A bridge is a fixed replacement for a missing tooth or teeth. It's made by taking an impression of the surrounding teeth, which will eventually support the bridge. A bridge is usually created from precious metal and porcelain and will be fixed in your mouth (unlike dentures, which can be removed).
A crown is a type of cap that completely covers a real tooth. It's made from either metal, or porcelain and metal, and is fixed in your mouth. Crowns can be fitted where a tooth has broken, decayed or been damaged, or just to make a tooth look better.
To fit a crown, the old tooth will need to be drilled down so it's like a small peg the crown will be fixed onto. It can take some time for the lab to prepare a new crown, so you probably won't have the crown fitted on the same day.
Scale and polish
This is when your teeth are professionally cleaned by the hygienist. It involves carefully removing the deposits that build up on the teeth (tartar).
Braces (orthodontic treatment) straighten or move teeth to improve the appearance of the teeth and how they work.
Braces can be removable, so you can take them out and clean them, or fixed, so they're stuck to your teeth and you can't take them out. They can be made of metal, plastic or ceramic. Invisible braces are made of a clear plastic.
Implants are a fixed alternative to removable dentures. They may be the only option if the loss of teeth has caused the mouth to shrink so that it can no longer support dentures. You can use implants to replace just a single tooth or several teeth.
To fit an implant, titanium screws are drilled into the jaw bone to support a crown, bridge or denture. Replacement parts take time to prepare. This is to ensure that they fit your mouth and other teeth properly. Therefore, they may not be available on your first visit to the dentist. Implants are usually only available privately and are expensive.
Teeth whitening involves bleaching your teeth to make them a lighter color. Teeth whitening can't make your teeth brilliant white, but it can lighten the existing color by several shades. Standard teeth whitening involves several visits to the dentist plus sessions at home wearing a mouth guard containing bleaching gel. The whole process takes a couple of months. A newer procedure called laser whitening or power whitening is done at the dentist's surgery and takes about an hour. Teeth whitening is cosmetic and therefore generally only available privately.