How to decide on the best option for restoring your teeth
If you’d like to improve the way your smile looks and works, you might be wondering about your tooth restoration options. There are (at least!) a couple of different ways you can go.
Dental crowns can restore a tooth that’s damaged, cracked, or badly decayed. Usually made from strong porcelain, dental crowns completely cover or “cap” your tooth.
Orthodontic treatment can work to straighten and align your teeth into their ideal position, helping to improve the way your teeth, jaw and entire mouth work together.
Or perhaps a combination of both these solutions will suit you best! In this blog post, we’ll look at the different advantages of using dental crowns and orthodontics.
When should you choose a dental crown?
If you have a tooth that’s either broken down, has a fair bit of structure missing, or is badly decayed, a dental crown could be the ideal way to restore your tooth.
A dental crown acts a little like a “jacket” that fits over your tooth, restoring its strength, improving its appearance, and even working to straighten mild crookedness.
By their nature dental crowns can change your tooth very quickly. So for example if you have an event coming up where you’d like to show off your new smile, crowns might be your preferred restoration option because they can be completed relatively quickly.
Thanks to our in-house CEREC machine, in many cases a dental crown can be done in a single appointment. CEREC crowns can be made in a wide range of colours; but if you require a very specific colour we may suggest a bespoke hand-made dental crown. This custom crown will take a couple of weeks to create, during which time you’ll have a temporary crown placed to restore your tooth’s function.
What are the advantages of a dental crown?
Because of their very natural and attractive appearance, crowns are perfect for use on your front 4 to 8 teeth – also known as the “Social Six” teeth (because the “Social Eight” just doesn’t sound as snappy).
Crowns can greatly improve the colour of your tooth since they completely cover the discoloured natural material. We can place a lighter coloured crown over teeth that are broken down or discoloured to restore their natural appearance.
If you have an “open bite”, perhaps because you have a history of excessive clenching or grinding your teeth, we may be able to use dental crowns to restore your teeth to a more natural fit.
We can place a single crown or use multiple crowns, depending on your needs. Since they’re made from very strong materials, dental crowns can restore strength to a tooth that has lost much of its structure.
Crowns can also be used in conjunction with orthodontics. We can use pre-prosthetic orthodontics to move your teeth into their ideal position, and then place dental crowns over the top to improve the way they look.
Depending on your situation, there are a few different crown materials to choose from. Take a look at our previous blog on the topic if you’d like to find out more.
If on the other hand your teeth are in good condition and more intact, you might be better off choosing orthodontics to restore your smile.
When should you choose orthodontics?
If your teeth have good foundations and are generally healthy – but a little crooked – orthodontics may be the perfect way to restore your smile. Orthodontics can assist with teeth that are crowded, misaligned, or spaced too widely apart.
Orthodontics is a more time-consuming treatment than crowns, typically taking between three to 18 months to complete depending on the degree of correction you require.
Yet you needn’t wait that long to see exactly how your restored smile will appear. We can show you a 3D simulation of your ortho treatment that details how your smile will look once it’s fully restored.
Before we can begin orthodontics treatment, we’ll need to make sure that you have no tooth decay or gum disease present. That’s why we always begin your treatment with a careful assessment of your oral health to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises.
Invisalign: an invisible orthodontic option for improving your smile
At Wickham Terrace Dental we find that many of our adult patients feel a little self-conscious about having orthodontic treatment (which they imagine means wearing traditional heavy metal braces).
If that’s the case for you, you might like to consider Invisalign clear aligners. They’re a highly effective way to straighten your teeth without your friends or work colleagues realising!
The custom made aligners are completely removable, so they don’t restrict what you eat or drink. And unlike brackets and wires, Invisalign lets you clean your teeth normally.
After your Invisalign treatment, you will need to wear a retainer at night to preserve the new position of your teeth. And while Invisalign itself won’t correct the colour of your teeth, you can apply whitening gel to the aligners to brighten your teeth at the same time as you straighten them.
Invisalign is not just for adults either. Teenagers too can benefit with Invisalign, for all the same reasons!
Choosing the best solution for your smile
So with all that said – which is the best way to restore the health and appearance of your individual smile? That depends!
At Wickham Terrace Dental we usually recommend orthodontics over crowns whenever possible. That’s because ortho is a more conservative treatment that doesn’t need any of your healthy tooth material removed. It’s also normally comfortable and very well tolerated by most of our patients.
But if you have very broken down teeth, it might not be possible to have orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics needs strong “foundations” to work with, so a dental crown may be a better option in that case.
Alternatively, it might suit you best to have a combination of treatments, with orthodontics first to do a little bit of straightening, followed by a dental crown.
To find out which tooth restoration option is right for you, simply make an appointment to visit Wickham Terrace Dental and chat to our friendly team or call us today on (07) 3831 3031.