Teeth Bonding: A Dental Tooth Restoration Overview
Tooth bonding is the application of a tooth-colored resin material using adhesives and a high intensity curing light. The procedure gets its name because materials are bonded to the tooth. Bonding is typically used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of a discolored or chipped tooth. It is also used to close spaces between teeth, to make teeth look longer or to change the shape or color of teeth. Often times bonding is used as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings, or to protect a portion of the tooth’s root that has been exposed when gums recede.
Teeth Bonding Uses
Dental bonding can be considered to fix the following dental issues:
Dental Bonding Procedure
Dental bonding takes little to no preparation, and the use of anesthesia if often not necessary unless the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth. After your dentist has chosen a color that matches the shade of your teeth, he/she will roughen the surface of the tooth using a gentle phosphoric acid solution. Soon after the roughing agent is removed, a liquid bonding agent is applied. The tooth-colored putty-like resin is applied to the tooth, then molded and smoothed until it’s in the desired shape. The material is then hardened with an ultraviolet curing light, and the previous step is repeated until the filing or direct composite veneer has reached its final shape. Your dentist will then polish the material until it matches the sheen of the rest of the tooth surface.
Pros and Cons of Dental Bonding
Pros– Dental bonding is one of the most common and least expensive of cosmetic dentistry procedures. It can usually be done in one short office visit unless multiple teeth are involved. Another advantage to bonding is that compared to veneers and crowns, it requires little to no removal of tooth enamel. Most procedures involving dental bonding do not require anesthesia.
Cons– The material used in dental bonding is not as strong as your real teeth, so biting on fingernails or chewing on pens can actually chip the material. Bonding may last 7-10 years before it needs to be repaired/replaced and is not as strong as other restorative procedures, such as crowns, veneers, or fillings. It is also not as stain resistant as crowns.
Because there are some limitations to the restorative impacts that bonding can have, some dentists may view it as best suited for small cosmetic changes, for temporary correction of cosmetic defects, and for correction of teeth in areas of very low bite pressure (for example, front teeth). Your dentist will be able to tell you if bonding is right for you or may make other recommendations relative to your personal conditions.
Caring for Bonded Teeth
Bonded teeth require the same care as your natural teeth. The care necessary to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile is to keep good oral hygiene habits. Because the material used in bonding can chip, try to avoid biting on hard objects that may cause damage. Biting your fingernails, chewing on pens, ice or other hard food objects should be avoided. If the tooth feels differently than when you had your procedure, you may have chipped the bond. Call us if that happens as dental bonding is simple to repair.