Just a few years ago, there weren’t a lot of options for effective cosmetic dentistry. But times have changed, and as the demand for great-looking, healthy teeth has grown, so have the dental options available.
Dental bonding is one of several cosmetic dentistry procedures that can improve the appearance of your teeth, and it’s relatively quick and easy. Here’s what you need to know.
WHAT IS DENTAL BONDING?
Dental bonding uses a material known as composite resin, the same material that is used for tooth-colored fillings. This resin is applied to the surface of the tooth and then shaped and molded to create a natural-looking, hard, and durable surface.
WHERE IS DENTAL BONDING USED?
Dental bonding is used for cosmetic purposes such as smile makeovers, as well as to repair and restore teeth.
In some cases, when a tooth is cracked or chipped, dental bonding is used to repair the tooth and prevent further damage from occurring. It can also be used to make teeth appear longer, or to close large gaps between the teeth.
When you have receding gums, dental bonding can protect the below-the-gum portion of the tooth, or it can be used as an alternative to amalgam fillings.
WHAT IS THE DENTAL BONDING PROCEDURE?
Dental bonding is a fairly simple procedure that can usually be done in a single visit.
If the goal is to repair tooth damage such as a cavity, your dentist will first clean the affected area. Then they will etch the surface of the tooth to make it rougher. This helps the bonding material adhere better to the tooth.
After the tooth is roughened for the application, your dentist will apply a conditioning liquid, and then the bonding itself is applied. When first applied, the bonding is a tooth-colored, putty-like substance that can be shaped and molded relatively easily. It can also be matched closely to the color of your teeth, so it’s almost impossible to see on your tooth when finished.
Next, your dentist will use a light or laser to harden the composite material, and finally, they will use a variety of tools to carefully shape and polish the hardened material.
Each tooth takes about half an hour to complete, so even if you need bonding on several teeth, you can be in and out of the dentist’s office in one visit.
CARING FOR DENTAL BONDING
Dental bonding looks almost exactly like natural teeth, but it’s a little more sensitive to staining. So, your doctor will recommend that you avoid foods and beverages that stain easily, like coffee, wine, and sticky candies, and that you pay careful attention to brushing and oral hygiene. Bonding material is also not as hard as natural enamel, so avoid chewing on hard objects or foods, such as ice.