There are non-surgical dental treatments that are relatively pain-free and still achive beautiful results, such as dental bonding, inlays, onlays, and porcelain veneers.
Advancements in the field of cosmetic dentistry have made a trip to the dentist a highly rewarding experience for people who are conscious about the appearance of their smiles. From filling a single tooth to a comprehensive smile makeover, there are many cosmetic dental procedures that may be customised to fit your individual oral health needs, goals and budget.
Let’s take a look at some of these minimally invasive cosmetic dental options.
Recommended for minor dental corrections, dental bonding offers a quick and affordable way to correct dental flaws. You may be a good candidate for bonding if you have any of these dental conditions: discoloration, tooth decay, uneven teeth, gaps or cracks.
The Dental Bonding Procedure
The bonding procedure involves applying a composite resin directly onto the damaged or decayed tooth to fill in or repair the tooth’s appearance. Upon application, the dentist will shape the resin material to cover the cracks or shape contours of your tooth. A dental laser is then used to “bond” the tooth-coloured material to your tooth. To improve the bonding process, a minimal amount of tooth enamel will be removed and a strong adhesive applied at the preparation stage. A local anaesthetic is required only if there is tooth decay or nerve damage.
It takes only one visit to perform dental bonding, unless bonding is required for multiple teeth. The procedure can also be used to lengthen shorter teeth.
Inlays and Onlays
Suitable for repairing tooth decay and other damage, inlays and onlays are made-to-measure fillings that are made in a lab for a better fit. Inlays are recommended when the damage is confined to the cusp (or tip) of the tooth. Onlays are preferred in cases where the tooth decay or damage is more pronounced or widespread.
Inlays and onlays can be made of gold, porcelain or composite resin. The types made from porcelain or composites are popular cosmetic options, given that they can be color matched to provide more visually appealing results.
The Inlays and Onlays Procedure
A local anesthetic is used to numb the area, followed by the removal of any damage or decay using a drill. An impression of the tooth is taken and sent to the lab for casting. A temporary restoration is placed on your tooth while you wait for the inlay or onlay to be made at the dental laboratory.
Veneers are thin, custom made laminates that designed to hide your dental flaws by covering the front side of your teeth. One of the most popular treatments in cosmetic dentistry, veneers are used to correct minor imperfections like crooked teeth, discoloration, chipped teeth, worn enamel and uneven spacing. If well taken care of, your veneers can last more than 10 years.
The Veneers procedure
Following a thorough examination, the dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from your teeth, create an impression and send it to a dental lab to create the porcelain laminates. On the day of the fitting – usually the second visit – the size and colour of the veneers will be confirmed before they are permanently bonded to your existing tooth.
This elective procedure is primarily cosmetic, hence it is recommended for those whose teeth are healthy but would like a more uniform, even and healthy looking appearance.