There are a number for techniques for fixed restorative prosthetics. These techniques are widely used and can make a dramatic different to the cosmetic appearance of the teeth and face.
Crowns: A crown is fitted on top of a damaged tooth and functions and looks like a healthy tooth. A crown can cover a tooth that is discoloured or badly shaped, restore a broken tooth, protect a weak tooth from breaking, and can be used to attach a bridge. A crown is also used to cover a dental implant. You can choose between a full-ceramic crown or a metal-ceramic crown. The crown will last for many years, depending on the health of the underlying tooth.
Veneers: A veneer is a thin plate of tooth-coloured material that is custom-made and permanently attached to cover the front side of a tooth to correct damage, discolouration or a bad shape. They can be the ideal choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth. The tooth then functions and looks like a healthy tooth. Veneers may be made from ceramics or from other composite materials. Ceramic veneers usually last 10 to 15 years, while less expensive options such as composite veneers typically last 5 to 7 years.
Bridges: A bridge replaces a missing tooth with an artificial tooth and is attached to existing teeth for support on either side. Replacing missing teeth will help maintain the shape of the face and alleviating the stress in the bite caused by missing teeth. A bridge is another option to an implant to permanently replace a missing tooth. The artificial tooth of the bridge is made of the same material as a crown, and may be full-ceramic or metal-ceramic. A fixed bridge can only be removed by a dentist.
Onlays and inlays: Onlays and inlays are similar to fillings in that they fill cavities and gaps in the tooth. However, like crowns, they are custom made in a laboratory and then attached to the tooth with special adhesive. Onlays and inlays are very strong and are suitable for the grinding surfaces of molar teeth. They can be made out of gold, porcelain or composite material.
Process: The process of taking impression and then fitting normally requires 2 appointments, 5-7 days apart, during which time the prosthetic is produced at the lab. Preparatory work such as extractions, clearing of gum disease or root canals have to be done beforehand. In some cases healing time is required before the fitting can be done.