Tooth damage can, and usually does, occur when we least expect it. A problem such as a chip or crack may not significantly injure a tooth, but it can diminish the appearance of your smile. In such an instance, your dentist may recommend dental bonding.
What Is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is a restorative and cosmetic treatment that provides a way back to a more attractive smile. Bonding is sometimes referred to as direct veneer treatment because, like indirect veneers, this technique covers a portion of the front surface of a tooth to change its appearance. In the instance of dental bonding, the cover consists of a durable composite resin material that looks like natural enamel.
What Are The Benefits Of Dental Bonding?
The bonding process is considered as an efficient and affordable treatment for a number of concerns, including:
- A chipped or cracked tooth. The placement of resin material into and over the crack or chip smooths the surface of enamel and disguises the damaged portion of the tooth.
- Discoloration. Some stains do not lift with chemical teeth whitening, or bleaching. Bonding material can be applied over a spot on a tooth to correct discoloration.
- Gaps. Small spaces in between teeth can be filled with tooth-colored resin to make the two teeth appear closer together.
- Small or short teeth. The precise application of resin at the edges of a tooth or teeth can enlarge their apparent size by widening or lengthening the front surface.
Am I A Good Candidate for Dental Bonding?
We conduct a thorough examination and consultation with each patient before recommending treatment. This enables us to understand the present concern and desired outcome. Our consultation also includes a full explanation of treatment like dental bonding, what a patient may expect, how to maintain the results of treatment and how long bonding material may last. It is important to make informed decisions about cosmetic and restorative dental care and we provide comprehensive information to help our patients do that.
Good candidates for dental bonding are in good general health and dental health. We may suggest professional teeth cleaning before moving forward with the bonding process. This can maximize oral health and remove any invisible debris that may pose a problem for the bonding technique. Bonding is a good treatment option for minor damage or cosmetic concerns. More significant damage that affects the overall structure of the tooth may be treated more efficiently with a dental crown or veneer.
Shane is a teen swimmer who hit the swimming pool edge and cracked his two front teeth. With no anesthesia and no discomfort, we restored his two front teeth and his young adult confidence through cosmetic dentistry. Thoroughly deep cleaning his teeth, whitening and composite bonding were used to obtain this attractive result.
Repairing Chips and Fractures/Bonding
The affordability of bonding treatment is a beneficial aspect that many patients appreciate. Bonding is also conservative and does not alter the tooth to such a degree that, most of the time, treatment can be reversed or modified at a later date. Since no enamel is removed, there is typically little to no sensitivity associated with bonding treatment.
Bonding resin is made to look just like natural enamel, so the results of treatment should appear completely lifelike when used for small problems. It is important to understand that composite resin is not translucent like natural enamel so may affect appearance if applied to the lower edge of a tooth. Our techniques are conducted in a manner that preserves the translucency of each tooth as much as possible.
What Is The Dental Bonding Procedure?
The bonding procedure is very straightforward from the patient’s perspective. Depending on the correction needed, treatment can be quick without local anesthetic. Injuries that have caused tooth sensitivity or nerve pain are corrected after the area has been properly numbed.
Before commencing with the bonding technique, we may insert cotton pads around the tooth to keep the area dry. A shading chart is used to select the most appropriate resin color. A liquid solution is then applied to the tooth to “etch” it, or make the surface slightly rough. This enables the resin to adhere to the tooth. The mild chemical solution may taste bitter or sour if it gets on the tongue, but this will not cause irritation or damage to soft tissues.
After enamel has been prepared, a small amount of resin is applied and shaped. The resin is the consistency of putty when it is first pressed onto the tooth. A light is then used to harden it. This process may be repeated to allow smaller layers of resin to be shaped with special instruments. After all resin has been hardened with blue UV light, the material is filed and polished so the final result blends in with surrounding enamel.
How Long Will My Dental Bonding Last?
Composite resin bonding can last anywhere from 3 years to 10 years. The lifespan of bonded teeth may depend on maintenance, materials, and general oral health. With proper care, dental bonding should last several years. It is important to recognize that composite resin is not as strong as natural enamel.
- Care must be taken to avoid biting down on hard foods or objects like plastic pen caps or ice.
- The bond between resin and enamel is expected to be strong enough to withstand normal chewing but may be affected by twisting and biting, such as biting off a piece of chewy candy.
- Clenching and grinding may diminish the strength of the bonded material. A mouthguard may need to be worn while you sleep.
- Routine dental care and cleanings need to occur every six months to check the margins of the bonded resin for damage.
- Like natural enamel, resin may be prone to staining, but at a different rate than your teeth. Take care to rinse your mouth after consuming foods that could stain.
- Teeth whitening treatments will not change the color of composite resin, so whitening treatments may need to be avoided until speaking with your dentist about a more comprehensive smile makeover.
What Is The Difference Between Dental Bonding And Porcelain Veneers?
There are a few significant differences between dental bonding and porcelain veneers. Bonding is a procedure that is performed in a single visit. There is usually no need to alter the tooth, so treatment can be reversed or modified. Bonding material is opaque, so may be most appropriate for smaller restorations. Porcelain veneers are made in a dental lab from a large block of dental porcelain.
The final product is ultra-thin to maintain translucency while adequately covering flaws. To properly install porcelain veneers, we must slightly reduce surface enamel. For this reason, porcelain veneer treatment is not reversible, the tooth will always need a veneer to prevent discoloration and sensitivity.