In the realm of cosmetic dental care, there are a number of methods that can be used to help patients alter the look of their smiles.
If you wish to alter the shape, colour, or general appearance of your teeth, you may wish to investigate veneers or bonding. Both procedures can help conceal visible flaws in your teeth and may result in a more uniform smile.
What are dental veneers?
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that sit on the front layer of your teeth. They can add length, change shape, and lighten the colour of your teeth. A single veneer can be placed individually to cover just one tooth, or a full set can be applied to multiple teeth to make your smile more even.
The veneers are custom-made in a laboratory, fitted, and colour-matched to the patient's teeth. They are placed directly on the teeth, thickening the teeth; therefore, a thin layer of enamel is typically removed during the procedure. Appointments are required for planning, but the actual process can often be completed in two to three visits.
Who could benefit from veneers?
You are a good candidate for veneers if you have:
- Severe stains and discolouration
- Cracked teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Large gaps in between your teeth
- Crooked teeth (mild to moderate)
- Teeth that overlap
- Worn teeth
Pros of Veneers
By concealing cracks, stains, and misshapen teeth, veneers can produce white, uniform smiles. In addition to being resistant to staining and chipping, porcelain is also resistant to cracking.
Veneers are colour matched as closely as possible to your natural teeth. They are made to appear slightly translucent, just like natural teeth, and as a result, are quite realistic in appearance.
Cons of Veneers
The application of veneers is considered a permanent procedure. Enamel is eliminated and replaced with porcelain, which is then bonded to the tooth's surface. This indicates that the veneer procedure has permanently altered the tooth.
Veneers can also be somewhat costly. This is because they are custom-made and can often take more time and skill during preparation and placement.
What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding is an umbrella term for all procedures involving the application of white fillings to teeth. Similar to a porcelain veneer, bonding is placed on the front surface of a tooth to alter its size, shape, and colour for cosmetic purposes. Dental bonding can be used to repair individual teeth or rebuild multiple teeth in order to create a uniform smile.
Bonding can be a good choice for those with a small dental irregularity they want to improve. Just like with veneers, the dentist will colour match the bonding material to your neighbouring teeth.
Who might benefit from dental bonding?
Dental bonding might be right for you if you have the following:
- Minor stains
- Misshapen teeth
- Exposed roots from receding gums
Pros of Dental Bonding
Bonding is typically completed in a single appointment, making it typically faster than porcelain veneers, which require at least two appointments. When the extent of the required cosmetic work is minimal to moderate, bonding is typically less expensive than porcelain veneers.
If the bonding chips or breaks over time, it is typically quick and easy to repair. If taken care of properly, dental bonding can last for up to 10 years before it needs to be replaced.
Cons of Dental Bonding
One of the disadvantages of dental bonding is that it is not as strong as porcelain. It can chip more easily and is more porous, meaning it is more susceptible to staining.
The challenge of dental bonding is the aesthetic limitations of the material. It can be more difficult to mask very dark and discoloured teeth.
In addition, while bonding a single or a few teeth may be relatively simple, it can be challenging to improve an entire smile. As a result, dental bonding may end up costing nearly as much as porcelain veneers, as the dentist may require significantly more time and expertise.