Have a chipped, broken, or stained tooth? Tooth bonding can make it look like new again without causing too much damage to your budget.
What Is Tooth Bonding?
Tooth bonding is a cosmetic dentistry procedure in which a tooth-colored composite material is applied to a tooth, sculpted into shape, hardened, and polished. It’s called bonding because the material bonds to the tooth. tooth bonding is ideal for small cosmetic dentistry work, such as fixing a broken or chipped tooth or closing small gaps between teeth. Dental bonding is also used as a tooth-colored filling for small cavities because it’s more cosmetically appealing than silver fillings. Dental bonding is also used as a tooth-colored filling for small cavities because it’s more cosmetically appealing and does not have the mercury of amalgam fillings.
What Does Tooth Bonding Involve?
Dr. Roslund will first apply a gentle phosphoric acid to the surface of your teeth, which etches and roughens the surface to help the bonding material stay in place. This process doesn’t hurt. The putty-like bonding material is then placed on the tooth’s surface, shaped, and sculpted. A special light is used to help the material harden and set. Finally, the composite is polished and buffed for a smooth finish.
Pros and Cons of Tooth Bonding
Advantages of tooth bonding include:
- Speed. Tooth bonding typically requires only one office visit. The entire process can be accomplished in 30 to 60 minutes per tooth.
- Ease. Anesthesia is usually not necessary, unless bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth. Compared to veneers and crowns, Tooth bonding also requires the least amount of enamel removal.
Disadvantages of tooth bonding include:
- Bonding material can become stained. Unlike crowns and porcelain veneers, tooth bonding has a tendency to become discolored over time. Coffee, tea, red wine, and cigarette smoke can stain the material used in tooth bonding, making it stand out from the rest of your teeth. To minimize staining, you’ll need to avoid these substances for 24 to 48 hours after bonding is first performed. If you’re a smoker, you’ll want to choose a different cosmetic dentistry treatment. Because bonding material is porous, it will yellow from exposure to cigarette smoke.
- Less durable. Additionally, the material used in tooth bonding isn’t as strong and long-lasting as porcelain veneers and crowns. It can easily chip. With proper care though, tooth bonding can last three to seven years.
When Tooth Bonding is a Good Choice
If you have a minor cosmetic dentistry issue — such as a cracked or discolored tooth, a gap between your teeth, or silver fillings that show when you smile — tooth bonding may help.
In contrast to veneers and bleaching, however, tooth bonding can’t be used to whiten your entire smile. Tooth bonding can also be appropriate as “white fillings” for small cavities in teeth that are not exposed to excessive force when chewing, but the material used in tooth bonding may not be durable enough for large cavities.
Maintenance of Tooth Bonding
Because tooth bonding is more susceptible to staining and chipping than other forms of cosmetic dentistry, special care is required to keep your bonded teeth looking natural. Here are some tips to keep your tooth bonding in tip-top shape:
- Cut down on coffee, tea, and red wine.
- If you’re a smoker, this is a good reason to quit — not to mention that smoking also increases your risk of gum disease and oral cancer.
- Since tooth bonding can chip easily, avoid biting your nails or chewing on hard objects, such as ice, pencils, and raw carrots.
- Call us if you notice sharp edges or if your teeth feel strange when you bite down. If necessary, tooth bonding can be repaired or touched up.
Tooth bonding isn’t appropriate in every situation, but it can be a quick and relatively inexpensive way to improve your smile. And feeling good about the appearance of your teeth can help you maintain good dental health.
To schedule an appointment or consultation, please contact us today.