Are you unhappy with imperfections in your teeth such as chipped or cracked teeth, discoloured teeth, or gaps between teeth? Dental bonding is one of the easiest and least invasive procedures that can be considered to help fix these unwanted imperfections and help you achieve the smile of your dreams.
What is dental bonding?
During a dental bonding procedure, a durable, resin cosmetic material is “bonded” to a tooth to help restore your smile. The material used is a tooth-coloured resin and it is applied and hardened with a special ultraviolet light to bond the material to the natural enamel on the tooth. At Peak Dental Arts we’re proud to use Tokuyama composites when bonding on your front teeth as this material has shown to be excellent in both esthetics and longevity.
What is dental bonding used for?
In addition to fixing imperfections on teeth such as cracks and stains, dental bonding can also help repair decayed teeth, make the teeth look longer or change the shape of the teeth to fix unattractive minor gaps. It can also be used to protect a portion of the tooth’s root that may be exposed if gums recede, this type of bonding can often help with sensitivity as well.
Anesthesia is not often needed during a tooth bonding procedure unless the resin is being used to fill in a decayed tooth, the tooth needs to be drilled extensively, or there is a chip near the nerve. The dentist will use a shade guide to find a resin that resembles the color of your tooth to give the bond an appearance that best matches your teeth. At Peak Dental Arts we use many different techniques to help blend the filling to the tooth and make it virtually undetectable.
During the bonding process, the surface of the tooth is roughened and a conditioning liquid is applied to help the bonding material stick to the tooth. The resin is then applied to the tooth, moulded, and smoothed to create the shape desired. This is where dentists, and especially us at Peak Dental Arts, get to enjoy the artistic side of this profession. Next, to harden the resin, blue light or laser is applied. The dentist will make further trims to create the final shape and polish is added to match the sheen of the teeth. The entire dental bonding procedure takes between 30 to 60 minutes to complete per tooth.
How long does the bonding material last?
The bonding material durability will depend on how much bonding was done and how well you protect its integrity with your oral habits. Typically, the material can last between 3 to 10 years before it needs to receive a touch-up or be redone.
What are the advantages of bonding?
Bonding can usually be done in one appointment and saves you time (unless bonding needs to be done to several teeth). This is a contrast to veneers and crowns, which must be customized and manufactured in the lab. Another benefit to bonding is that less tooth enamel is removed compared with porcelain veneers or dental crowns. This helps retain the natural structure of the tooth. Dental bonding is a low-maintenance procedure and doesn’t require special care aside from regular oral hygiene practices such as brushing, flossing, and regular check-ups and cleanings with your dentist. The material used in the resin is also metal-free to help keep your mouth and body healthy.
Keep in mind that there are a few limitations to dental bonding and one of them is strength. Typically, bonding is not as strong as a ceramic solution such as a veneer. Dental bonding is best reserved for small cosmetic changes or for corrections in the front teeth (areas of low bite pressure). It’s important to stay away from bad habits that may break the bonding material such as biting fingernails, chewing on pens or other hard objects or foods. Pro tip: don’t try to open bottles with your teeth!
If you live in or near North and West Vancouver, dental bonding might be able to help you develop your beautiful smile. Consult with your dentist at Peak Dental Arts about the best cosmetic approach for your particular dental issue. We provide general and cosmetic dentistry in a calm, educational and professional environment. We look forward to seeing you!