When your teeth have minor cosmetic issues such as a small chip or discoloration, dental bonding is an easy, relatively quick and affordable solution. By applying a tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) material to a tooth and hardening it with a light, the tooth receives restoration that protects the area from further damage and improves your smile and confidence.
Suitable situations for dental bonding
Dental bonding is usually the fastest and easiest way to repair a chipped tooth, which is a highly common type of dental emergency. The modern technique and materials used in dental bonding can quickly repair the tooth if less than 1/3 of the tooth surface is missing. Bonding replaces the missing tooth structure with material designed to match the natural color of the remaining tooth and surrounding teeth. Your dentist can restore the tooth in about 30-60 minutes and often doesn’t need to use local anesthesia. Other instances where dental bonding offers a viable solution include:
- Repairing decayed teeth
- Repairing a cracked tooth
- Closing spaces between teeth
- Elongating the appearance of teeth
- Improving the appearance of discolored teeth
- Changing the shape of teeth
- Using it as a more aesthetic alternative to amalgam fillings
- Protecting teeth roots exposed when gums recede
Advantages of dental bonding
Along with being an easy and affordable cosmetic dental procedure, dental bonding has other advantages including the ability to have it done in a single office visit. While veneers and crowns require creation in a lab before application, dental bonding requires very little prep, and unlike crowns and veneers, there’s less tooth enamel removed. Anesthesia may be needed when filling a cavity, but not for a minor repair. Dental bonding works best for minor cosmetic changes, temporary correction of cosmetic issues and correction of teeth in regions where there’s low bite pressure like the front teeth.
Drawbacks of dental bonding
While dental bonding is quick and easy, it has drawbacks that you’ll want to discuss with your dentist before proceeding. These drawbacks include:
- Doesn’t resist stains as well as crowns
- Doesn’t last as long as crowns, fillings or veneers
- Not as strong as other restorative procedures
- Can break or chip off the tooth
If you’ve had dental bonding, the teeth affected don’t need special care, but you should avoid certain bad habits including chewing on ice or pens, biting fingernails, and chewing on hard food items as this can cause the material to chip. To ensure the health of your dental bonding and the rest of your mouth, continue practicing good oral hygiene including brushing twice daily, flossing and having regular dental checkups and cleanings. With proper care, the bonding material can last from 3-10 years before requiring replacement or touch ups.
When you’re considering dental bonding as the cosmetic dentistry solution you need, contact our offices to set up an appointment or to request more information. The sooner a damaged tooth is treated, the better it is for your overall oral health.