If you have minor chips or cracks in your teeth, dental bonding is a quick, non-invasive solution for cosmetic restoration. It’s also more cost-effective than most alternatives, including veneers, crowns, or dental implants. Dental bonding can also address minor gaps between teeth and correct misshapen teeth, and the process takes only one appointment to complete.
Dental bonding involves applying a soft, pliable, tooth-colored composite resin to the tooth and shaping it to cover minor aesthetic issues. Before applying the resin, the dentist will roughen up the surface of the tooth to aid in bonding. After polishing the shaped resin to match the shade of the surrounding teeth, the resin is set with a specialized light to bond it to the tooth and harden. Cosmetic bonding can be used to fix:
The durability of dental bonding restorations depend on their location. Bonding near the edge of the tooth is vulnerable to biting forces and won’t last as long, while bonding closer to the gums typically lasts longer. In general, dental bonding can last between four and eight years.
In addition to being one of the least expensive cosmetic dental procedures, dental bonding does not require invasive preparation of the teeth, such as trimming the enamel for veneers or significantly filing down the tooth for crowns. Dental bonding can also be completed in a single dental visit – many patients have multiple teeth restored with bonding in one appointment. Another advantage to dental bonding is that it is a reversible procedure, so if you ever decide to replace it with veneers, crowns, or dental implants, the resin can be easily removed with no damage to the tooth.
Cosmetic bonding is not recommended for serious tooth issues such as major structural damage or severe misalignment. Also, dental bonding is somewhat more susceptible to chipping and breaking so you’ll need to be careful when biting down on hard foods. Composite resin is also less stain-resistant than the porcelain material used in veneers and crowns.
Dental bonding restorations do not need specialized care. Daily brushing and flossing, plus twice-yearly dental exams, will help keep your teeth healthy and the bonding strong. However, because composite resin stains more easily than other restoration materials, avoiding coffee, tea, wine, dark soft drinks, tobacco, and other staining products will help your dental bonding restorations look great for years.
If you’re self-conscious about showing off your smile because of minor aesthetic issues, cosmetic bonding is a safe, pain-free, affordable way to improve the appearance of your teeth so you can smile freely once again. For more information about dental bonding or other restorative options, call University Dental at (619) 582-4224 to schedule a consultation.