Cosmetic Dentistry Part 3: Porcelain Veneers And Crowns

Dental Porcelain Veneers and Crowns

Crowns are custom made caps that fit exactly over the prepared tooth that sits above the gum. Their function is not only to strengthen the tooth itself but they can also improve their appearance.

Why are dental veneers or crowns required?

Dental veneers or crowns are needed to improve the strength of a compromised tooth. This will help prevent tooth fracture and ultimately prevent damage to the nerve.

Cracked molar tooth

Broken tooth cusp

Some fractures if attended to early enough can be treated with crowns.

The longer a crack grows, the higher chance it will hit the nerve, and cause pain.

Cracked teeth

Dental Crowns are used cosmetically too

Dental Crowns are great! They can:

Before and After photograph of Dental Crowns

  • Improve shape by covering chipped/crooked teeth
  • Improve the length of teeth, i.e. making them more youthful
  • Improve the general colour of all teeth
  • Close spaces
  • Mask dark teeth i.e. those that have been knocked /traumatised and have turned black.

This is done by a detailed process called Smile Design. A technique in collaboration with both dentist and dental technician together.


Veneers are not structurally as strong as crowns, as they are thinner in cross section.

Cosmetically they can be used similar to crowns to:

Dental Veneers

Dental Veneers being attached

  • Improve shape by covering chipped/crooked teeth
  • Improve the length of teeth, i.e. making them more youthful
  • Improve the general colour of all teeth
  • Close spaces

They are not good for covering dark teeth due to the thinness of porcelain. Teeth that are generally broken down will require crowns instead.


Dental Bridge

Before and after Dental Bridges

Dental bridges come in all different shapes and designs. Fundamentally, the prime reason for choosing a bridge is for replacing a gap in the mouth, by utilising the support of the neighbouring teeth.

A bridge can replace large and small gaps in the mouth. The supporting teeth, house crowns as described before, but this time, the two supporting crowns are attached to a false tooth. Or the two supporting crowns, ‘ bridge’ the gap.

It is a little trickier to clean underneath but your dentist will make sure you can clean it.


Can’t we just leave the gap?

Well, yes of course we can, but mother nature didn’t design us to have spaces in the mouth.

What follows is a natural drifting of the teeth (over months and years). Teeth also tip unfavourably into spaces causing food traps that are difficult to clean (so cavities will form), and abnormal biting forces as teeth not directly on top of the tooth.

Dental Implants

Dental Implant structure diagram

All On Four dental implants Bayside Family Dentistry

Dental Implants are next best thing to having your own missing tooth back again. Once a tooth is extracted, the bone starts to dissolve. However, placing an implant into the space shortly after a tooth extraction can trick the body into thinking there is a tooth there. Clever innit?

Dental implants have been around for about 60 years, so a lot of research has gone into them making them a very good long-term option for patients. Studies show that they have a 90% success rate even after 10 years. They can replace one tooth or the whole set of teeth.

Patients who choose to have their implants are those who have had spaces for many years and need to restore form and function in the mouth.


This article is part three of a three part series on cosmetic dentistry.