Dental bonding is a simple cosmetic procedure which involves the application of a tooth-colored composite resin on a patient’s teeth to help restore or improve the aesthetics of their smile. Post its application, the composite resin is exposed to a special light to help it harden and bond to the teeth.
When is dental bonding required?
Here are some instances where dental bonding can prove effective:
- Treatment of discolored teeth to enhance their appearance
- In repairing chipped or cracked teeth
- As fillings for cavities in order to help in the treatment of decayed teeth
- Reshaping teeth to improve the aesthetics of a smile
- For filling in spaces between teeth
- Bonding is often used to make teeth appear longer
- Composite resins can be used as an alternative over amalgam fillings when cosmetics are of primal importance
- In protection of the root of a tooth after receding gums expose them to risks of infection and decay
Generally, the dental bonding procedure is divided into two distinct steps which are as follows:
Generally, dental bonding does not require any intensive preparation. However, the step gains importance if dental bonding is being used for filling the cavity of a decayed tooth. In such cases, dentists drill the damaged tooth to change its shape and may use local anesthesia to numb the area. Dentists use a shade guide to select a composite resin that closely matches the color of the patient’s teeth.
Following the preparation and selection of the composite resin color, the surface of the tooth on which the resin has to be applied is roughened up. A conditioning liquid is then applied to the teeth. These steps ensure the bonding material adheres to the tooth surface. Post these steps, the dentists apply the chosen tooth-colored resin onto the tooth, molds and smoothens it out to the desired shape.Next, the resin is exposed to a bright blue or laser light to harden the material. The dentist then once again shapes and trims the resin in addition to polishing it to match the appearance of the tooth surface with the other teeth.
Dental bonding of one single tooth requires about 30 to 60 minutes for completion.
Benefits of dental bonding
Some of the benefits of choosing dental bonding over veneers and crowns are:
- Cost-effectiveness: Bonding is one of the least complicated and hence the most affordable cosmetic dental procedures when compared with dental veneers, crowns, and bridges.
- Substantially less time-consuming: The procedure consumes significantly less time than the application of veneers and crowns which are manufactured in dental labs. Unlike veneers and crowns, dental bonding can be completed in a single visit to the dentist unless more than one tooth is involved.
- Tooth enamel preservation: Only a small amount of natural tooth enamel is lost when performing a dental bonding procedure.
- No anesthesia required: Unless dental bonding is being used for filling a tooth cavity, there is no requirement for anesthesia in the process.
Drawbacks of the cosmetic dentistry procedure
While it may be a cost-effective and simple procedure, there are certain limitations of the procedure:
- Staining: Although dental bonding is considered stain resistant the composite resin develops stains over time and is not as resistant to staining as crowns and veneers.
- Lifespan: The bonded composite resin have a shorter lifespan than other restorative procedures and are relatively more prone to chipping and breaking.
Considering all the benefits and the drawbacks dental bonding are best suited for small cosmetic procedures in areas of very low bite pressure such as the front teeth.
A patient is not required to follow a special routine for the preservation and protection of the dental bonding material. Following good oral hygiene is enough for protection of the dental bonding material. However, because the bonding material can easily chip off or break, dentists recommend avoiding chewing on fingernails, ice, pens or any other hard food products. In case a patient notices sharp edges around the bonded tooth or feels an odd sensation when biting using the tooth they should contact their dentist. The lifespan of the bonding material depends on the oral hygiene of the patient and the effectiveness of the bonding procedure. Generally, the bonding material can last from three years to ten years before being replaced or looked at.
We, at LaCanne Family Dental, Menominee, provide for all your needs pertaining to dental services and routine exams. Our dentists with their entire team persist to present you with exceptional treatment that enhances and maintains the beauty of your smile.
If you have any further question, queries or dental emergencies and are looking for an accomplished dentist, feel free to contact us at (906) 352-4100 to schedule an appointment.