A Good Cosmetic Dentist in Miami Can Help Patients Select the Right Option
When it comes to creating the perfect smile, patients have so many options that it’s often difficult to choose. Two of the most common procedures for repairing or correcting teeth are porcelain veneers and bonding, and either one can be used to change a tooth’s shape, size and color. While both options are very effective in repairing problematic smiles, the procedures are quite different from each other.
Porcelain veneers essentially replace the outer layer of the tooth and disguise any underlying problems. They are thin layers of porcelain that are bonded to the natural tooth using a cement. Veneers are often used to cover up stains, discoloration, chips, cracks, gaps, erosion or crooked teeth. In addition, patients who have weak or insufficient enamel can benefit greatly from veneers as they can better protect the underlying tooth.
In order to attach the veneers, your Miami cosmetic dentist will first remove a layer of enamel from the natural tooth, which makes space for the veneer. Impressions of the teeth are then taken so that the porcelain veneer can be crafted into the correct size and shape. This process usually takes place in a dental laboratory, so a temporary veneer is placed over the tooth until the new veneer is ready. Once it is fabricated, the veneer is cemented onto the tooth.
Before committing to porcelain veneers, patients need to understand that the results are permanent. The cosmetic dentist removes a layer of enamel from the natural tooth, so that it needs to be covered with another substance. If the veneers become damaged or worn at a future date, they will need to be replaced. It’s not possible to simply have them removed.
Porcelain veneers are relatively stain-resistant and are less prone to chipping than other cosmetic dentistry options. Porcelain is also a better material than bonding, so it should last longer and blend in better with any surrounding natural teeth. However, patients with tooth decay or gum disease will not be able receive veneers until those conditions are successfully treated.
Bonding can be used for similar reasons as porcelain veneers, and it is generally less expensive. This is because no mold of the tooth is needed, so there is no fee for a dental laboratory.
Overall, the process is a bit easier than porcelain veneers. With bonding, the cosmetic dentist does not need to remove a layer of enamel prior to attaching the tooth-colored resin that creates the bond. Bonding simply adds on to the existing tooth, building it up in certain areas to reshape it or hide flaws.
During a bonding procedure, your Miami cosmetic dentist will first pick out a shade of resin that matches well with the tooth’s natural color. Then, the tooth’s surface will be mildly sanded so that the resin can adhere to it. The resin is then brushed on in thin layers and hardened with an ultraviolet light. The dentist will repeat these steps until the tooth has been built up to the desired shape. Once the shape is finalized, the resin is polished to blend in with the natural tooth enamel.
The bonding procedure works extremely well for patients who have healthy tooth enamel but still want to change the size or shape of their teeth, or who need to repair chipped or cracked teeth. The results are very good, but they are not as durable as porcelain veneers. The material is more prone to staining, and it can wear down faster than veneers. With proper care, bonding can keep its shape and color for up to 10 years, but patients often find that they require touch ups more often than that.
In addition, it’s important to make sure that patients use a reputable cosmetic dentist in Miami, as the technique can be somewhat difficult to master. If not done well, bonding can be quite noticeable.
The Bottom Line
Dental bonding is generally best suited for patients who need to correct minor problems on otherwise healthy teeth. Bonding simply “touches up” the appearance of teeth and is less intrusive and less expensive than veneers. For those with weak enamel or large problem areas, porcelain veneers may be the better choice. A good cosmetic dentist in Miami can help you evaluate the issues and select the best procedure.