An alternative to veneers, cosmetic bonding can be used as a restorative procedure for teeth that are chipped, cracked, discolored, or disarranged. The tooth is prepared for the procedure by lightly etching the surface and applying a bonding liquid. Once the liquid is cured, a plastic resin is applied and sculpted into the desired shape by the dentist. Once set, the resin is trimmed, smoothed, and polished to a natural appearance.
Veneers are thin porcelain coverings that are bonded on the front of the teeth. They are usually done to cover discolored, stained, or poorly shaped teeth. The stain can be external or discolored from within such as is often found in teeth that had root canal therapy many years previously. Sometimes veneers can be done without tooth preparation or reduction known as prepless veneers, other times some tooth reduction is necessary. They can make a remarkable change in a person’s appearance.
Dental veneers usually require three appointments. One appointment for diagnosis and study models, a second for preparation, impression and temporaries and a third for bonding the veneers in place. The veneers are laboratory fabricated and have a much longer life expectancy than directly bonded composite coverings. It will usually take a few weeks following the bonding of the veneers for you to get used to the change in shape color and size. You may notice a slight change in your bite and occasionally temporary changes in some speech sounds. After about two weeks we will ask you to return for any minor adjustments that may be necessary.
Teeth whitening procedures are done to bleach discolored, stained or darkened teeth. Whitening or (bleaching) of your teeth can improve their appearance and smile. The whitening agents can lighten the shade of teeth considerably. They are effective on most external discoloration such as is caused by long time coffee, tea, and tobacco stains. It is not as effective on discoloration caused by medications such as tetracycline, conditions like fluorosis or teeth discolored due to root canal therapy.
Whitening toothpastes can achieve minor improvements but can be somewhat abrasive. Professional whitening performed in office is considered to be the most effective and safest method. Take home trays can be fabricated and professional whitening agents are supplied by our office, which are also very effective.