Are you looking for a quick and inexpensive way to reshape teeth, close gaps in your smile, and repair minor damage to chipped teeth? If so, then dental bonding is probably exactly what you had in mind. The procedure can be completed in just one visit, produces good results, and is a fraction of the cost of porcelain veneers. Although it does have some limitations, dental bonding is a great approach to many common cosmetic complaints.
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What Dental Bonding Can Do for You
Dental bonding is a versatile cosmetic dentistry procedure, capable of correcting many common complaints people have about their smiles. Some of the common uses include:
- Chipped teeth
- Small or poorly shaped teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Discolored Teeth
It is most commonly used to repair small chips in teeth, as well as being a tooth-colored filling material. It can also be used to build up small teeth to help them look longer and more attractive. This can include small teeth like peg laterals or retained baby teeth.
It can also be used if you have a gap between your teeth that you are hoping to eliminate without orthodontics. Your teeth are enlarged to fill the empty space.
Sometimes, it can be used as a way to brighten teeth that have been discolored as a result of intrinsic staining.
Benefits of Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is one of the more popular procedures in cosmetic dentistry because it offers many benefits. This includes:
- Little discomfort
- Good results
Dental bonding is popular primarily because it is significantly less expensive than other cosmetic treatments that can accomplish similar results. It costs a fraction of the cost of porcelain veneers or dental crowns.
It also has the benefit of being a relatively quick procedure. It can be completed in a single visit to the dentist, unlike veneers and crowns that typically require two visits to complete.
Because it usually requires minimal preparation to your teeth, there is little to no discomfort related to the procedure.
When the bonding material shade is properly selected and the bonding is shaped well and properly polished, it looks very much like natural tooth material.
How Dental Bonding Works
First, we will have a consultation to discuss your desired results. If we think that dental bonding can fulfill your cosmetic goals, we will perform the procedure.
The first step in the procedure is we will prepare your teeth. Usually, this just means roughing the tooth to improve the connection between the bonding material and your tooth. Dental bonding uses the same composite resin that is used for many tooth-colored fillings. This material starts as a putty that can be shaped once it is placed on your tooth. Once we have achieved the desired shape, we will shine a special light on the resin, causing it to harden. Then the resin is polished.
Limitations of Dental Bonding
Although bonding is a good cosmetic dentistry procedure, it’s not ideal for every situation because of its limitations, such as:
- Less natural results
- Low strength
- Susceptibility to staining
- Short lifetime
Although dental bonding looks good, it generally does not give results as naturalistic as porcelain veneers and other ceramic restorations. This is especially true once the restoration loses its polish.
Dental bonding is less strong than advanced ceramic restorations like veneers. This means it may be less suitable for use in applications where the tooth needs to be built up significantly.
It is also susceptible to staining. The bonding material can be infiltrated by staining molecules.
Between wear and staining, dental bonding doesn’t last as long as ceramic restorations like veneers. While veneers can last ten or twenty years, we typically expect dental bonding to last 3-5 years.
Choose Your Dentist Carefully
Another important limitation of dental bonding is that it depends on your dentist’s ability to create an attractive shape when expanding on or repairing your tooth. This applies whether you’re trying to close a gap, repair a chip, or build up a small tooth.
Before you agree to a dental bonding procedure, make sure you’ve seen other bonding work by your cosmetic dentist.
Cosmetic dentist Dr. Nelson Clements is highly skilled in dental bonding and other cosmetic dentistry procedures. During your consultation, we can share many examples of our ability to create beautiful smiles with bonding.