What is Dental Bonding and is it for You?
Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure which helps improve a person’s appearance and smile. The process involves using a special resin which is the same color as a tooth, and applying it to a tooth and then letting it harden. It will bond to a tooth so that the tooth’s appearance is improved.
Why is dental bonding used?
There are several instances when bonding is a primary consideration. These include:
- Repairing decayed teeth (to fill cavities)
- Repairing teeth that are cracked or chipped
- Improving the appearance of teeth that are discolored
- Close in spaced between two teeth
- To make teeth appear longer
- Changing the shape of a tooth or teeth
- An alternative for amalgam fillings (cosmetically more appealing)
- To protect exposed roots from receding gum lines
How does dental bonding work?
There is no need for any anesthesia unless the bonding is used for filling a tooth that is decayed. The dentist will have a special shade guide to help match the resin to the tooth color he wants to achieve. Once he is ready to get started, he will prepare the surface of the tooth by making it rough so that the bonding material will adhere. He will use a special conditioning liquid to make the surface of the tooth rough enough. Then he will apply the resin which is about the consistency of putty, to the tooth. The resin will be molded into the tooth and smoothed out to create the appropriate shape.
Once the resin has been shaped to fit the tooth, a laser or an ultraviolet light will be used to make the resin harden faster. After the resin has hardened, then it will be trimmed, shaped and polished to look like the rest of the tooth. The entire process of dental bonding will take somewhere from 30 to 60 minutes for each tooth that needs to be completed.
Are there any advantages or disadvantages associated with dental bonding?
One of the advantages of using dental bonding is that it is one of the least expensive cosmetic dental procedures available, plus it’s easy to apply. Many of the other popular cosmetic procedures like crowns or veneers have to be created in a lab whereas bonding is done in-office in a single visit, unless there are multiple teeth involved. Another advantage is that when compared to other procedures, less enamel is removed in the process. It also requires no anesthesia unless it is being used to fill a cavity.
One of the disadvantages is that the material used to create a dental bond is not as resistant to stains like crowns are. It may not last as long as other types of restorative procedures like fillings, veneers or crowns. And in some instances, the materials used for bonding can break the tooth or chip it.
Dental bonding is typically used for just teeth that don’t have a lot of bite pressure, a temporary correction of a cosmetic defect or for other small cosmetic changes.