You only have one set of adult teeth, and they need to last until you are 80, 90, or beyond. The actions you take towards your teeth today will either benefit you or harm you in the future. Of course, good dental care starts with seeing a dentist regularly. You should go in for cleanings and checkups, and any other time you think something might be amiss with your teeth. Education is important when it comes to any aspect of your health, so start reading the articles on this website to educate yourself about dentists and dental care. We promise that when you're 80 and you still have your teeth, you won't regret the time spent.
If you feel embarrassed about chipped, broken, discolored, or otherwise unattractive teeth, your family or cosmetic dentist can most likely offer a variety of options to restore your smile. Take a look at three dental restoration techniques to get a clearer idea of what kind of care you might benefit from the most.
If you have a single tooth that displays a chip, crack, or stubborn discoloration, tooth bonding offers a quick, easy, and relatively affordable fix. Your dentist simply applies a tooth-colored resin to the tooth's outward-facing surface. Tooth bondings usually require no anesthesia and have no damaging effect on the underlying enamel.
The resin used in tooth bonding lacks the strength and durability of other materials such as porcelain. As a result, your bonded tooth may experience chipping and staining over time, requiring you to replace it after a few years. Another downside lies in the fact that you cannot beautify an entire row of teeth through bonding.
If you have more than one tooth in need of cosmetic restoration and/or you'd like a more durable restoration than resin can provide, choose veneers over tooth bonding. These thin porcelain coverings resist stains and damage. Dentists typically apply them in a row of four or more at a time, giving multiple teeth a fresh new look.
You can expect to pay more for veneers than you would for tooth bonding, although the longer lifespan of the restorations may make up for the extra cost. Your dentist will also need to numb your teeth and remove a small amount of enamel before cementing the veneers into place.
3. Permanent Crowns
You may not need or want permanent crowns if you only want to restore the beauty of your front teeth. However, if those teeth need structural support as well as cosmetic correction, your dentist will recommend crowns over bonding or veneers. A crown covers the entire enamel surface, protecting the tooth against further damage.
The materials in permanent crowns range from porcelain and zirconia to precious metals. Your dentist will first modify the tooth's shape by stripping away some enamel and taking impressions of the reshaped tooth. A dental lab will then fabricate the crown. Finally, the dentist cements the new crown onto the tooth.
Some dental issues might require a different type of restoration than the ones listed above. Discuss your condition in detail with your dentist so you can make the right choice both for your smile and for your long-term dental function. Contact a cosmetic dentist near you to learn more.