Over time teeth can become worn down and chipped. The results of which are comparable to skin that has become sallow and wrinkled. Fortunately, restoring the youthful appearance of your teeth is much easier than most cosmetic facial procedures.
A dentist can reshape teeth and whiten your smile in a single visit. You can leave the office with a new smile without the inconvenience of recovery time or multiple visits. Small chips and misshapen teeth can be remedied by using the same dental drill that is used to buff teeth after a cavity has been filled. In-office whitening treatments can brighten teeth up to five shades in a single visit.
When reshaping and whitening are not enough, a process called bonding can be utilized. Bonding involves applying dental resin to the surface of the tooth, curing it with a light and then buffing and shaping to material until the desired look is achieved. This procedure can be completed in a single visit and usually, does not require anesthetic, as long as the tooth is healthy. Bonding can be used to reshape worn or chipped teeth, to whiten teeth and to eliminate spaces between the teeth.
When bonding will not work, a veneer can be placed. Veneers are most commonly made of porcelain and are made by a dental lab utilizing an impression of the patient’s exiting tooth structure. A porcelain veneer is the most natural-looking solution as the translucency of porcelain mimics the look of natural enamel. To place a veneer, the dentist will remove a small amount of the natural tooth structure to compensate for the thickness of the veneer. Porcelain veneers are strong and long-lasting. Most veneers will last ten years before requiring replacement.
A dental crown can be placed to restore the natural appearance of a severely decayed tooth. Full porcelain crowns provide the most natural look, although they do not provide the greatest strength. Gold crowns provide the most strength but are not aesthetically pleasing. Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns offer the beauty of a porcelain crown and the strength of a gold crown. Although a small line of metal may still be visible at the gum line when a PFM crown is placed, it is a good option when the restoration will be on a posterior tooth. Restorations of anterior teeth should only be done using full porcelain crowns.