Dental health is important and something people can get embarrassed about. If you're unhappy with the appearance of your teeth you might find it keeps you from smiling comfortably and naturally. This in turn can make you self-conscious, lowering your self-esteem. Thankfully, there are plenty of cosmetic dental procedures available that can help you transform your smile and address any problems you may have with your teeth. Two popular options are dental bonding and porcelain veneers. If you're looking to improve the appearance of your teeth, consider both procedures and discuss them with your dentist.
What is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is a treatment that is applied to a portion of the tooth and can be done by your dentist. The end result will give your teeth a natural appearance and can often be completed in one visit unless several teeth are involved.
The process of dental bonding is painless and able to repair minor problems you may have with your teeth. Composite resin is applied to the tooth and then shaped by your dentist, and hardened using a light. The color can be matched to your other teeth, hiding any stains or discoloration you may have.
Dental bonding fills gaps and cavities, and can be used to repair any chipped or broken teeth you have, and restore them to their normal size. As the bonding may wear down over time, your dentist might need to do touch ups. Results can last up to 15 years before needing to be redone.
What Are Veneers?
Veneers are applied to the surface of the front part of your teeth, which are usually made of a hard material like porcelain. You can think of them kind of like a thin shell that covers your teeth. Because they have a translucent quality to them, they are able to replicate the luster of natural teeth.
Porcelain veneers are stronger than dental bonding, and don't discolor or stain over time. The process often takes two or more dental visits over several weeks. Sometimes local anesthesia is given prior to beginning the procedure. A thin layer of enamel is scraped from the face of your teeth in order to make room to attach the veneers. Because of this, keep in mind this process cannot be reversed.
A custom mold of your teeth is then made and used to make the porcelain veneers in a lab. While your porcelain veneers are being made, a temporary set is usually worn until they are ready. At your next dental visit, the temporary set is removed and a mild chemical is applied to roughen the surface of your teeth, making it better for the porcelain veneers to stick. Each veneer is then glued onto each tooth individually.
When is Bonding the Best Choice?
Dental bonding is an easy and more pocket-friendly cosmetic dental procedure you can have done within one dental visit unless multiple teeth are involved. Compared to other cosmetic dental procedures, it also removes the least amount of enamel, making it less intrusive. If you have minor cosmetic problems with your teeth, bonding is something to consider. Though not as strong as your real teeth or veneers, bonding is a great way to make small or temporary cosmetic changes to your smile, particularly in areas like your front teeth where there is low bite pressure.
When Should I Consider Veneers Instead?
Have crooked or discolored teeth? Gaps you'd like to close? Chipped or broken teeth you'd like to repair, but dental bonding can't fix? If you have multiple cosmetic dental issues that you wish to correct, veneers might be your solution. The translucent quality of veneers makes for a very natural look that is hard to spot. Though it's more expensive, the results are stronger, natural looking teeth that won't stain like bonding might.
Both veneers and bonding are good choices for correcting cosmetic imperfections that your teeth might have. For more information, consult with an expert in cosmetic dentistry in order to find out what option would be best for your situation.
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