Veneers, Crowns & Bridgework

Porcelain Veneers are a more permanent alternative to teeth whitening. Unlike whitening, shape, colour and size can all be altered to dramatically change a smile (cf: “Extreme Makeovers”). They involve removal of 1-2mm of enamel from the front surfaces of the teeth in order to facilitate their placement, which is by chemical bonding. Veneers involve a long appointment to do the preparation and impressions, followed by a fitting appointment 10 days later. I tend to view Veneers as a semi-permanent solution to smile makeover, as the bonding edges of the Veneers stain in time and they are prone to chipping and breakage.

Veneer Process
Veneer Process

Crowns (or “Caps”) are similar, but generally involve the entire circumference of the tooth. These usually become necessary when a tooth has insufficient structure left to support an ordinary filling or veneer. The Crowns we currently use in our Practice are ‘E-Max’ crowns, which are metal-free Ceramics and are therefore extremely strong and durable.

A Bridge is placed when a tooth is lost. The 2 teeth adjacent to the gap are Crowned and fused to a false tooth in between. (3 Crowns). This is cemented into place and is permanent. A less destructive alternative to Bridgework is an Implant.

Pro’s and con’s

  • In all Crownwork, Veneers and Bridgework, a certain amount of tooth structure is lost to drilling and is therefore an “irreversible” process.
  • Veneers are not as strong as crowns and in Night grinding are prone to fracture.
  • Crownwork is painless and is completed in 2 weeks.

Implants do not affect the surrounding teeth, since there is no drilling needed. However, there is a significant amount of trauma involved in placing an Implant, where bone is drilled away to make space for the Implant structure. This is significantly increased when bone augmentation becomes necessary (where there is insufficient bone available).

Implants take roughly 4-6 months to complete.

Porcelain Crowns (Caps) – Case Studies

Click to enlarge