What are veneers?
Veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic (porcelain) or a composite resin material, which are bonded to the front of teeth. This procedure requires little or no anesthesia and can be the ideal choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth. Veneers are placed to mask discolorations, to brighten teeth and to improve a smile.
Why choose veneers?
Veneers are an excellent alternative to crowns in many situations. They provide a much more conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color, size or shape. Veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained by tetracycline and damage due to an injury or as a result of a root-canal procedure. They are ideal for masking discolored fillings in front teeth. Patients with gaps between their front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider veneers. Generally, veneers will last for many years, and the technique has shown remarkable longevity when properly performed.
What are realistic expectations?
Veneers are reasonable facsimiles of natural teeth, not perfect replacements. It’s not uncommon to see slight variations in the color of veneers upon close inspection, as this occurs even in natural teeth. Nevertheless, this procedure can greatly enhance your smile and can heighten self-esteem.
What is dental Bonding?
Bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured, discolored tooth, to make teeth appear longer, and as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings. Bonding can be done in a single visit to your dentist. Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive cosmetic dental procedure. The composite resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth. Most often, bonding is used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of a discolored or chipped tooth. It also can be used to close spaces between teeth, to make teeth look longer or to change the shape or color of teeth.
Sometimes bonding is used as a cosmetic alternative to fillings, or to protect a portion of the tooth’s root that has been exposed because of gum recession.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. Unlike veneers and crowns, which are customized tooth coverings that must be manufactured in a lab, bonding usually can be done in one office visit unless several teeth are involved. Another advantage, compared with veneers and crowns, is that the least amount of tooth enamel is removed. Also, unless dental bonding is being performed to fill a cavity, anesthesia is usually not required.
What is a Filling?
Fillings are one of the most common dental procedures and one of the most important. A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay. A dentist may recommend a filling for treatment to save that tooth, its root, and its nerves. During the procedure the Dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. Most people need at least one tooth filling in their lifetime. Dental fillings are most commonly used to treat cavities, but they’re also used to repair cracked or broken teeth, teeth that have been worn down over time, or teeth that are damaged by teeth grinding, nail biting and/or using your teeth as tools (to open a bottle, for example).
What to expect during a dental filling procedure?
Topical anesthetic to numb the area of treatment (Depending on the size of the cavity, should be discussed with your dentist)
Decay removal from the affected teeth
Tooth restoration using a composite or amalgam filling
Bite check to make sure your teeth align comfortably
By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay. Materials used for fillings include gold, porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).
Your comfort is always important to us. Please discuss any concerns or questions you may have about your dental treatment with your dentist. We want to make sure that every treatment, including fillings, is as painless as possible.
What happens to an ignored cavity?
You can experience severe toothache with an untreated cavity. It can become infected n and cavity may grow so deep that or a root canal, crown, or tooth extraction is required.
What can be done to prevent a filling?
Ultimately, the best dental filling is no dental filling. Prevention is the best medicine. You can dramatically decrease your risk of cavities and other dental diseases simply by:
Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
Eating a balanced diet
Visiting the dentist regularly
What is a composite Filling?
A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth.
What are the advantages of composites?
Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural. Dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. In a society focused on a white, bright smile, people tend to want fillings that blend with the natural color of their teeth.
What are the disadvantages of composites?
Composites cost more than amalgam and occasionally are not covered by some insurance plans. Also, no dental filling lasts forever, composite fillings can be less durable and need to be replaced more often than amalgam fillings. It generally takes longer to place a composite filling than it does for a metal filling. That’s because composite fillings require the tooth be kept clean and dry while the cavity is being filled. A patient may experience postoperative sensitivity and the shade of the composite can change slightly if the patient drinks tea, coffee, or other staining foods.
What is a silver filling?
Most people recognize dental amalgams as silver fillings. Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper. Mercury, which makes up about 50 percent of the compound, is used to bind the metals together and to provide a strong, hard, durable filling.
Dental amalgam has withstood the test of time, which is why it is the material of choice. It has a 150-year proven track record and is still one of the safest, durable and least expensive materials used to a fill a cavity. Because of their durability, these silver-colored fillings are often the best choice for large cavities or those that occur in the back teeth where a lot of force is needed to chew.
Dentists use dental amalgam because it is easier to work with than other alternatives. Amalgam hardens quickly so it is useful in areas that are difficult to keep dry during placement, such as below the gum line. Because it takes less time to place than tooth-colored fillings, amalgam is also an effective material for children and special needs people who may have a difficult time staying still during treatment.
Is Dental Amalgam Safe?
Mercury in dental amalgam is not poisonous. When mercury is combined with other materials, it’s important to know that, it forms a safe, stable material. This occurs because its chemical nature changes when combined, so it’s essentially harmless. Study after study shows amalgam is safe and effective for filling cavities. The American Dental Association, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U. S. Food and Drug Administration and World Health Organization all agree that based on extensive scientific evidence, dental amalgam is a safe and effective cavity-filling material. The amount of mercury released in the mouth under the pressure of chewing and grinding is extremely small and no cause for alarm. In fact, it is less than what patients are exposed to in food, air and water.
The Mayo Clinic recently stated that dental amalgam is a safe and durable choice for dental fillings. They also note that “there are several kinds of mercury. The mercury [methylmercury] found in water that can build up in fish and lead to health problems if you ingest too much is not the same type of mercury used in amalgam.”
Your dentist’s foremost priority is your health and safety. That’s why we encourage you to talk with your dentist about your cavity treatment options and what’s right for you.