A great smile is one of our biggest confidence boosters. However, when something like a chipped tooth, decayed, discolored, or fractured tooth happens, most people shy away from smiling or are self-conscious of their smiles. This does not have to happen. There is a simple yet effective procedure that can help repair these kinds of problems with your teeth. A method called bonding is recommended if one has such challenges with their teeth. It involves the application of a resin material, colored according to your regular teeth on the problem tooth, to increase its appearance.

This procedure will get your tooth or teeth back to their original color and improve their shape giving you the confidence that you need. For this procedure to be effective, however, you need a qualified and experienced dentist to perform it. At Encino Dentist, we have years of experience in providing bonding services to our clients.

Understanding Bonding and its Use

Bonding involves applying a plastic composite on a tooth that is chipped, decayed, or discolored. It is usually made in the color of your teeth to maintain a natural-looking smile. It is made in a laboratory after mold has been taken that precisely fit your teeth. The procedure is fast and done during one visit. The material is made to bond to the existing tooth getting its name from there.

Of all dental cosmetic procedures, bonding is one of the easiest and less expensive of them. The resin is typically made in shape and color that matches your other teeth. This procedure is mostly used to improve your chipped or discolored teeth. For persons with considerable spaces between their teeth, the procedure is used to narrow down those spaces and give a more natural look. Bonding can also be used to lengthen your teeth if they are short, improving their aesthetic beauty. There are many ways bonding is used with regard to your teeth. Some of the ways bonding is used include:

  • Repairing cracked or chipped teeth
  • As cavity fillers and repairing decayed teeth
  • Improving the beauty of discolored teeth
  • To close gaps found between teeth
  • To enhance the appearance of teeth by making them look longer
  • To improve your teeth’s shape
  • Bonding can be used in place of amalgam fillings
  • To protect the roots of teeth where due to recession of the gums, the roots are exposed

Preparing for Tooth Bonding

Not much preparation is required before the dental bonding procedure is carried out. When the procedure is needed as filler for a decayed tooth, anesthesia is used to numb the area from pain. Filling of a tooth requires drilling and sometimes reaches near a nerve. This can be painful for the patient undergoing the procedure, making it necessary to use anesthesia. For other procedures, however, nothing is needed in preparation for bonding.

The process of tooth bonding is relatively straight forward. The dentist roughens the tooth surface and applies a liquid for conditioning the tooth. This conditioning liquid and roughening of the tooth surface help composite resin stick to the tooth better. After the conditioning, the resin, which is similar to putty, is applied to the tooth. It is then molded and smoothed to the shape and size that is desired.

Next, a bright light that is usually blue in color or laser light is used to toughen or harden the resin on your tooth. Once it has reached the desired hardness, the dentist will shape it by trimming and polishing it to resemble your other teeth so that it has a natural look. The process of bonding, as earlier said, is simple and takes a short time to complete. Typically, to bond a single tooth and polish it, it takes a dentist between thirty minutes and one hour. When you need several teeth to be bonded, it will require several visits as you agree with your dentist.

After completion, your dentist will advise you against taking foods or beverages that can stain the resin material in the first 48 hours following the procedure. Drinks like red wine, coffee, or tea usually stain your teeth, and using them after the bonding procedure can stain the resin too. Smoking is also known to stain teeth. Avoid smoking until 48 hours are passed from when the bonding was done.

Risks of Bonding

Although the procedure improves how your teeth appear, the material used in bonding is not as durable as your natural teeth. This means that the teeth will be more delicate, and biting some things such as your nails, pens, or ice can cause the tooth to chip again.

With proper care, however, bonding can last for a few years before it requires repair. The actual lifespan of the bonding largely depends on how much of it was done. Additionally, your oral hygiene or routine is also a determinant. This procedure, although comfortable, it may not be recommended for children. This is because children tend to bite things carelessly and will keep needing repair because of the frequent chipping.

After the procedure, it is essential to monitor your teeth or the tooth that was bonded. If you realize sharp edges on the tooth or feel strange when you bite, schedule another visit with your dentist.

Advantages of Tooth Bonding

Bonding is recommended as a cosmetic dental procedure because of the following reasons that are the advantages of the method. These are:

  • It is one of the easiest and less expensive dental cosmetic procedures. On average, bonding for a single tooth will cost between $300 and $600. Many insurance plans also cover this procedure, especially when it is for structural purposes such as filling a cavity.
  • Compared to crowns and veneers that take longer to manufacture, bonding is done in the office and takes a relatively short amount of time where one tooth is concerned. Usually, to bond one tooth, it takes an average of thirty to sixty minutes.
  • The procedure can be used to fill unnecessary gaps between your teeth giving you beautifully aligned teeth
  • It requires removal of tiny teeth enamel compared to crowns or veneers
  • In most cases, anesthesia is not required unless the procedure is being performed on a decayed tooth.
  • It enhances the appearance of your teeth by improving their color, shape, and beauty.

Disadvantages of Teeth Bonding

Even with the numerous advantages, teeth bonding has its drawbacks as well. Some of these are:

  • The material used for bonding gets stained over time compared to that used for crowns
  • The material does not last very long compared to crowns that can last for up to 25 years
  • The bonding material is not as durable as natural teeth and can chip easily incase one bite a hard item

Because of the limitations of this procedure, some dentists will recommend it for minimal cosmetic changes. These may include correcting some cosmetic defects temporarily or correcting teeth in areas that do not require high bite pressure, such as front teeth.

Caring for Your Bonded Teeth

There is no particular kind of care required for bonded teeth. However, you must maintain a healthy routine for your dental hygiene. Ensure to floss at least once and brush twice a day, if not more. After cleaning, rinse your mouth using an antiseptic mouth rinse. Ensure to maintain regular visits to your dentist as you would when your teeth are not bonded.

When you take foods or drinks that you would stain the bonding material, ensure to brush your teeth as soon as possible. For brushing, avoid hard-bristled toothbrush that can aggravate your gum and destroy your enamel as well as the bond. Additionally, avoid habits that would stain the bonding material such as smoking as well.

Because of the delicate nature of the bonding material, avoid biting on hard things that may cause it to chip. Habits that include chewing hard foods, biting nails, or pens, among other things, should be stopped. If you are the kind of person that grinds or clenches their teeth, you need to speak to your dentist to get a mouthguard. A mouth guard, especially at night, protects the bonding from cracking or splitting if excessive pressure is put on it.

In case you notice an abnormality with your bonded teeth such as sharp edges, schedule to see your dentist before it gets worse.

The Lifespan of the Bonding Material

As earlier stated, the amount of bonding done on teeth determines how long the bonding will last as well as your dental hygiene. However, bonding lasts typically between three and ten years before requiring repairs or replacement.

Who is the Ideal Candidate for Teeth Bonding?

Before you decide to settle for teeth bonding, it is essential that you visit your dentist and discuss the various options available for you. Your dentist will analyze your dental health and that of your teeth. Your teeth must be healthy to allow safe bonding.

In case you have minor discoloration on your teeth, your dentist may recommend another procedure, such as cleaning. Your dentist will also evaluate the cracks or chips of your teeth and determine if bonding is the right procedure to correct that would maintain the strength of your teeth.

Your dentist will also check to ensure that you have no oral diseases that will require treatment before the procedure commences. If your decayed tooth has an infection, you will be required to get it treated first before the filling is done.

Once the dentist confirms you are an ideal candidate for bonding, an appointment is scheduled where the procedure will be conducted. Teeth bonding is safe for persons of all ages. However, for younger children that may be careless with their teeth, especially what they bite, the procedure is not recommended.

Comparing Bonding and Veneers

We may want to compare bonding and veneers as one would compare oranges and apples. What this means is that bonding can be the best choice for one patient, while veneer can be for another. The idea is for a patient to undergo the procedure that best meets their goals. Some of the comparisons between bonding and veneer are:

  • Bonding can be reversed while it is impossible to change veneers
  • Bonding is typically completed during a single visit, while veneers take several weeks to be done.
  • Bonding is relatively less costly compared to veneers
  • Both bonding and veneer are ideal for filling gaps between teeth, cover discolored teeth, correct teeth that are shaped abnormally, seal cracks, and repair chips.
  • Booth veneers and bonding improve your smile by giving your teeth a brand new appearance
  • Both bonding and veneer last about ten years without showing signs of wearing out if taken care of well. Some veneers, however, can last longer.

Using Bonding with Other Treatments

Another advantage of bonding is that it can be used together with other treatments in dental cosmetics. For instance, if your teeth may be more discolored than you like, to brighten your smile, you can begin with a whitening treatment. Once your teeth are bright as you desire, you can do bonding that will restore chipped and cracked teeth as well as fill in the gaps.

If you feel your teeth are very short that when you smile is more of your gum that is seen than your teeth, you can have them lengthened. Laser gum contouring can be used together with bonding to increase the length of your teeth. After you get the desired length, you can use bonding to repair any teeth that may not have the desired shape.

Side Effects of Bonding

The procedure is reasonably safe and has no significant side effects. Sometimes, when the procedure is used to repair a chipped or cracked tooth, some patients may experience mild sensitivity afterward. However, you do not need to be alarmed by this or visit a dentist. After a few days, the sensitivity will go away, but avoid taking scorching, cold, or sweet foods.

On rare occasions, the resin material may not bond well or attach properly to teeth or a tooth. When this happens, the alteration is likely to fall off as you brush your teeth or as you chew. When this happens, schedule an appointment with your dentist for a replacement.

Find a Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

If you are uncomfortable and not pleased with your smile or how your teeth appear, you need to get in touch with a cosmetic dentist to discuss your options. Call Encino Dentist at 818-650-0429 to get your dental bonding needs met. With this treatment, you will save money and time while having a radiant smile that can last for years. Bonding is a simple procedure that will cover all your teeth imperfections and give you the confidence you desire.