Stepping up to porcelain veneers from dental bonding.

When this person submitted a photo of their smile for a virtual makeover, it wasn't so clear to us what their chief complaint was.

On closer inspection, and as this person had observed, their smile does in fact contain a fair amount of asymmetry. (It's easy to notice when you look at the before and after animation below.)

In a follow-up email, this person explained that they had already had a fair amount of tooth bonding placed on several of their front teeth.

There were some aspects about its shape that they didn't like. Beyond that, the bonding had started to deteriorate and they were looking for a more permanent solution.

Case issues and concerns:

    Chipped dental bonding.

    Chipped bonding. Biting edges that are too straight.

  • Portions of the bonding have started to fail. For example, the center corner of the right central incisor has fractured (see arrow in our picture).
  • When the bonding was placed, this person made mention that the dentist had left the biting edges of their teeth straighter than they were previously (see picture). Originally they were more rounded.
  • There's a general asymmetry with this smile. It slants off from this person's left down toward their right. (The right eyetooth is relatively too long. The left lateral incisor is comparatively too short.)
  • The right lateral incisor seems recessed when compared to the front surface of the other teeth.
 
  • An symmetric smile with deteriorating dental bonding.
    An symmetric smile with deteriorating dental bonding. An symmetric smile with deteriorating dental bonding.
  • Restoration durability and smile symmetry have been improved by placing veneers.
    Restoration durability and smile symmetry have been improved by placing veneers. Restoration durability and smile symmetry have been improved by placing veneers.
 

Photo submitted by website visitor.

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Treatment solutions:

Two of this person's primary complaints are:

  • The bonded restorations that have been placed have started to deteriorate.
  • They aren't entirely happy with the outline form and alignment of their teeth.

Using veneers as a solution.

To a dentist it would be obvious that porcelain veneers (laminates) make the next logical step as a way of making changes and repairs.

  • As compared to bonding, porcelain veneers are a more lasting (durable) type of restoration.
  • Because they are made in a dental lab using models of the patient's teeth, their outline form and contours can be thoroughly evaluated from a variety of angles and perfected.

    Bonded restorations, in comparison, are created during the relatively short time span of a dental appointment. Especially with larger restorations, it can be difficult to get things exactly right or notice and compensate for everything that should be.

Specific details.

With this case, it seems that placing veneers would make the ideal choice. They could be used to:

  • Both lengthen (left lateral incisor) and shorten (right eyetooth) individual teeth as needed.
  • Make the upper right lateral incisor fuller, so its front surface is more in line with the other front teeth.
  • Make adjustments with the outline form of individual teeth as needed. Such as making the biting edges of the central incisors more rounded.

Additional advantages.

As mentioned above, since they are porcelain the veneers would be more resistant to wear than dental bonding.

And not that these were especially noticeable problems with this person's previous work, they would also be more resistant to staining and generally help to give a more life-like (natural) appearance (More details.).

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