For the perfect smile at an affordable price, consider dental bonding or what is commonly called tooth bonding. This is a restorative solution with applications in both general and cosmetic dentistry. Some dentists view tooth bonding as a less expensive procedure best- suited for small cosmetic changes or for temporary correction of cosmetic defects. Why might you consider tooth bonding? First, tooth bonding is a safe, non-toxic and less expensive than some dental alternatives such as its close cousin dental veneers. Next, tooth bonding requires very little tooth preparation so you needn’t worry about discomfort. Lastly, after the procedure has strengthened and beautified your teeth, the teeth look and feel like natural tooth enamel.
When Should You Think About Dental Bonding?
What might lead you to consider tooth bonding? Here is a just a handful of reasons for which it may be useful:
- By repairing decayed teeth by filling in the cavities with resins not amalgam fillings
- By repairing chipped or cracked teeth
- By making discolored teeth look more natural
- By closing the gaps between teeth
- By changing the shape of teeth
The Tooth Bonding Procedure
One of the benefits of tooth bonding is that little advance preparation is required. Often times, unless a decayed tooth requiring drilling is required, it can be performed without anesthesia. Also, if a chipped tooth has exposed a nerve, anesthesia might be needed. With that out of the way, your dentist will use a shade guide to select a composite resin color that will closely match the color of your tooth. Once that is done, the actual tooth bonding can begin. Now, the tooth is ready to roughen and a conditioning liquid is applied to aid adherence. Next, a tooth-colored, pasty resin is then applied, shaped, and smoothed after which a bright, typically blue light, or laser is then used to harden the material. The tooth bonding procedure is completed by the dentist’s final molding and polishing.
The Pros And Cons Of Tooth Bonding
The primary reason that prospective patients look at tooth bonding is it’s the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. Veneers and crowns, besides being more costly and time- consuming have to be manufactured off-site. Not so with dental bonding which, a tooth in most cases, can be done in one office visit. Other advantages include the saving of tooth enamel and, as mentioned, anesthesia is not required. Sounds good so far but what are some of the disadvantages? There are a few. The bonded tooth will be more susceptible to chipping and could separate from the tooth. It is also more likely to stain than the more permanent restorative procedures. Also, the tooth bonding procedure does not last as long as other restorative procedures such as veneers, crowns, and fillings but you should be able to wear them for up to 10 years successfully.
Caring For Your Bonded Teeth
The life of the dental bond will depend on how you take care of it. You must try to avoid hard candy, ice cubes and similar substances that can crack the composite material. It's important as well as avoiding opening food packaging with your teeth, chewing pen caps, and biting your fingernails. Also, certain substances can also stain the resin used in bonding; coffee, tea, and tobacco products are three of the biggest offenders. And, of course, remember to brush regularly using a dentist-prescribed toothpaste and go back for cleanings every six months.