Your family dentist can not only keep your smile healthy but can also help you improve the look and feel of your teeth. Cosmetic treatments such as bonding and veneers are non-invasive procedures that can smooth the surface and colour of the teeth. These types of treatments are most commonly used to correct spaces, cracks, chips, and discolouration.
Bonding is a simple and pain-free process for minor cosmetic fixes. Bonding works by applying thin layers of composite resin to the teeth that are hardened with a special light. The following are a few benefits of bonding:
- It can correct a stained tooth to match the colour of the surrounding teeth
- It can fill in a chip and be shaped to match the tooth
- It can fill small gaps between teeth
- It can be touched up over time as needed with more resin
Veneers are hard shells that attach permanently to the front of the teeth. Veneers have many of the same benefits as bonding except they are made out of porcelain. The advantage of porcelain is that it is stronger and stain resistant. Porcelain veneers typically take two visits to apply. The process does not require down time, however you will likely receive some local anesthetic freezing when the dentist is preparing the teeth.
Porcelain veneers are durable enough to hold up to a regular routine and typical diet. You can expect veneers to be a long term solution that last 10 – 20 years, but there are a few additional considerations when choosing veneers:
- The process is not reversible since a thin layer of enamel needs to be removed to make room for the veneers
- Temporary veneers may need to be worn while the porcelain veneers are made from a mold of the prepared teeth
- The teeth must be healthy, free of gum disease, and have enough enamel left that a layer can be removed
- Porcelain is fairly strong but can be chipped and is not a good option for those who grind their teeth
As with all dental procedures, treatment should not replace regular dental care such as cleaning, flossing, and check ups. After cosmetic treatment, patients should try to avoid overly crunchy or sticky foods and biting fingernails or other objects. Over time, bonding and veneers will wear and may require touch ups or replacing. Always speak to your family dentist about your goals and expectations. Your dentist can help find a solution that best fits your needs.