If small cosmetic flaws like chipped or stained teeth are affecting your confidence in your smile, you may be a good candidate for dental bonding. This simple procedure can be a quick and cost-effective alternative to getting a new crown, braces or porcelain veneers. It’s also a way to fill cavities caused by tooth decay to keep your smile healthy.
So What Is It?
Dental bonding, also known as teeth bonding, is a procedure in which your dentist will use a durable resin to shape and repair your teeth. It can help with common problems such as:
- Chipped teeth
- Tooth stains
- Mildly crooked teeth
- Small gaps between teeth
- A tooth that’s too short or doesn’t line up with your other teeth correctly
- Dental cavities
- A partially exposed tooth root caused by receding gums
Getting your teeth bonded is usually fairly easy. The process only takes a few steps:
- First, your dentist will match the resin to the natural color of your teeth to make sure it will blend in and create a seamless appearance.
- Next, your dentist will roughen the surface of the tooth and apply a liquid bonding agent to keep the resin in place.
- Once the bonding agent is ready, your dentist will apply the resin and mold it to create the right shape for your tooth.
- Finally, your dentist will use an ultraviolet light to harden the resin. If necessary, they will do some additional shaping of the tooth after the resin is dry.
In most cases, the entire procedure only takes 30 minutes to an hour per tooth and is relatively comfortable and painless. If you’re not getting a cavity filled, you may not even need anesthesia. Plus, bonding usually doesn’t require multiple dentist appointments or follow-up care.
Pros and Cons to Consider
Trying to decide if teeth bonding is the right solution for you? There are a few factors to take into consideration. First, let’s go over the advantages compared to other dental procedures that can correct flaws in your smile. Dental bonding:
- Costs less than new crowns, veneers or braces.
- Can usually be completed in one appointment.
- Preserves almost all of the original tooth.
- Creates aesthetically pleasing, perfectly shaped teeth.
However, it may not be the most effective treatment for everyone, especially if you have more severe issues that need to be corrected. The potential disadvantages to be aware of include:
- Resin is not as long-lasting as crowns or porcelain veneers, although it can last up to 10 years with proper care.
- Resin is not as stain resistant as other materials. Dentists recommend that you avoid drinking coffee or smoking for 2 days after a dental bonding procedure to reduce the risk of stains.
Dental bonding is most commonly recommended as a solution for relatively minor chips, stains and other cosmetic flaws. If you’re not sure whether it’s the best choice for you, your dentist can give you more information about all of your treatment options.
Caring for Your Bonded Teeth
When you take good care of your teeth, their bonding will last longer, and you’ll be less likely to need an appointment to restore it down the road. It’s important to:
- Practice good dental hygiene like brushing your teeth and flossing twice a day.
- Avoid biting your nails or chewing on things like ice, pens or pencils.
- Watch your intake of coffee, tea and tobacco to avoid staining.
- Be careful about eating hard candies or other hard foods.
If you ever notice issues with your teeth like sharp edges or difficulty biting down, it may be a sign that your bonding has chipped. Be sure to make an appointment with your dentist so they can correct the issue.
Don’t let stains or chipped teeth make you feel shy about showing off your smile. Talk to your dentist about whether dental bonding is the right choice for you.
At LifeSmiles by Randy Mitchmore, DDS, we have the experience and technical expertise to offer a wide range of treatments in a relaxed, anxiety-free environment. Whether you need a quick solution for a chipped tooth or a complete smile makeover, we’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.