Dr Sandy Says – Dental Crowns

See our video from Dr. Sandy Iyer the principal dentist at KR Dental and senior dental assistant Margret talk about Dental Crowns,‘who needs them?’ and the benefit of Dental Crown.

Check out our Crown and Bridges page for more details.


Marg: Dr Iyer, we have a lot of patients calling up and asking about the difference about ‘crowns’, ‘bridges’ and ‘veneer’, could you help explain that please.

Dr. Iyer: Marg of course I can.

So basically, a crown, sometimes people also call it a cap. It’s more like a helmet that sits on top of the tooth. What a crown is really good for is protecting teeth and making them stronger.

So basically, as we know, what I find is as people get older their teeth get older. They tend to have more wear and tear on their teeth. They tend to have a few cracks on their teeth.

Also, some people who had large amalgam fillings placed on their teeth when they were younger, those people I find tend to have more cracks on their teeth and people who grind and there’s various things around that.

It’s usually these kind of people with these cracks on their teeth all they need to do is on an unsuspecting Sunday afternoon, they could be eating a bit of bread with those little seeds in it or they could have bitten down into an olive with a little pit in it. And these cracks in teeth they open up and eventually or unexpectedly the tooth could actually split in the middle. That can be quite painful to some people.

So, when I see a crack in a patient’s mouth, especially on a chewing tooth. I might recommend to them that they get a crown put on that tooth. The whole point of that is the crown sits on top of the tooth much like a little helmet sits on top of the tooth. So, when people bite down on harder surfaces there’s no splitting of teeth the crack is not activated it’s all protected with this little cap that sits on top of the whole tooth. It makes that tooth stronger; it gives more life to that tooth.


Dr Sandy Says – Veneers

See our video from Dr. Sandy Iyer the principal dentist at KR Dental and senior dental assistant Margret talk about Veneers‘who needs them?’ and the benefit of veneers.

Check out our Veneers page for more details.


Marg: Dr. Iyer Crown and bridges are more functional for bite, eating and strengthen the tooth but could you explain more about veneers?

Dr. Iyer: Yeah sure Marg, you are right, you’ve got your crowns and bridges which really help people replace missing teeth. They really help strengthen teeth.

Veneer are really the most common cosmetic procedure we do here at the practice. And they also have a really big dramatic impact on people’s smiles and people’s confidences.

In a sense, what a veneer really is, it’s a little facing that’s made out of either Porcelain or Composite and I’ll go through the differences in a second and it’s put on top of teeth. And it is really useful for masking discolored teeth or chipped teeth or short teeth or people that have uneven teeth and by putting veneers on them we can just sort of have the end result of this beautiful almost a Hollywood smile and we do quite a lot of that.

There are two kinds of veneers. We have one what we call a Porcelain veneer and what a porcelain veneer is basically as the name suggests it’s made out of porcelain. The biggest difference is porcelain veneers tend to be opaque, so you can’t see through them. If there is any discoloration in the tooth underneath it porcelain veneers are really good for masking that. They tend to be very strong and they don’t tend to stain. So a lifespan of a porcelain veneer could be anywhere between 15 to 20 years. You still need to look after them like they are your own teeth but they do last a very long time.

The other kind of veneer that we generally tend to use is a Composite veneer. Now a composite veneer is pretty much made with the same tooth colored filling material that we would use to fill a back tooth. So basically any filling material you know something like this and with a composite veneer they tend to be a little bit more transparent just by the virtue of what the material is. So if there’s any discoloration on a tooth that we’re trying to mask we have to take off a lot more tooth structure to pack on a lot more composite to mask it. They tend to stain a little bit more than porcelain veneers and they don’t tend to be as strong as porcelain veneers. But they still do tend to last quite well. We get anywhere between 5 to 7 years of life with with the composite veneers.

So porcelain veneers tend to be a little bit more expensive because they are made in the lab, they’re made by a master ceramist, they last longer and they don’t stain. On the other hand composite veneers tend to be a little cheaper because we usually make them in-house they need a little bit more maintenance and they usually don’t last as long as porcelain veneers do.