Tooth bonding is generally used for small defects in one or two teeth, but an entire smile can be done with this direct technique. Here is an explanation of what makes this treatment different from porcelain veneers:
- Artistry required - Tooth bonding requires artistic talent on the part of the dentist. It is done freehand, at the chair, rather than in a laboratory.
- Made out of composite instead of porcelain - Bonding materials are a tooth-colored composite paste that is hardened with the use of a curing light. While they are very durable, they aren't quite as strong.
- One appointment instead of two - Porcelain veneers are made in a laboratory, and thus they require two visits. With this technique, you can walk out of the office after one appointment with a new smile.
- A more conservative treatment - Healthy tooth structure doesn't need to be ground away. A little roughening of the surface of the tooth is all that's required to bond the composite to the tooth.
Newer composite materials enable a dentist/artist to imitate the natural tooth in form, color, and texture. Defects in your teeth can truly be repaired to where they are undetectable, and your confidence in your smile can be fully restored. While porcelain veneers are great for complete smile makeovers, tooth bonding is ideal for spots, chips, broken front teeth, or discolorations. Gaps between your front teeth can be closed in one appointment.
Enamel reshaping is a process of contouring natural teeth to improve their over all appearance. When teeth are slightly crowded or uneven, or when eyeteeth appear too long, enamel reshaping may be used to correct the flaw. This more conservative process cannot solve all problems though. Crowded teeth may need braces. If so, your dentist may provide treatment, or, refer you to a specialist in orthodontics.
Enamel reshaping involves modifying teeth by removing or contouring enamel to create harmony and balance in the mouth. Enamel reshaping, which is often combined with bonding, is usually quick and painless. No anesthesia is necessary when reshaping enamel, and the results can be seen immediately. It should be approached with caution, however, because enamel cannot be replaced.