Veneers and Bonding
What are porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers are thin shells of ceramic that bond directly to the front surfaces of the teeth. They are an ideal choice for improving your smile and have become increasingly popular due to their simplicity and versatility.
Placing custom veneers requires a high degree of technical skill as well as attention to cosmetic detail. We place veneers routinely, and design each case individually to match and enhance the characteristics of each patient’s smile.
Will porcelain veneers look like normal teeth?
When bonded to the teeth, the ultra-thin porcelain veneers are virtually undetectable and highly resistant to coffee, tea, or even cigarette stains. For strength and appearance, their resemblance to healthy, white tooth enamel is unsurpassed by other restorative options.
How durable are porcelain veneers?
With proper care, porcelain veneers will brighten your smile for well over a decade. Your doctor will ensure that your veneers are crafted from the highest quality porcelains and are bonded with the most advanced and proven materials available.
Refraining from using your veneers as tools to open and cut things will prolong their life, and if accidental breakage or damage occurs, it is usually possible to replace only the veneer involved.
When more than half of the tooth biting surface is damaged a dentist will often use an inlay or onlay.
What are inlays and onlays?
Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.
Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth.
How are inlays/onlays applied?
Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the filling being replaced or the damaged/decaying area of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay. To ensure proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth is made by the dentist and then sent to a dental laboratory for fabrication. A temporary sealant is placed on the tooth and the next appointment is scheduled.
At the second appointment, the temporary sealant is removed. Your doctor will then make sure that the inlay or onlay they received from the dental laboratory fits correctly. If the fit is satisfactory, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and then polished to a smooth finish.
Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50 percent. As an alternative, inlays and onlays, which are bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75 percent. As a result, they can last from 10 to 30 years. Onlays are a very good alternative in cases where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown.
Bonding is an alternative to veneers, and can be used as a restorative procedure for teeth that are chipped, cracked, discolored or misaligned.
How does bonding work?
The tooth is prepared for the procedure by lightly etching the surface and applying a bonding liquid. Once the liquid sets, 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.
The bonding procedure can often be completed in a single office visit, and can improve the appearance of a tooth significantly. However, the plastic resin used in bonding is not as strong as natural tooth enamel and it is more likely to stain, chip or break than a natural tooth. Bonding typically lasts three to five years before requiring repair.