If you have some problems with the appearance of your teeth, you should consult a trusted Atlanta dentist about the right solution for them. Cosmetic dentists can carry out a wide array of procedures to correct various dental problems, addressing both esthetic and functional concerns. In some cases, more than one procedure may be recommended.
Two of the most popular solutions to esthetic dental problems are bonding and veneers. They serve similar functions, and in fact, bonding is sometimes considered as an alternative to veneers. Find out more about them and see if one of these is a potential solution to your dental concerns.
Everyday Health defines dental bonding as a cosmetic dental procedure where a composite material is applied on a tooth, shaped, hardened, and then polished. The material bonds to the tooth, hence the name.
What does the procedure involve? First, the dentist applies phosphoric acid to the teeth. This is a safe, gentle material that does not result in any kind of pain. It is needed primarily to roughen the tooth’s surface and allow better adhesion of the bonding material. The dentist will then apply the bonding material–a composite resin–to the tooth’s surface, then sculpt it into the desired shape. A special light is used to accelerate the hardening and setting of the material. After that, it’s brought to a smooth finish by polishing.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry describes veneers as thin pieces of porcelain shells used to cover teeth. Porcelain is the material of choice because its appearance is comparable to natural teeth. Veneers are custom-made in a lab based on an impression made on your tooth.
To attach a veneer, the dentist will first remove a thin layer of your tooth’s enamel—usually just under a millimeter. This is needed so that the veneer will fit in nicely with the tooth and the mouth.
Which problems are they used for?
Both bonding and veneers can be used to correct chips, cracks, and gaps in the teeth. Dental bonding is ideal for minor repairs as it is cheaper, faster, and easier to do. It also doesn’t need as much enamel removal as veneers. However, if you’re looking to whiten teeth in addition to the other concerns mentioned, bonding is generally not the ideal choice. Veneers are better in this case. Likewise, if the chip or crack is too big or severe, veneers could be the better choice. Consult an Atlanta dentist from a reliable dental office, such as Buckhead Esthetic Dentistry, to determine the level of correction you actually need.
(How Dental Bonding Can Alter the Look and Feel of Your Teeth, Everyday Health, undated)
(Porcelain Veneers, AACD, undated)