Cosmetic dental bonding can quickly improve the look of a tooth without putting a hole in your wallet. It is considered among the least expensive and easiest cosmetic dentistry solutions.
Dental bonding is often used to repair cracks, chips, and flaws in a tooth, as well as make cosmetic corrections, such as masking a discolored tooth. Cosmetic dentist Kenneth W. Coffey in Orland Park finds cosmetic dental bonding helps his patients improve their smiles and avoid more costly procedures.
The first step in cosmetic dental bonding is preparing the tooth by roughing up the surface with an etching solution. Then, using a shade guide, a resin color will be selected to match the color of your tooth. The putty-like bonding resin is then applied to the tooth, molded, and smoothed into the desired shape. After shaping, the resin is hardened using an ultraviolet light or laser. The hardened resin will get a final shaping before it is polished.
Dental Bonding Uses
Dental bonding is ideally suited for small, cosmetic changes. It is often an option:
- To repair a chipped or cracked tooth.
- To whiten a discolored tooth.
- To close gaps between teeth.
- To make teeth look longer.
- To change the shape of a tooth.
- To fill cavities.
- To protect a tooth root exposed by gum recession.
Dental Bonding Advantages
Dental bonding is convenient, fast, and affordable, making it a good option for all budgets. Among the advantages:
- Cost. Dental bonding is less expensive than porcelain veneers, another popular cosmetic dentistry option. In addition, many dental insurance plans cover some bonding costs, particularly when bonding is required for a structural issue or a cavity.
- Speed. Dental bonding usually requires only one appointment of 30 to 60 minutes. If you have several teeth that need treatment, you may need more than one appointment.
- Easy. In most cases, anesthesia is not needed. However, if bonding is needed for a decayed tooth, the area may be first numbed for your comfort.
There are some disadvantages with bonding. Unlike porcelain veneers, which are very stain resistant, dental bonding can eventually stain. Over time, coffee, tea, red wine, and smoking will discolor the bonding material.
In addition, the bonding material, though durable, is not as durable as porcelain veneers. It can chip. With proper care, however, dental bonding should last from three to seven years, perhaps up to 10 years.
Caring for Dental Bonding
In general, dental bonding should be cared for just as you would care for your teeth. You should brush two times a day, floss daily, and get regular cleanings at your dentist’s office. However, to prolong its lifespan, you can take a few extra precautions:
- Avoid, or cut down, on drinking coffee, tea, and red wine.
- Stop smoking. This will avoid stains on your teeth as well as reduce your risk of gum disease and oral cancer.
- Do not use your teeth as tools, such as using them to open packages.
- Do not bite hard objects, such as fingernails, ice, and pencils.
If you would like to know if dental bonding can improve the look of your problem tooth, please schedule an appointment. We can assess the issue and explain treatments that will improve both your smile and oral health.