Teeth bonding can repair cosmetic imperfections like chips, small gaps or discoloration. This procedure is quick, affordable and doesn’t require any anesthesia.
However, bonded teeth aren’t as strong as natural teeth. They can chip or separate from the tooth if you bite your nails, chew on pens and pencils or consume hard candy.
What is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental treatment in which your dentist applies tooth-colored composite resin to a damaged or unsightly tooth. It is often used to close small gaps or reshape uneven teeth, but can also be useful for covering up stains. It is an effective alternative to more invasive cosmetic treatments like veneers or inlays.
Before applying the bonding material, your dentist will first prepare the tooth. This involves roughening the surface of the tooth and applying a conditioning liquid, which helps the bonding material adhere to the tooth. After that, the tooth-colored putty-like resin is applied and molded to correct the problem. The dentist then uses a special high-intensity light to harden the composite. Finally, the dentist trims, shapes and polishes the bonded area.
The procedure is usually quick and painless, but it’s important to know that dental bonding doesn’t last as long as other cosmetic treatments like veneers. Additionally, it’s not as stain-resistant or as strong as your natural teeth. Therefore, you should avoid eating or drinking foods that can stain the composite resin. It’s also best to avoid chewing on objects such as pens or nails, which can damage or crack the bonding material.
Dental bonding is typically an in-and-out outpatient procedure that doesn’t require sedation. However, it’s a good idea to discuss your cosmetic goals with your dentist and take x-rays before undergoing treatment.
How Does Dental Bonding Work?
Bonding is a relatively simple treatment that typically doesn’t require anesthesia. During the procedure, your dentist cleans the tooth to make sure it’s free of plaque and tartar before applying an adhesive to the surface. Then, the dentist applies a thin layer of composite resin to the affected tooth. This soft putty-like material is colored to match the appearance of your natural tooth and shaped accordingly. A special curing light is used to harden the resin, causing it to instantly bond to your tooth. Afterward, your dentist may perform additional shaping and polish the bonded area to enhance its appearance.
The bonding process isn’t painful because your dentist won’t be working near the pain-sensing nerve in your teeth. Some patients do experience minor sensitivity after the procedure, but this is easily addressed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
As for caring for bonded teeth, it’s important to follow good oral hygiene habits, including brushing twice daily, flossing once a day and using mouth rinses. It’s also a good idea to limit your intake of foods and drinks known to cause staining and discoloration of tooth enamel. In addition, you should avoid biting down on ice and other hard objects to prevent chips or breaks in the bonded tooth. You should also visit your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups, as well as periodic teeth whitening sessions (at home or in the dentist’s office). Dental bonding isn’t a permanent cosmetic solution for your smile, however, so you may want to consider other treatments such as veneers.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is a quick and simple cosmetic treatment to fix chipped or broken teeth. Its most significant benefit is that the bonded tooth will look natural and blend in with the rest of the smile. In addition, the procedure is relatively painless because the dentist does not need to work near the nerve of the tooth. If there is a little sensitivity after the procedure, over-the-counter acetaminophen can be taken to ease it.
The dentist will select the right shade of composite resin to match the original color of the tooth. Since everyone’s teeth are a different shade, this process is important to get the most natural results. The dentist also needs to make sure the patient does not have cavities or other serious dental issues, as these may hinder the success of the treatment.
Aside from following good oral hygiene practices, there is no recovery time after having a bond placed. However, it is recommended to avoid biting your nails or using your teeth as a tool, as this can cause the resin to chip. Additionally, it is important to limit the consumption of foods and liquids that are prone to staining (such as dark drinks, coffee, tea and cigarettes). Contact your dentist if you notice any sharp edges or an unusual feeling in your mouth after having a bond placed.
What Are the Downsides of Dental Bonding?
Tooth bonding can help improve the appearance of crooked, chipped or jagged teeth. It can also close in gaps or make teeth look longer and more uniform. It can be used on one or more teeth and is often completed in less than an hour in a single appointment. However, the results of a bonding procedure may not be as beautiful as porcelain veneers or dental crowns. Bonding resin doesn’t fully mimic the translucency of natural tooth structures and is not as white.
The bonding process can be unpredictable and require an artistic skill on the part of the dentist to create a natural-looking result. In addition, bonding does not protect a tooth from cavities or gum disease. If you have these issues, your dentist will need to treat them before applying bonding.
In addition, a bonded tooth can wear away and break, so it is important to follow good oral hygiene practices. This means regular brushing, flossing and routine dental checkups. It is also a good idea to avoid habits that can cause damage to the bonded tooth, such as biting fingernails or using your bonded teeth to open packages.
Finally, a bonded tooth can stain from coffee, red wine, sugary foods and deep-colored berries. This is because the underlying composite resin can discolor, just like a natural tooth.