Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that matches the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth. This is done to repair damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes. First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding. A gel is applied to micro etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bond agent is applied so the material adheres to the surface. Then the material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense light. The composite resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish as a last step.
This is the procedure of making teeth whiter and, therefore, more attractive. Our office uses several methods: Zoom!, passive tray whitening, and professional strength white strips.
Zoom! is a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure. It’s safe, effective and fast, very fast. In just over an hour, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. The convenience of Zoom! in comparison to days of using strips or wearing trays makes it the perfect choice for the busy individual. The Zoom! Whitening procedure is simple. It begins with a short preparation to isolate your lips and gums. The clinician then applies the proprietary Zoom! whitening gel that is activated by a specially designed light. Teeth typically become at least six to ten shades whiter, sometimes more. A fluoride treatment completes the procedure. You’ll be amazed with the results. In most cases, teeth get even whiter the first few days after the procedure. Trays with gel are recommended afterward for maximum whitening and maintenance.
The tray method involves having impressions taken from which laboratory fabricated custom vinyl trays are made. A carbamide peroxide gel is placed in these trays and the trays with gel are worn for about 1 hour. The entire process takes 1-2 weeks of daily use. Three different strengths of gel may be used, however, the higher the strength the greater the likelihood of reactions or tooth sensitivity. The tray method is recommended for badly stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining. It may take several months of use to see significant color improvement. For maintenance of whitened teeth the trays should be used periodically
The end results whether using trays at home or doing Zoom! is the same. The cost of the tray method is about half compared to Zoom.
Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.
The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to as bonding.
The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks, the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory-fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very esthetic.
The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth structure is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are not recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.