Here at Colm Smith Dental, we have vast experience in providing dental veneers, crowns & bridges. We’ve carried out everything from restoring a single tooth with a veneer to full mouth rehabilitation involving multi-disciplinary in-house specialist input.
Before any crown, veneer or bridge can be provided it is vital that you have a thorough assessment carried out by one of our dentists. The aim of treatment planning is of course to establish a plan that will give you long term dental stability and success.
Comprehensive Planning involves study models, articulated casts, diagnostic wax-ups, x-rays, digital photographs and a clear assessment of your concerns & needs.
Treatment can then be started once both dentist and patient are satisfied with the overall plan.
A crown (sometimes known as a ‘cap’) is an artificial covering that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth. Crowns are an ideal option for teeth that have been broken or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. They can be made from a variety of materials, the most common of which are porcelain or gold or a combination of both.
A dental crown could be used for a number of other reasons, for instance;
- You may have discoloured fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth
- You may have had a root filling which will need a crown to protect it
- It may help hold a bridge or denture firmly in place.
- The average life span of a crown is approximately 10 years, although in our multi disciplinary practice we have documented evidence of many crowns lasting 20 years and over.
Private premium crowns are the standard request from our laboratories. This gives the patient excellent appearance, fit and bite. The role of our hygienist in maintenance and prevention cannot be overemphasised.
Prices of crowns are very topical at present, the prices of the premium crowns are reasonable. Patients over the 25 years have often remarked how happy they are with the long-term results and the very good value.
Please note in multiple crown cases the bite is very important and careful assessment is necessary at the treatment planning stage.
The practice recognises the recessionary times we currently live in and the growth in dental awareness and high standards of our patients. For those who cannot afford the premium crowns, the practice can provide a less expensive crown to a good standard.
These crowns are similar to those provided by the NHS in the UK & Northern Ireland. Whilst the cosmetics and quality of a budget crown will not match a premium crown, delivering this crown will allow our dental team to control the long-term management of the mouth especially the preparation of the tooth. Patients may later opt to replace this crown with a premium type. The guarantee for a budget crown is 1 year (5 years for a premium crown).
Inlays and Onlays
Dental inlays are used to restore the inside of the tooth and are made of a strong, natural-looking material, such as porcelain or tooth coloured composite resin. Onlays are made of the same materials, but are used for larger restorations, extending over one or more sides of the tooth, and can be used similar to a crown or cap. They increase tooth strength and provide enduring protection for the tooth, holding it together whilst retaining a natural, aesthetically pleasing colour. They are used in instances when there is deficient tooth structure to support a filling but the tooth is still in a condition that does not require a crown. Unlike metal fillings, an onlay can often be used to repair only the damaged portion of the tooth, leaving much more of the original tooth structure intact.
Besides having dental implants, there are two main ways to replace missing teeth. The first is with a removable false tooth or teeth i.e. a partial denture. The second is with a fixed bridge.
A dental bridge is usually used where there are fewer teeth to replace, or when the missing teeth are only on one side of the mouth. Bridges are usually made of a precious metal base.
Types of Bridges: Full Coverage (Conventional) and Maryland.
This involves preparing teeth similar to crowns. What applies to crowns also applies to bridges. Similar to multiple crown cases the bite is very important. Premium bridges from top laboratories are provided. NHS bridges may be provided in certain circumstances.
Very little tooth is removed and this is the big advantage over full coverage. The wings are attached to the backs of the neighbouring teeth. This practice fitted its first Maryland bridge in 1986 and it is still performing well. We were one of the first practices in Ireland to pioneer this treatment. We have documented evidence of a large number of our premium Maryland bridges lasting 20 years and more. For patients seeking this type of bridge, the bite must be favourable and there must be plenty of healthy neighbouring tooth structure to glue the bridge to. If this isn’t the case, then a full coverage bridge is usually indicated.
Dental veneers are delicate, custom-made layers of porcelain designed to cover the front surface of teeth. They are one of the most versatile restorations available for enhancing your smile and can be used to lighten discoloured teeth, straighten teeth and to close spaces between front teeth.
Veneers are very thin so very little preparation is needed. A veneer has a very natural “life like” appearance with the strength, beauty, and durability only porcelain restorations can afford.
The first veneers were fitted at our practice back in 1988. The female patient had dark staining of the teeth as a result of taking antibiotics at a young age. The end result was so good, that it inspired the patient to study dentistry and she herself is now a very successful dentist.
Veneers are suitable for cases where we need to correct:
- Crooked teeth
- Mis-shapen teeth
- Severely discoloured or stained teeth
- Teeth which are too small or large
- Unwanted or uneven spaces
- Worn or chipped teeth
I’d like veneers – what does the process involve?
Veneering teeth usually requires two visits to complete, with little or no anaesthesia required. We begin by taking some photographs of your smile before starting. We then prepare the teeth by lightly buffing and shaping the surface to allow for the thickness of the veneer. An impression of the teeth is made and we assess the shade (colour) and characterisations to be incorporated into your veneers. We may also place some temporary veneers over your prepared teeth while our ceramist constructs your final veneers.
On the second visit (usually about 2-3 weeks later) the teeth will be cleansed with special liquids to achieve a durable bond. Bonding cement is then placed between the tooth and veneer and a special light beam is used to harden and set the bond. Final photographs are taken.
You will receive care instructions for veneers. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new veneers.