Cosmetic dentistry allows people to get the smile they've always wanted. Whether your concerns are genetic or caused by poor oral hygiene, cosmetic dentistry can help, and even if you need an entire smile makeover, you have many procedures from which to choose.
If you've been hiding your smile because of discoloration, gaps, chips, etc., check out these three popular options to get a smile makeover.
1. Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are like a facelift for your teeth. The dentist removes a small amount of tooth tissue (enamel) from the front of your teeth and uses a dental bonding solution to attach a thin veneer.
Veneers are great for improving the appearance of front teeth, but they are not appropriate for back teeth because they may weaken the tooth, increasing the risk of damage or decay. The veneer acts as a new protective barrier, and it blocks bacteria better than natural enamel.
The process, however, is not reversible. In other words, once the enamel is removed, the tissue will not regrow. Without a veneer (or something similar) to protect the tooth, it will likely be sensitive and experience massive decay.
Veneers are great if your teeth are relatively healthy and strong, and they correct mild crookedness, gaps, uneven teeth, chips, cracks, and discoloration that's resistant to tooth whitening.
2. Porcelain Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are similar to veneers, and they fix the same problems; however, dental crowns cover the entire tooth, and they can be used on all your teeth.
Dental crowns, however, have a big advantage over porcelain veneers. They strengthen weak teeth, making them a great choice if you have a lot of decay or big fillings. These teeth are more prone to damage from pressure, but covering them with a crown improves the look and improves the strength.
To place dental crowns, more tissue is removed than with porcelain veneers. This can increase the risk of causing trauma to the tooth's pulp (especially on incisors). If the pulp is damaged and bacteria enters, your tooth may become infected.
If an infection occurs, the dentist won't need to remove the crown, but a root canal procedure will likely be needed. Porcelain dental crowns on back teeth usually contain some metal, which can irritate gums. This may cause some mild to severe gum recession, depending on how well you care for your teeth after treatment.
3. Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is often a more affordable way to improve the overall appearance of your smile. On average, dental bonding costs about $90 to $1,000 per tooth. Dental crowns may cost as much as $500 to $3,000 per tooth, and veneers may cost $500 to $1,100 or more per tooth.
Dental bonding, however, can be used to fix many problems in different ways. First, you can use dental bonding like porcelain veneers. Little to no tissue is removed, and the dentist can correct or hide gaps, chips, and uneven teeth.
Dental bonding can also be beneficial if you have lots of discolored or metal fillings. The same material used in dental bonding can be used to make tooth-colored fillings. These are less durable than metal fillings, but they are attractive and bond to teeth. Metal fillings don't bond to tooth tissue, and they may actually cause damage to healthy tooth tissue.
Porcelain veneers and dental crowns provide some of the most beautiful smile makeovers, but dental bonding is the more affordable option and can fix many of the same issues (faster in many cases). If you are ready to transform your smile, get started today. Contact us at Rabel Family Dental General Dentistry, so we can schedule your appointment.