Dental or cosmetic bonding involves tooth-colored resin placed over areas of your smile to improve its visual appearance. The procedure is relatively straightforward: The resin covers minor cracks, chips or other defects, then gets securely bonded to the surface of your teeth with ultraviolet light.
The durable results of cosmetic bonding immediately correct the imperfections marring your smile. Unlike other cosmetic procedures, dental bonding can be completed within one visit. If you’re thinking about this service, consider the following points.
A Less-Involved Dental Procedure
Especially compared to crowns and veneers, dental bonding improves your teeth’s visual appearance in less time, often at a lower price. There are several dividing factors between dental bonding and other cosmetic procedures:
- Bonding does not involve creating a new tooth. This additional step, which is often done by an outside lab, can lengthen the procedure and may require adjustments.
- Bonding does not remove part of the enamel and very rarely involves anesthesia, unlike veneers.
- Very little – if any – preparation is needed before cosmetic bonding. Any decaying teeth will be addressed ahead of time. A small amount of drilling may be needed if the tooth’s crack or chip passes near a nerve.
In the operatory, the surface of your teeth are given a textured appearance before a conditioning liquid is applied. The dentist then fits the resin to the teeth and smooths it in place. Once it reaches the desired shape, a blue light or laser is used to harden the resin.
Afterward, the dentist trims or shapes it further and polishes the material, so it’s completely indistinguishable from your other teeth.
In many cases, the procedure can be done in a single day. By contrast, other cosmetic procedures involve multiple visits over weeks or can even be spread out over months.
Addresses Minor Cosmetic Issues
Bonding offers a quick and effective fix for minor dental defects, ranging from cracks to areas of low bite pressure. Compared to other cosmetic procedures, bonding is ideal for the following:
- Filling in cavities and repairing decayed teeth
- Fixing chips and cracks
- Reducing discoloration
- Closing small spaces between teeth
- Lengthening or changing the shape of teeth
- Offering a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to amalgam or “silver fillings”
- Protecting any exposed roots, often due to receding gums
Durable, Natural Appearance
In a shade that matches your natural tooth color, the resin is biodegradable, contains no metal and is less likely to be noticed, especially compared to the amalgam fillings.
As the resin bonds directly to your teeth, the seal blocks out bacteria, which decreases your chance of infection in the crack or chip. However, even with dental bonding, you need to maintain appropriate dental hygiene to further reduce this possibility.
Additionally, resin is available in a wide range of colors, so the material can be a much closer visual match to your teeth. As a downside, if you decide to whiten in the future or your teeth discolor due to trauma or poor upkeep, the resin will stand out more.
Generally, dental bonding lasts three to 10 years with sufficient upkeep, before touch-ups or replacements are necessary.
Who Is Not a Candidate?
In spite of these benefits, cosmetic bonding is not for everyone. The material can stain or chip and does not offer the same degree of durability as crowns and veneers. Individuals who chew on hard objects may not be ideal candidates, as the resin can chip off.
Ready to improve the look of your smile? To discuss if you’re a candidate for dental bonding or another cosmetic procedure, contact us today.