Learn more about these lesser-known procedures from the Centre Dentaire & D’implantologie Boucherville, your South Shore dentist.
What Are Veneers?
Also called “dental porcelain laminates”, veneers are thin shells that are placed on the surface of visible teeth. They can be an alternative to teeth whitening by masking stains and discoloration, but also correct many defects.
If you don’t like the shape of your teeth or have a diastema (space between the teeth) that you would like to hide, veneers are a way to do so without resorting to major operations.
Veneers can also be an alternative to a crown in certain situations, for example when a tooth is broken, damaged or chipped. In these cases, it is a quicker and simpler process.
When it comes to correcting defects, veneers offer more lasting results than whitening. There are two types of veneers:
- Composite, more affordable and requiring only one appointment
- Porcelain/ceramic, more durable and requiring to take an impression of teeth
The second option is permanent, as it sometimes requires the removal of a thin layer of enamel before fixing the veneers. Teeth must be shaped so that the veneer fits naturally and does not add to the normal thickness of the tooth.
During the second appointment, the veneer is fixed with cement and then hardened with a special light. Porcelain or ceramic veneers have the best life expectancy, between 10 and 15 years without discoloring or altering in any way.
Composite veneers last about 5 years, but are more affordable and do not require any alteration of the teeth: they are therefore reversible. It all depends on your needs and your budget!
Bonding, an Even More Affordable Solution
Like veneers, dental bonding allows you to correct minor imperfections such as shape, color, small breaks or cavities. From a more functional point of view, bonding is sometimes used as a splint for teeth that are unstable due to bone loss.
During a dental bonding procedure, a composite resin is applied to the surface to be corrected. Your dentist will first determine the color that is most appropriate for your teeth and mix it as needed.
At that point, your tooth is prepared so that the bond can be applied. The bond is then spread onto the tooth and molded, then strengthened with an ultraviolet light. The process is completed by trimming and polishing to harmonize the restored tooth with your overall dentition.
Dental bonding is performed in one quick appointment and requires no anesthesia. It is less expensive, but less durable than veneers.
This may be a good option if you are reluctant to have a permanent treatment and wish to give it a try.
Taking Care of Aesthetic Treatments
When you have an aesthetic dental treatment, it goes without saying that you want it to last as long as possible. Brushing and flossing are, as always, essential daily actions.
Like your teeth, bonding and veneers can be subject to discoloration or staining. You may be advised to limit highly pigmented foods and beverages such as coffee or red wine. Your dentist will give you detailed instructions after the procedure.
You should also avoid certain habits such as nail biting or chewing the end of your pens to ensure a longer life for your bonds and veneers. Furthermore, teeth grinding (bruxism) is a contraindication for this type of treatment, as it leads to premature wear.
Your dentist will be able to inform you of other contraindications; sometimes, another procedure will be required before the aesthetic treatment, for example if you suffer from periodontal disease or have a cavity.
Would you like to beautify your smile? Ask the professionals at the Centre Dentaire & D’implantologie Boucherville about your aesthetic dentistry options. Our experienced team will help you enjoy smiling to the fullest!