Tooth bonding is a cosmetic procedure that involves applying a tooth-colored composite to an imperfect tooth. The material is sculpted, hardened and polished. Bonding is a good option for repairing chipped or broken teeth or closing minor gaps between teeth. It can also be used to fill small cavities.
What Does Dental Bonding Involve?
First, the tooth surface is prepared for the bonding material. Then, the putty-like substance is applied to the treatment area and shaped. A curing light is used to hard and set the composite bond. Last, the restoration is buffed and polished for smooth, shiny finish.
Pros and Cons of Dental Bonding
The pros of dental bonding, include:
- Cost-effective: On average it costs less to apply to bond than it does dental crowns or veneers and some dental plans cover the restoration, especially when it is done to repair damage, ex. to fill a cavity.
- Fast: Bonding can be completed in a single visit. It takes about
- Dental bonding typically requires only one office visit. It takes about 20–60 minutes per tooth.
- Simple: No anesthesia is needed unless the bonding is be applied to repair a decayed tooth.
Cons of dental bonding include:
The composite material holds stains. Unlike less porous crowns and veneers, dental bonding is known for eventually becoming discolored. Substances like red wine, coffee, tea, and tobacco can stain the bonding material and make the restoration stand out amongst your natural teeth. To limit discoloration, avoid highly pigmented foods and drinks, for 24–48 hours after your bonding is placed. Continued tobacco use will lead to yellowing.
Dental bonds are less durable then crowns or veneers and tend not to last as long. It can chip easily, but with proper care, composite bonding can serve you well for 3–7 years.
When Dental Bonding is a Good Choice
Dental bonding is a good option for repairing minor cosmetic issues such as a discolored, cracked or chipped tooth, gaps between teeth, replacing visible metal fillings. It can also be used to recontour or reshape teeth.
Maintenance of Dental Bonding
Since dental bonding is more prone to chipping and staining that other types of cosmetic dentistry, diligent care is needed to keep your restoration looking beautiful and natural.
- Limit staining foods and beverages, like coffee, tea, and red wine.
- If you smoke, now is a good time to quit. In addition, smoking increases your risk for oral cancer and gum disease.
- Avoid biting or chewing on hard objects.
If necessary, tooth bonding can be replaced or repaired.
Although dental bonding isn’t the right solution for every situation, it can be an effective and affordable way to restore your smile.