Erie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA
The holidays are upon us. That means parties and family events, and a good chance that pictures will be taken. You may be hesitant to show your smile because you’re self-conscious about some aspect of its appearance. Have you considered cosmetic dentistry? This is a specialization of dental science, using cutting-edge techniques and tools to improve the appearance of teeth. If you’re looking for a quick and significant change in the look of your smile, your cosmetic dentist in Erie has two great options: bonding and veneers. In this article, we’ll examine both types of procedures to help you decide which is best for your situation.
A dental bonding procedure provides the front of the tooth or teeth being treated with a new surface that is flawless looking. Using a composite resin similar to the material made in tooth-colored fillings, your cosmetic dentist sculpts the resin to reshape the appearance of your tooth. The resin also can be selected to match the color of your other teeth. A bonding treatment often is used to correct small chips or cracks in teeth, address the erosion of dental enamel, or conceal an unwanted gap between two teeth.
- Convenience – A dental bonding treatment often can be completed in about an hour.
- Price – Because of the quick turnaround and lower cost of the materials used, most patients find that dental bonding is an affordable way to achieve the smile they want.
- Not permanent – While the material is designed to last for years, it isn’t permanent. Eventually, probably after 8-10 years, you may need to have it restored. However, the investment is well worth the cost considering the amount of time that it will last, typically.
- Limitations – Bonding is not the recommended treatment if you want to treat several or all the teeth in your mouth. It’s ideal for fixing 2-4 teeth, but not the best option if you are looking for a whole new smile.
- Stains – After a bonding treatment, your teeth remain susceptible to extrinsic stains from foods, drinks, and/or tobacco use.
A veneer is a thin shell placed over the front surface of your tooth, creating a new look. Veneers can be used to treat a single tooth, or they can be installed on all the visible tooth surfaces in your mouth, even as far back as your premolars. Your Erie cosmetic dentist, Dr. Albert Starr will remove a small portion of the existing structure of your tooth, making sure the veneer can have a flush and smooth bond. At Laser Dentistry of Erie, we use three different types of veneers: composite, porcelain, and Lumineers—an extremely thin type of porcelain veneer that can be placed with little to no removal of your existing tooth structure. We use our E4D technology to make your veneers in our office. Whereas many dentists may need to have your veneers fabricated off-site at a dental laboratory, we can provide your permanent veneers in a single day.
Long lasting – With good dental hygiene, veneers can last 10 to 15 years.
Stain-resistant – Porcelain veneers and Lumineers both will not stain due to tobacco or foods and drinks.
More versatile – In addition to correcting all of the issues that a bonding treatment can, veneers can permanently whiten your smile.
Not reversible – Once veneers are placed, they’re permanent. Lumineers, however, can be removed at a later time because there is no need to drill on your natural tooth structure before placement.
Expense – Veneers come with a higher cost because of the materials that they are made with and the technology that is used to make them. But, patients often appreciate the natural look and feel of their new veneers, which makes it all worthwhile.
Should I choose bonding or veneers?
There’s no right answer to this question. You need to make this decision for yourself. This is also why, at Laser Dentistry of Erie, Dr. Albert Starr has a consultation with any patient interested in improving the appearance of their smile through cosmetic dentistry. This meeting will help determine what treatments are right to help you reach your aesthetic goals. Schedule your consultation today by calling (814) 825-2615 if you’re located in the areas of Erie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA.