Veneers have been around for some time now and they have really made their mark during the 1980s when they appeared in Hollywood. Famous for their radical and immediate effect, those pearly white symmetrical teeth on the silver screen have made them famous, if not slightly infamous, for setting a high bar on the standard of dental expectations.
Composite Bonding – A Different Way to Do Veneers
A Brief History of Veneering
There had been many attempts to develop a sort of veneer or tooth covering earlier than the 1980s, but these were thwarted by the lack of effective bonding agents; it was only with the development of dental cement that veneers became a realistic option.
Even then, they involved removing a significant quantity of the front of the enamel on the front of the tooth and etching what remained below to provide a highly textured surface in order for the dental cement to adhere to.
The same technologies that made veneers possible, dental adhesives, have introduced UV cured resins to dental clinics.
Initially, these were used as an alternative to dental cements creating a far more controllable and stronger adhesive.
UV cured resins are placed at the side where they are needed and then the surfaces can be adjusted to ensure that the veneers are correctly placed before the use of a set of UV LEDs triggers the permanent setting of the resin.
As useful as UV bonding has been at applying veneers, it also has created an opportunity.
Why not borrow a technique from beauty salons or ‘gel nails’ and their UV cured products and see if it works using dental resins?
The in-situ veneer or crown was born.
In this procedure, a layer of resins is applied to the tooth and then set, slowly building up a multi-layered amorphous blob which the dentist then shapes with a drill into its final form.
A Limitation of Composite Bonding
There is the limitation that the final finish of composite bonding Harley Street is heavily dependent on the skill and competence of the dentist carrying it out, although this is likely true with veneers.
There is a degree of artistic talent required in sculpting the dental resin compared to applying an already made laboratory fabricated veneer.
Advantages of Composite Bonding
That said, due to the lack of involvement of the dental laboratories, composite bonding can be carried out on the same day with little or no notice, making it the go-to procedure if time pressure is a factor.
Unlike a veneer, composite bonding usually covers the whole tooth and can certainly do more depending on how it’s applied.
This means that composite bonding also has the ability to behave somewhat like a crown, providing structural stability to a tooth whereas veneers rely on the tooth to which they are mounted to provide them with structural stability.
Beyond this, the use of veneering is considered destructive as some helpful enamel has to be drilled away; this is not so with composite bonding and so, it is considered more appropriate with teeth that have been treated for cavities.
Will composite bonding one day completely replace veneering?
It is unlikely unless there is a major increase in the number of dentists willing to become skilled at enamel sculpting. Until then, it will remain the purview of only the most competent.