Bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly-chipped, discolored or crooked teeth, often for cosmetic purposes. The process comprises placing a white filling on your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling "bonds" with your teeth, and because it comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades, it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.
Bonding can also be used in place of regular amalgam fillings. Many patients prefer bonded fillings, because the white color is much less noticeable than the silver of the amalgam fillings. Bonding fillings can be used on front and back teeth, depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.
Bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and can usually be completed in one visit to our office. However, bonding can stain and breaks more easily than other cosmetic treatments like porcelain veneers.
If your bonding does break or chip, please let us know. We can generally patch or repair bonding in one visit.
Veneers are a cosmetic dental procedure in which a thin layer of porcelain or composite material is placed over the outside of the tooth. They are used to improve esthetics or help with tooth damage. Veneers are usually only performed on the front part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.
The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. Because of that, the direct technique is usually referred to as bonding.
The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers are fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions are taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. The veneers are back from the laboratory after two or three weeks. The temporaries are removed, and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory-fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are esthetically pleasing.
The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less of the tooth material has to be removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are not recommended for patients who have large fillings or little tooth structure. They are also typically recommended for the restoration of front teeth.
Teeth whitening is a popular procedure to make your teeth whiter and brighter, and therefore more attractive. Bleaching can be used to whiten stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a dull smile. Either way, teeth whitening is a safe and relatively painless procedure for most patients. Whitening comes in strips, trays, or in-office procedures. We offer a wide variety of options for you at our practice.
In-office bleaching procedures are ideal if you want immediate results. The whole process takes about an hour, taking little time out of busy lives. A protective gel is applied to your gums to protect the soft tissue. Then a special bleaching gel is applied to your teeth. Finally, the patient receives a take-home gel and instructions to keep the smile bright. The result is dramatically whiter teeth that will last for years.
Tray whitening is a less-expensive and convenient at-home whitening treatment. The results are more gradual. An impression is taken at the dentist's office in order to create a customized clear tray. Trays are generally ready within a few days, depending, and the patient must follow instructions for how to apply the gel in the trays and how often to use it. Maximum whitening results and a dazzling smile are achieved at the end of the set treatment period. An occasional treatment can be used to maintain the new smile.
Whitening strips can be available at the local store or at dental practices. The dentist will have the best recommendations for your needs.
Ask about our whitening options! Please consult us about use of over-the-counter whitening treatments.