Bonding: Painless, reversible cosmetic dentistry
Did you know that is possible to change your smile in as little as one or two dental treatments in a way that conserves your existing tooth enamel and costs a fraction of porcelain veneers?
Composite resin veneers (or bonding) utilizes improved formulations of traditional white filling materials to create a beautiful protective covering over dark, stained, chipped or crooked teeth. Using an artistic eye, your dentist can utilize different tints and opacities to create a strong, resistant and protective layer over your natural tooth. Depending on the situation, this process can often be carried out without significant grinding of the existing enamel and hence would not require dental anesthetics. Yes, no needles required! Let us go back a little and discuss veneers in general and the pros and cons of the various options for this type of dental treatment.
What are dental veneers? What are the different types?
As the term implies, veneers are wafer thin shells that are custom made for your teeth. Typically, people have images of "Hollywood" smiles when veneers are mentioned; however, many people have veneers that are made to appear completely natural and indistinguishable from a natural tooth. There are a number of reasons why patients choose to have veneers. Most often, veneer patients have unaesthetic teeth which are dark, stained, chipped, cracked, worn, misshapen, or in the wrong position. Depending on your needs, a single veneer, several veneers, or any level, up to full upper and lower arch treatment can be done.
Veneers can be made using different materials, but they broadly fall into three categories: composite resin veneers (bonding), traditional porcelain veneers, and Lumineers ®. There are a number of different factors that will determine which option might be the most appropriate for you.
Why would you consider veneers as an aesthetic dental option?
It is a mistake to consider veneers to be a replacement for orthodontic treatment or "instant orthodontics". Orthodontic treatment focuses on placing the roots of the teeth and subsequently the visible portion of the teeth in the "correct" position in the mouth. Think of orthodontics as making sure the foundation of a building is placed directly under the most structurally desirable place prior to constructing the parts above the ground, or gums, in this case. On the other hand, veneers are used to address structurally sound teeth, where the facade is lacking in a number of ways. Veneers can correct the size and shape of a tooth. A veneer can also change the colour of a tooth to a greater degree and for a longer period of time than tooth whitening. Veneers can hide chips and stains and give the tooth a more uniformed look, and can help to make one tooth match other teeth in the smile. Furthermore, veneers can be used to correct minor misalignment of the teeth, without requiring orthodontic treatment, by varying the thickness of the veneers.
Bonding - A shift in cosmetic dentistry
Recently, dentists have had access to much lighter and more realistic appearing composite resin. Therefore, conservative dentists have chosen to use composite resin over the entire facial aspect of the teeth to achieve the change in shape, size, colour and function of the teeth in a way that was not previously done.
Advantages of bonding:
* Instant results
* Low cost
Disadvantages of bonding:
* Requires regular maintenance - semi-annual cleaning and polishing
* Less resistant to stains than porcelain
If you are interested in cosmetic dentistry consider bonding/composite resin veneers as an option. Contact your cosmetic dentist in Victoria, BC for a consultation.