Do you feel self-conscious whenever you smile? You may be a candidate for dental bonding. This procedure, also known as cosmetic bonding, can improve your smile if you have minor flaws or damage.
WHAT IS DENTAL BONDING?
Dental bonding is a procedure in which a cosmetic dentist applies tooth-coloured composite resin (a putty-like material) to one or more of your teeth. During this process, the cosmetic dentist uses ultraviolet light to solidify and bond the material to your teeth, thereby restoring your smile. Additionally, it’s a pocket-friendly solution compared to other procedures such as dental implants, veneers and crowns, and can be an alternative to silver amalgam fillings.
WHO BENEFITS FROM THE PROCEDURE?
Small cosmetic adjustments can significantly transform your smile. You may have healthy teeth that require minor enhancements. A cosmetic dentist may ask you to consider dental bonding if you have one or more of the following concerns:
- Gaps between teeth
- A chipped tooth
- Irregularly shaped teeth
- A cracked or fractured tooth
- Discoloured teeth
- Short teeth
- A decaying tooth
- Receding gum-lines
Dental bonding is a perfect alternative if you aren’t interested in or don’t qualify for veneers. However, if you plan to get your teeth whitened, you must inform your cosmetic dentist before getting your teeth bonded. Your dentist may not be able to whiten the composite resin after you’ve done the whitening.
WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT?
To get started, you’ll need to brush and floss before your appointment. If needed, your cosmetic dentist may give you a dental cleaning on arrival. If not, they will first use a shade guide to determine which composite resin matches your tooth.
Subsequently, your cosmetic dentist will roughen the tooth’s surface and apply a conditioning liquid, making it easier for the bonding material to stick to the tooth. They will then add the composite resin, which is moulded and smoothed into the desired shape. Once this is done, ultraviolet light hardens the resin.
During the final stage of the bonding process, the cosmetic dentist will trim, shape and polish the tooth so that it matches the natural sheen and feel of the rest of your teeth. You can expect the procedure to last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour per tooth.
Although this is the usual process, some patients may have a different experience. You may require anesthesia if there’s a nerve close to the damaged or flawed tooth or if your cosmetic dentist must drill out and smooth down a severely decayed tooth.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES?
Cosmetic bonding scores top points as a relatively affordable procedure. You’ll pay only a fraction of the cost of veneers or crowns, making it a viable option.
Another advantage is less chairtime. Furthermore, you’ll lose very little enamel as opposed to veneers and crowns. You may also appreciate that it’s a minimally invasive procedure that may not require anesthesia.
On the flip side, dental bonded teeth underperform as it pertains to stain resistance, especially when compared to veneers and crowns. Dental bonded teeth are also more vulnerable to chipping and breaking. They don’t last as long as the aforementioned techniques, which is why many cosmetic dentists recommend the procedure for minor cosmetic changes, as a temporary fix of cosmetic problems and for correcting teeth that don’t use a lot of biting pressure.
HOW TO CARE FOR DENTAL BONDED TEETH
Your dental bonded teeth may resemble and feel like real teeth, but they don’t have the same strength. Fortunately, you can extend the lifespan of your cosmetic bonded teeth by taking good care of them. You should avoid the following:
- Biting your nails
- Chewing ice, hard candy and pens
- Using your teeth to tear things open
- Drinking red wine and other dark beverages frequently
- Using tobacco or drinking tea and coffee for two days after the procedure
- Biting into hard foods
Furthermore, you should continue to practise proper oral hygiene habits such as brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily and scheduling dental visits twice a year.
Considering these tips can extend the life of your dental bonded teeth from three to 10 years. Be sure to visit your cosmetic dentist when it’s time to replace or restore them.
Are you interested in receiving cosmetic bonding or exploring other solutions to improve your smile? The experienced team at Peak Dental Arts based in North Vancouver will help you select the procedure that is right for you. Call us at 604-770-2222 (Lonsdale dental clinic) or at 604-980-9999 (Marine dental clinic) or schedule an appointment online today.