Creating Beautiful Smiles!
This exciting field of dentistry involves taking what is unaesthetic and making it beautiful. Porcelain veneers and crowns are the most common restorations used in this area. Patients looking for a simple and fast way to transform their crooked, stained, or chipped teeth can rely on porcelain dental veneers. This cosmetic dentistry procedure involves the application of thin veneers over the surface of the teeth. Crowns are typically used on teeth that are broken or have a large amount of decay. Because they cover the surface of the tooth, crowns hide teeth that are damaged or stained. They fit closely over your teeth for a comfortable feel, and blend in to bring your smile back to its natural splendor. Not only do they improve the look of your smile, crowns also reduce pain in injured teeth and help them resist further injury.
Composite, or 'white' fillings are an increasingly popular choice when opting for fillings as the material can be customized to match the shade, texture and translucency of your natural teeth. It also provides much more consistent results than older-style fillings created from amalgam/silver fillings. There are some drawbacks however, bonding won't work well if the cavities in your teeth are quite large, this is due to the fact that the composite material's structure weakens over larger areas. The bonding process can be use for a number of different dental treatments such as:
- Reshaping teeth
- Fixing Gaps between teeth
- Repairing broken or chipped teeth
- As a filling for dental cavities
- As a replacement for amalgam or metal fillings
The process will begin with your dentist applying a local anaesthetic, if required, into the gum area around the target tooth. Then the surface of the tooth will be cleaned thoroughly in order to dislodge any tartar accumulation or other debris, it's important to have a clean surface for the composite to bond properly. After your dentist chooses the correct shade of composite to suit your natural teeth your tooth will be kept dry by using either a rubber dam made of latex or by placing rolls of cotton around it. At this stage your dentist may need to shape or roughen the tooth through use of special equipment.
Your dentist will then apply a special kind of acid gel which will serve to etch the surface of the tooth and provide a better grip for the composite. The bonding agent will then be applied to the newly etched surface of your tooth before being exposed to a special kind of light known as curing light. This will prompt the composite to harden and set in place, the composite is usually applied to the tooth in a number of thin layers until your dentist is happy with the shape, texture and translucency. After this your dentist will buff and polish the bonding agent until he is satisfied with its finish and shape.
Pros and Cons
The biggest advantage over amalgam/silver fillings is the aesthetics. If applying older style fillings, your dentist may have to remove healthy tooth structures as silver won't stick to your teeth whereas composites mean that you only need the decayed area of your tooth removed. Similarly composites will expand in the same manner as your teeth and as such, aren't as likely to cause cracks. Composites can be used in a variety of situations such as repairing chips, gaps or cracks and can easily be made to match the shade and colour of your natural teeth. However it's important to note that using composites for bonding tends to cost more for materials and take longer than silver/amalgam would. One of the biggest drawbacks with bonding is that it won't have the strength of other materials like porcelain or ceramics, it's also more likely prone to staining than your natural teeth.