For patients looking to improve their smile, cosmetic bonding offers an efficient, affordable solution to fix minor chips, cracks, stains and small spaces.
One of the most cost-effective procedures available, cosmetic or dental bonding involves the application of composite resin to your teeth. This tooth-colored substance is smoothed over and hardened to help even out the appearance of your smile.
Compared to other cosmetic procedures like veneers and crowns, dental bonding removes less enamel and requires fewer appointments. In some cases, only one appointment is needed!
About the Procedure
Patients interested in dental bonding should first speak with their dentist to determine if they’re an ideal candidate or if another procedure may better suit their needs.
If you’re found to be a good candidate, you should know:
- Minimal Preparation Is Needed: Local anesthetic is rarely used. After your teeth are cleaned, the dentist will apply a conditioning gel that roughens the surface of your teeth to create a stronger bond.
- About the Application: Your dentist selects a composite resin from a number of shades, looking for the closest match to your natural tooth color. The dentist then applies the resin, smoothing it into shape before curing and hardening it with an ultraviolet light or laser.
- Finishing Touches: For a natural appearance, your dentist then shapes and polishes the hardened resin, so the material fully blends in with your teeth.
From start to finish, the typical cosmetic bonding procedure takes 30 to 60 minutes. Length is based on the number of teeth and, as a result, more than one visit may be needed.
Following the bonding procedure, patients can resume their normal daily activities without downtime.
Care for Cosmetic Bonding
After-care for cosmetic bonding does not involve any special toothpastes or methods. Patients are advised to continue brushing and flossing every day as normal. Yet, eating certain foods can stain the bonding.
In turn, patients who want to maintain a clean, even smile are advised to sparingly consume coffee, tea, cola, red wine and avoid tobacco products. Directly following the procedure, these foods and substances should be avoided entirely for at least two days.
To prevent the composite resin from chipping, patients should avoid biting their nails and chewing on hard foods or objects.
What Cosmetic Bonding Corrects
Cosmetic bonding is ideal for correcting and smoothing out minor imperfections, resulting from wear, cracks or decay. Generally, cosmetic bonding can even out the appearance of:
- Small cracks that don’t affect the tooth’s structure
- Small gaps between teeth
- Small or misshapen teeth, by increasing their size and creating a straighter smile
More dentists are using composite resin to repair tooth decay from a cavity or protect an exposed root, in place of traditional silver amalgam fillings. With adequate care, cosmetic bonding can typically last up to eight years!
Not every patient will be a candidate for cosmetic bonding. It may not last for individuals with a habit of chewing on their nails, ice cubes, hard candy or pens and patients with significant tooth decay may benefit more from crowns.
Experiencing pain after a recent cosmetic bonding procedure? We see emergencies same-day!