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Cosmetic Dentistry: Part 4
By Samuel Murray
Many people who have discolored teeth opt to use a "crown as a remedy. Just as the name applies, this is a prosthetic device that covers the tooth. Sometimes a tooth may have a large filling and there is very little tooth left to support the filling. This would be an effective treatment for that situation. They are often used in conjunction with the dental implants we discussed above. A crown makes your tooth stronger as well as prettier!
Bonding is a cosmetic treatment for teeth that involves placing tooth colored bonding material directly to the surface of the tooth using resin. First the tooth is prepared by slightly etching the enamel. This is done in order to give the bonding material "mechanical retention allowing the bonding material to adhere to the tooth properly. Then the bonding material is applied, shaped and sculpted. A ultraviolet "laser light is used to harden the resin material. When the process is complete the tooth is polished to a high shine.
Bonding is also used now for "fillings." In fact, it is favored over the old silver (amalgam) fillings because the bonding resin can be matched to the rest of your tooth color. The downside to bonding, is the expense. Bonding is more expensive to silver. The bonding material is also porous making it a poor choice for smokers as it will yellow.
This is considered a permanent procedure because of removing small amounts of the natural tooth enamel.
This process is often done in conjunction with bonding. The enamel is sometimes removed or reshaped. Shaping allows the dentist to sculpt chipped, cracked or broken teeth using bonding material as discussed above. In both procedures the catalyst is usually done with a laser light which insures that the material is securely merged with the natural tooth material.