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crowns, inlays & veneers
If a tooth has been broken or weakened by a lot of decay or by placement of a large filling, a crown (cap) can be placed over the tooth to strengthen it and improve its appearance
Crowns are shaped like natural teeth and fit over the prepared tooth. For teeth near the front of the mouth, crowns are usually made of ceramic materials. Crowns on back teeth may be made of porcelain or metal (either gold or non-precious metal).
Your dentist will give you a local anaesthetic injection to numb the tooth and will shape your tooth so that there is room for the new crown. Once prepared, a mould of your tooth is taken in a putty-like material so that the dental technician can make a crown that fits the tooth perfectly. It usually takes two weeks for the crown to be ready, so your dentist will place a temporary cover over the tooth. At the second appointment, your dentist will take off the temporary cover and cement the new one in place.
inlays and onlays:
Inlays and onlays are similar to fillings. An inlay is placed within the biting surface of the tooth while an onlay covers a larger area of the tooth. They are made in a laboratory from either gold or porcelain, and then cemented to the tooth with adhesive. Two visits are usually required. Inlays and onlays are very strong and, in some circumstances, may be more durable than ordinary fillings.
This is when a thin layer of tooth-coloured material, usually porcelain, is fitted over a discoloured or mis-shapen tooth. The surface of your tooth may be filed down slightly to allow for the added thickness of the veneer so bear in mind that it can't be reversed. Your dentist will then take a mould of your tooth in a putty-like material. This is sent to a laboratory where the veneer is made by a dental technician over one to two weeks. A temporary veneer will be placed at this visit. On the second visit your dentist will remove the temporary veneer and the porcelain veneer will bonded onto the front of your tooth. Although veneers can last for many years, they can be damaged through an accident, break or chip and may need to be replaced.