructive of tooth tissue (much more so than a veneer). Impressions are taken, a temporary crown made and about 2 weeks later a permanent crown is glued into place. This is NOT removable by you or a dentist. Crowns can be made of all porcelain, porcelain and metal or gold. Different materials are used in different situations. The dentist will advise you on the most appropriate crown for any given specific situation.
A conventional bridge involves preparation of the holding teeth usually either side of a gap using a drill to create space for crowns. This is quite destructive of tooth tissue. Impressions are taken, a temporary bridge made and about 2 weeks later a permanent bridge made usually of metal and porcelain is glued into place. This is NOT removable by you or a dentist.
An adhesive bridge involves minimal preparation of the back surfaces of neighbouring teeth to a gap using a drill to create space for the bridge wings. Impressions are taken and about 2 weeks later the bridge carrying a porcelain replacement tooth is glued into place assuming the dentist and patient are happy with appearance and fit. Occasionally the bridge will have to be modified prior to final fitting. The procedure to glue in the bridge can be time consuming. These type of bridges often ultimately fail however they have the great advantage that they involve minimal tooth destruction and are particularly suitable for younger patients as a long term intermediate solution where destruction of tooth substance can have many complications.
A veneer involves preparation of a tooth using a drill to create space for the veneer (only a small amount – about 1mm is removed from the front surface of the tooth). A veneer is much less destructive of tooth tissue than a crown. Impressions are taken and about 2 weeks later porcelain veneer is glued (this is a fairly complex procedure) into place. This can take a little longer if the dentist is unhappy with shade, shape or fit of the veneer. Veneers are NOT removable by you or a dentist.
Between tooth preparation and fit of a veneer the prepared tooth may be a little sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
Crowns, bridges and veneers have a good rate of success in dentistry however it is essential that your tooth cleaning is maintained to a high standard as one of the commonest causes of failure is poor tooth cleaning leading to decay or gum disease around the crown, bridge or veneer margins.
The Tooth Fairy