Cosmetic dentistry is like a dental face lift that can quickly “reverse” the natural aging process of the teeth. Modern dentistry offers a wide variety of treatment options for people seeking to enhance their smile. The options range from porcelain veneers to braces! In many cases, a combination of these techniques is required to deliver the best results.
Bonding is a term used to describe a number of procedures that involve applying composite resins to the tooth. Regardless of its use, bonding can provide an attractive result.
Bonding is often completed in one visit and often does not require the use of anesthesia or drilling. The process involves preparing the tooth surface with an etching solution that allow the composite resin to adhere. To match the color of your teeth, various colors of resins are carefully blended so the bonded tooth will look natural.
The resin is applied, contoured into the proper shape and hardened using a special light or chemical process. It is smoothed and polished to appear natural. Sometimes a follow-up appointment will be required for final polishing and finishing.
Because bonding material is not as strong as natural tooth enamel, it can chip and may have to be replaced periodically. Bonded areas of the tooth are also prone to stain. For these reasons, bonding requires careful home and professional maintenance. You can help maintain your bonding by following these tips.
- Avoid acids (such as vinegar, tomatoes, or pineapples) and alcohol which can damage the resins.
- Avoid items that can stain bonding material such as cigarettes, coffee, tea, and berries.
- Do not put excess pressure on resins. Chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy can cause damage.
Enamel reshaping is a process of contouring natural teeth to improve their over all appearance. When teeth are slightly crowded or uneven, or when eyeteeth appear too long, enamel reshaping may be used to correct the flaw. This more conservative process cannot solve all problems though. Crowded teeth may need braces. If so, your dentist may provide treatment, or, refer you to a specialist in orthodontics.
Enamel reshaping involves modifying teeth by removing or contouring enamel to create harmony and balance in the mouth. Enamel reshaping, which is often combined with bonding, is usually quick and painless. No anesthesia is necessary when reshaping enamel, and the results can be seen immediately. It should be approached with caution, however, because enamel cannot be replaced.
After an enamel reshaping procedure, it is common to experience the following:
- You may experience some sensitivity
- You may feel a little rough for a while
- Avoid tea, coffee, and tobacco products
- Floss, brush, and regular visits to the dentist are recommended
Veneers are used to close gaps or cover teeth that are stained, poorly shaped, or slightly crooked. Even the most subtle change in your smile can make a dramatic difference in the way you look and feel. When you feel and look good, you project a confident self-image. So, make the most of your smile. Ask your dentist what veneers can do for you.
Having a tooth “veneered” is a procedure requiring just a few appointments. To provide form and help strengthen a veneer, a small amount of enamel may be removed from the front and edge of the tooth. An impression of the tooth is then made and sent to a dental laboratory where the veneer is made to match the color and shape of your teeth according to your dentist’s specifications. When it is time to attach the veneer, your tooth is prepared by roughing the front surface with a mild etching solution. Using composite resin cements, the veneer is set in place.
Placing a veneer is often an irreversible process because of the small amount of enamel that is usually removed to accommodate the thickness of the veneer shell.