Improving the look of your front teeth
Adhesive dentistry has been with us for many years but, recently, major advances have been made.
So how can this technology help you and your teeth?
We can now bond (or glue!) white fillings, veneers, inlays and crowns to teeth. This allows us to reduce significantly the amount of your tooth we take away. This makes the whole process easier for you, and kinder to your teeth.
Bonded Tooth coloured fillings - these materials can be bonded to the teeth to alter the tooth's shape, size, colour or position.
- short eroded/worn teeth
- closure of small spaces/gaps
- chipped/fractured teeth
- reshaping small/peg shaped teeth
Bonded fillings can significantly improve the appearance of teeth and also their function in cases where the teeth are worn down and tooth tissue has been lost.
Bonding is a very conservative and lower cost treatment as it does not involve destruction of existing healthy tooth tissue unlike procedures such as veneers or crowns.
The bonding procedure uses adhesives to bond the filling directly to the tooth. This can then be shaped and polished to achieve the desired result. This process can be done in one simple visit which helps to keep the cost down.
Bonding can last for many years but if the restorations do stain or chip in time they can easily repaired/polished.
Veneers – Where there is a greater amount of staining or repair required to your front teeth, we often use a veneer. What is a veneer? It fits over the front surface of your teeth like a false finger nail. It is bonded to the tooth surface and has a highly polished surface.
Crowns - Where there is greater damage to a tooth, we often prefer to crown the tooth which means that the front side and back surfaces of the tooth are smoothed down and the crown fits over the prepared tooth. Crowns are often referred to as ‘Caps’ which is a very accurate description of how they fit.
Crowns come in two types:
- Porcelain with a metal substructure: these are the standard crown available on the NHS for front teeth. They are very robust with good appearance. Downside? They lack the translucency of natural teeth and often, in time, the line where the crown meets the tooth becomes visible as a black line.
- All ceramic crowns: these contain no metal, consequently the junction of the crown and the tooth is not so apparent. They have a greater degree of translucency and are generally thought of as being the nearest material we have at our disposal to replicate natural tooth.
Tooth coloured restorations for back teeth
Silver fillings can make teeth look grey or black and can really spoil a smile. They can easily be replaced by white coloured filling materials that can be shade matched to your natural teeth. The type of restoration depends on the size of the cavity: small, medium or large
Small - Composite fillings
This is a white filling material which is placed directly into the tooth. It has the advantage of requiring only one appointment and great aesthetics can be achieved.
Medium - Inlays
Where the damage is slightly greater, we use ceramic inlays. With our CEREC CAD/CAM system we can start and finish the restoration at the same visit. See our CEREC page. With this new technology it is now possible to place an inlay where we would have once had to place a crown. This has many advantages including the fact that inlays conserve much more tooth structure than crowns. They are hardwearing, they look very good.
Large – Crowns or Onlays
When there is extensive weakening of the tooth structure, we may need to extend the preparation over a greater area. However, fusing CEREC and adhesive technology, we can restore even the heavily damaged molar and premolar with minimal drilling.
On a technical note, we use 2 ceramic materials : conventional ceramic and EMax ceramic. EMax is a strengthened ceramic that we can use in very thin amounts but it still has the capacity to cope with even the strongest bite.
Please Note: The NHS Dental Service restricts the use of tooth coloured options for back teeth
For examples of our treatments please see our Picture Gallery.