Bonding and Veneers
Dental treatments like dental bonding and veneers are not only used to fix cavities or broken teeth but can also be used to improve the look of healthy teeth. Veneers are applied to the entire front surface of the tooth, whereas bonding is applied to a smaller portion of the tooth. Bonding and veneers make your teeth look better by changing their colour, shape, angle or spacing. Dr Courchesne can fix teeth that are broken, chipped or cracked, that have spaces between them or that are discoloured. Cosmetic dental treatment can improve your smile and give you more confidence.
What is Bonding?
Bonding, also known as bonded restoration, is a painless way to make minor repairs to teeth. In most cases, several teeth can be bonded in one dental visit. Bonding uses tooth-coloured material, called composite resin. Composite resin is put on the tooth, then shaped and hardened with light. The composite resin can be:
- Matched to your teeth.
- Shaped to look like the missing part of a chipped tooth.
- Used to build up teeth and fill between them.
- Used on a broken tooth to restore it to size.
- Painted over a stained tooth to make it match the colour of your other teeth.
How Bonding is Done
Dr Courchesne will place a matrix between the tooth being treated and its neighbouring tooth. A matrix is a thin, clear plastic film that protects other teeth from stray composite resin.
A mild chemical is then applied to the tooth to make it a little rough. This helps the composite resin to bond or stick to the enamel of your tooth. The composite resin that matches the colour of your natural teeth is chosen so that the bonding blends in with your teeth. The composite resin is put on your tooth in layers. A light is used to harden each layer of the composite resin. After the last layer of composite resin is hardened, Dr Courchesne will shape and polish it to form your tooth. The finished tooth looks natural and smooth. Over time, the bonding may wear down and may need to be touched up with more composite resin.
What are Veneers?
Veneers are very thin shells that are attached to the front part of teeth. They are often made of porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers are stronger than composite resin veneers and do not change colour or stain. Generally, porcelain veneers take at least 2 dental visits to apply and composite resin veneers can be done in 1 visit. Porcelain veneers generally last longer than composite resin veneers.
How Composite Resin Veneers are Done
Much like bonding, a mild chemical is put on the front surface of the tooth to be veneered to make it a little rough. This helps the composite resin to stick to the enamel of the tooth. The composite resin that matches the colour of your natural teeth is chosen so that the veneer blends in with your teeth. The composite resin is put on your tooth in layers. A bright light is used to harden each layer of the composite resin. After the last layer of composite resin is hardened, Dr Courchesne will shape and polish it to form your tooth. The finished tooth looks natural and smooth.
How Porcelain Veneers are Done
With porcelain veneers, you may need local anesthetic (freezing). A thin layer of the enamel is removed to make room for the veneers. Dr Courchesne will make a mold of your teeth. This mold is used to custom-make your porcelain veneers. In the meantime, temporary veneers are placed to replace the portion of the tooth that was removed. These are worn until your porcelain veneers are ready. The temporary veneers are very fragile and need to be treated gently during eating and cleaning as they come loose very easily.
On your next visit, the temporary veneers are removed and a mild chemical is put on your teeth to make them a little rough. This helps the porcelain veneers stick to your teeth better. The porcelain veneers are then glued to your teeth one by one, using composite resin cement.
Who can Get Veneers?
Not everyone is a good candidate for veneers. Here are some reasons why your dentist may suggest treatments other than veneers:
- If a tooth has decay or is in an area that has periodontal disease (gum disease). These problems must be treated first.
- If a tooth has little enamel left, a veneer will not stick to it properly.
- If too much of the tooth is missing, a crown may be another option.
- If a person grinds or clenches his or her teeth. This habit is called bruxism and can chip or break porcelain veneers.