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Using Cosmetic Dentistry to Improve the Aesthetics of Your Smile — Part Two | Our Dental Blog

Using Cosmetic Dentistry to Improve the Aesthetics of Your Smile — Part Two

Nov 10 2019

This is the continuation of our series of articles on the topic of cosmetic dentistry. You can find the last post here.


Dental bonding uses a strong plastic resin material that is employed to fix problems such as cavities, gap teeth, exposed roots, chips or cracks, and for any other aesthetic purposes. After the bonding material has been matched to the color of the patients' teeth, the dental practitioner may apply a conditioning liquid on the teeth that are being worked on. Next, the resin is attached to the teeth and sculpted to bring about the preferred appearance. A unique type of light hardens the resin, and then it is trimmed and polished to get the resin flush with the original tooth.

Bonding is a rather easy process that commonly takes around 30-60 minutes to complete. Additionally, contrary to veneers and crowns, the bonding material won't need to be sent to a lab, allowing it to be a cheaper cosmetic dental method for patients. Unfortunately, the bonding ingredient is not as permanent as veneers or crowns, and the recipient must be careful as the bonding component can crack and become damaged.

Onlays and Inlays

Possible alternatives to crowns are inlays and onlays, which are types of fillings. Known also as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are created for teeth with rot or damage, and they are regularly constructed with porcelain, composite materials, or even gold. The American Dental Association states that gold inlays are the most durable (and pricey) kind of filling. They can last more than twenty years with daily dental hygiene.

A dental inlay is an indirect dental filling which is constructed to fill the dips in the center of the tooth. After the area has been numbed, the dentist eliminates the tooth decay. Similar to crowns and veneers, the dentist will then design an impression of the area and ship it off to a dental lab where the inlay will be made. Typically, the inlays will be made from composite resin or porcelain and will fit the shape of the person's real teeth.

Should the damage to a tooth be at the tip, an onlay could be chosen to rectify the problem. The procedure for a dental onlay is nearly identical to receiving an inlay. The dentist eliminates the contaminated section of the tooth and crafts a mold which is shipped away to the lab. Following that, an interim onlay is matched with the tooth until the permanent one arrives.

This series on cosmetic dentistry will be back in the next blog post, so be sure to check back. While you wait, you can click here if you need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sato, and you can visit us on social media.

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