Dental veneers have traditionally been considered a cosmetic procedure, but is it really cosmetic to return somebody's teeth to an earlier healthy and natural-looking state or is it simply restoration? With our dentist in Soho we take a closer look at cosmetic versus restorative care.
Cosmetic versus restorative care
Cosmetic and restorative care usually divide themselves along the lines of function as opposed to aesthetics, and a procedure that returns the function of a tooth is restorative. Whereas one that returns or enhances its appearance is cosmetic. But this is an oversimplification and simply does not happen in the real world. Most of the time, form follows function and forms that are attractive particularly in biology usually function very well, whereas dysfunctional forms are usually considered unattractive.
So there's an unusual dichotomy here that most procedures that will improve function will inadvertently improve appearance and vice versa. The purpose of a dental crown for instance is to structurally support a tooth which has become severely compromised and is a tooth that would be unable to accommodate the amount of drilling required to fill it. But crowns certainly do have an aesthetic quality to them and are usually indistinguishable from a healthy tooth.
Even a trademark of the dental hygienist the ‘scale and polish’ is a procedure focused on a moving tartar and therefore, eliminating the risk of gum disease and eventual tooth loss. The polishing element exists to create a smooth surface that bacterial biofilms will find difficult to attach themselves to and form plaque. But this process results in a pearly white, glossy enamel surface which is undoubtedly more attractive once the tartar that has been removed.
The traditional way of applying the veneer is to adhere a wafer of porcelain to the front of the tooth. This is still a great option if you do not find the minor loss of enamel required to attach the veneer to the front of the tooth an issue, as it gives a textured surface for the porcelain to be glued to. It's not recommended on teeth which already have the signs of thinning enamel like temperature sensitivity.
Resin bondings are a relatively new alternative to standard veneers; they involve applying layers of UV cured resin over the front surface of the tooth. Once this resin is hardened, it can be sculpted and shaped into a replica facade of a tooth. Shade and translucency of the resin is highly flexible depending on how it's mixed, giving a great deal of control to our practising dentist in Soho.
This technique also has the advantage of not having to wait for a prosthesis to be produced in a dental laboratory, but it does place more responsibility on the skill and professionalism of a practising dental team. Thankfully, we have invested in the staff skills and equipment to perform resin bonding to an extremely high standard, making it a viable alternative to the traditional porcelain veneers at our dentist in Soho.
If you're curious how we could help you or or have a family member who you think could benefit from our services, please feel free to get in contact with the clinic.