Choosing Between Veneers and Cosmetic Bonding

At Harbor Pointe Dental of Petoskey, Michigan, Dr. David Ellsworth not only takes pleasure in helping patients achieve optimal dental health but also enjoys crafting beautiful smiles. The cosmetic dentistry offerings at Harbor Pointe Dental of Petoskey include porcelain veneers and cosmetic bonding, both of which have their pros and cons.

Veneers and bonding can perform many of the same tasks, including covering tooth stains and changing the size and shape of a tooth that is chipped, misshapen, or slightly crooked. The bonding procedure, which takes only one office visit, involves placing a tooth-colored resin material on the tooth and sculpting it to the optimal shape. The soft material is then hardened and polished to look just like natural tooth enamel. Placing veneers is slightly more invasive, as it requires removing a thin layer of enamel first. Once the ultrathin porcelain tooth coverings are made in a dental lab, the patient returns for a second appointment to have them bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth.

Correcting tooth imperfections with bonding is faster and less expensive than placing veneers. Unless a cavity is involved, bonding also rarely requires anesthesia. However, cosmetic bonding does not last as long as veneers or resist stains as well. Because veneers require the reduction of tooth enamel, they are not reversible, but they can be adjusted and replaced as necessary. Dentists often recommend bonding for small issues or as a temporary fix until veneers can be placed at a later date. A thorough consultation with a cosmetic dentist can help patients decide on the right treatment approach for their particular issues.

About Gum Tissue Grafts

At Harbor Pointe Dental of Petoskey, Michigan, Dr. David Ellsworth performs a variety of cosmetic procedures. Many patients at Harbor Pointe Dental of Petoskey have received soft-tissue gum grafts.

Designed for patients with receding gums, soft tissue graft surgery can protect both the roots and bones of a tooth from damage due to exposure. Exposed roots can cause patients to experience unnecessary sensitivity and may also lead to tooth loss if the damage becomes extensive. Gum graft surgery covers and protects the sensitive areas of teeth while also boosting patients’ self-esteem by giving them more even and attractive smiles.

During a gum graft, a dentist will take tissue from the roof of the patient’s mouth or from surrounding gum structures. The choice of source depends on the amount of tissue needed and where the dentist feels that he or she can safely remove periodontal material. For some patients, periodontal material from a tissue bank may yield better results. After sourcing the tissue to graft, the dentist attaches the tissue to the area needing treatment. After this same-day procedure, most patients require soft and cool foods for seven to 14 days as the gum heals.