Dental bonding and veneers can be used to fix cavities and broken teeth, but can also be used to improve the look of healthy teeth.
What is Bonding?
Bonding or bonded restoration, is a procedure generally performed by your dentist and involves a minor repair to your teeth.
Bonding uses a tooth-coloured material known as a composite resin. This resin is placed on the tooth being repaired, where it is shaped and hardened with light. This material can be matched to your teeth, shaped to look like a missing part of a chipped tooth or be used to build up teeth and fill gaps.
During the bonding procedure, your dentist will place what is known as a matrix between the tooth being treated and neighboring teeth. A matrix is simply a thin, clear plastic film used to protect other teeth from any stray composite resin compound.
Next, the dentist will use a mild chemical to make the tooth a little rough. This will help the composite resin bond to the enamel. The dentist will ensure that the resin being used will match the colour of your natural teeth to ensure that the repair will blend in appropriately. A light is then used to harden the resin which is then shaped and polished to complete the repair.
What are Veneers?
Veneers are very thin shells attached to the front part of your teeth. These shells are usually made of porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain shells are generally stronger and do not stain or change colour. Composite veneers are applied much like bonding. A chemical is used to roughen your tooth and the veneer is applied in layers. This is hardened by a light and shaped accordingly by your dentist. With porcelain veneers, most dentists will use a mild anesthetic or freezing. They will then remove a thin layer of enamel from your teeth to make room for the veneers. A mold is then taken of your teeth and sent to a lab to have the porcelain veneers manufactured. Temporary veneers are put in place until the porcelain veneers are ready for installation. This will generally occur on your next visit. Your dentist will use a composite resin cement to glue the veneers into place.