Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure during which a special resin is applied to a tooth using adhesives. It can be used to change the color of a tooth, make it longer, change its shape, close a gap and even to make a tooth longer. It can also be used to protect a tooth when the gum recedes – receding gums leave the root exposed and this leads to extreme sensitivity.
Dental bonding can be used to correct the following deformities:
• To repair tooth decay – instead of ordinary fillings composite resins are used.
• To repair chips and cracks in teeth.
• To whiten discolored teeth.
• To close gaps between teeth.
• To elongate teeth.
• To give teeth a better shape.
• To protect teeth when gums recede.
What does the procedure involve?
Dental bonding is one of the easiest dental procedures to get done. It doesn’t require any anesthesia unless it is being done to fill a cavity. Together with your dentist you will choose the right shade of resin and then it will be applied to the tooth using a special adhesive. There are two ways that this can be done. The first is direct composite bonding. Here dentists use composites that closely match the color of the teeth and then apply them on using an adhesive. They can also paint the resin directly onto the teeth. The process is otherwise known as veneer application and is minimally invasive. The dentist may need to file down the tooth to make room for the resin or veneer.
The second method of dental bonding is called adhesive bonding and this one involves restoring a tooth by attaching a resin. Once you have settled on the color of veneer the dentist will roughen the surface of the tooth using phosphoric acid. The resin, which is like putty is applied and then the dentist shapes and manipulates it until it is in the desired shape. It is then hardened using a UV light. The process is repeated until the tooth is perfectly shaped. The last step is to polish the tooth until it achieves a sheen similar to the rest of the teeth. This method can be used for crowns, porcelain veneers, bridges and inlays.
Advantages of dental bonding
Dental bonding comes with several advantages:
• It is cheaper than dental veneers and crowns. Today, many people want to improve their smiles but the dental procedures that are commonly available are too expensive – dental veneers, for example, can cost thousands of dollars while dental bonding will only cost a few hundred.
• Dental bonding is one of the fastest dental procedures that you can get time. Typically it takes between half an hour to one hour to complete a tooth and you only need one visit to your dentist. It is the perfect procedure for people who are short of time.
• Dental bonding is easy to do – there is no need for anesthesia and the dentist only needs to file off a bit of the tooth surface.
• Dental bonding stops the spread of dental cavities and leads to better oral health. It also helps strengthen teeth that may have been weakened by decay.
• Dental bonding helps you improve your smile instantly.
Are there disadvantages of dental bonding?
There are two main ones: the first is that the resin that is used for the procedure is not as strong as the material that makes up your teeth. Chewing on your nails or on a pen can chip the resin. The second is that bonding needs to be redone every few years because the resin wears off. That said, because it is a cheap procedure this is a disadvantage that many people are happy to live with.
Before and after dental bonding
Unlike many other dental procedures where you have to prepare, there isn’t much that you need to do before you get dental bonding done. The only thing you need to do is visit your dentist for an examination so that he can determine whether or not you are a good candidate for the procedure. He may need to take some x-rays. Together you will also choose the shade of your new tooth.
After the procedure is done there are some things that you need to do:
• Brush, floss and use mouthwash at least twice a day.
• See your dentist twice a year for your bonds to be inspected and also so that he can examine the rest of your teeth.
• Drink water after meals – it helps flush down food particles that may lead to tooth decay.
• Cut down on coffee, red wine and cigarettes – they will stain your teeth.
• Avid chewing on hard times as they may damage your bonds.
• If you feel sharp edges or your bite doesn’t feel right you should see your dentist – he will reshape the tooth.
How much does dental bonding cost?
The cost of this procedure varies from dentist to dentist. You should compare two or more dentists before you settle on one. It may not be a good idea to go with the cheapest – find out the quality of their work first.