Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure in which tooth-colored resin material is applied to your teeth. It is generally the most affordable treatment option for any patient with chipped, cracked or damaged teeth. The treatment is meant to improve your smile and the appearance of your teeth which are chipped, cracked, broken, stained or have any spaces between them.
Since it is painless and can be completed in one or two visits, dental bonding is generally the most popular restorative treatment option for adults. The procedure is also non-invasive which means almost all patients can go for this treatment, including children who have chipped or damaged teeth.
People undergo dental bonding treatment for treating a variety of different dental issues. They include:
- Fixing cracked, chipped and damaged teeth
- Changing the shape of the teeth
- Improving the appearance of discolored teeth
- Closing small gaps or spaces between teeth
- Filling a tooth cavity instead of using amalgam fillings
- Relieving pain from exposed tooth roots due to gum recession
Treatment options such as dental crowns and porcelain veneers are generally more expensive and more invasive as compared to bonding treatment.
Patients with few gaps between their teeth can skip aligners or braces and undergo bonding treatment. However, if the teeth misalignment is severe, then your dentist might recommend orthodontic treatment instead.
Though dental bonding doesn’t require any special preparation, it is important to consult your dentist to see if you are a candidate for the procedure.
It is noteworthy that you might not be a candidate if you are suffering from severe tooth damage or decay. In such cases, you might need to go for a dental crown or veneers.
Since it is considered a cosmetic procedure, insurance companies might not be covering the costs of the procedure.
Sedation is usually not required unless the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth. First, your dentist will use a shade guide for selecting a composite resin color that can match the color of your teeth.
Then the surface of the tooth will be roughened by your dentist, after which a conditioning liquid is applied. These procedures aid the bonding material to adhere to your tooth. Then the tooth-colored, putty-like resin is applied, molded and smoothed to the desired shape. Generally, blue bright light or laser is used to harden the material. Once it hardens, your dentist will need to trim and shape it even further, then polish it so that it can match the sheen of the rest of the tooth surface.
The procedure should take around 30 to 60 minutes per tooth. Due to the limitations of dental bonding, dentists generally view it as best suited for small cosmetic changes.
Aftercare & maintenance
Teeth having dental bonds are generally more susceptible to chips and stains as compared to other dental restorations. Additional oral care techniques are required, such as:
- Cutting down on red wine, tea, coffee as well as dark fruits as these can stain teeth or cause discoloration.
- For smokers, dentists recommend completely quitting. Smoking can also increase the risk of oral cancer as well as gum disease.
- Refrain from biting nails, chewing on any hard foods or objects, including raw carrots, ice cubes, pens or pencils
- If you clench or grind your teeth, then it is advisable to wear a protective night guard.
There are no major risks associated with dental bonding.
However, it is noteworthy that the composite resin which is used in the procedure is not as strong as natural teeth. Therefore, it is possible that the material might chip or separate from the real tooth. A bonded tooth might chip if you consume ice or chew on any hard objects or food.
Compared to other dental materials, the resin isn’t very stain-resistant. If you drink a lot of coffee or smoke, there might be some discoloration.