When you smile, the one thing you don’t want to show is your teeth. Although you try to take good care of them, you may feel they aren’t as white as you want them to be. You may also dislike that annoying gap between your top front teeth. One tooth might even have a noticeable chip.
To you, your teeth look dingy and uneven. You’ve tried home whitening kits, but they are cumbersome and time-consuming. And there’s no home remedy for the gap between your teeth or that chip in your tooth.
Cosmetic dentistry is something you’ve considered. Your neighbor had dental bonding done to her teeth and they look great. It might be an option, but you know nothing about it.
Here are a few tips on what you should know about dental bonding.
What is Dental Bonding and What is it Used for?
Dental bonding is a procedure that is performed by your dentist. A composite resin, a plastic-like material, is applied to your teeth and hardened with a special light. The resin can be molded to what-ever shape is needed to repair or restore your teeth. The color can be matched to your natural teeth to blend in and give your mouth a consistent look.
With its ability to match the color of your natural teeth, dental bonding can be used to replace unattractive amalgam fillings in old cavities, and also to improve the appearance of discolored teeth. The composite resin can fill chips and cracks in tooth enamel and close-up gaps between teeth.
If a portion of the root of a tooth is exposed due to a receding gum line, dental bonding can be used to protect the exposed root. Dental bonding can also be used to lengthen or shape a tooth to even out the bite to match the surrounding teeth.
The Dental Bonding Procedure
The procedure for dental bonding is one of the least expensive and quickest of cosmetic dentistry. Generally there is no need for anesthesia, unless the procedure requires drilling for a cavity or is near the exposed root of a tooth. Dental bonding can take approximately from 30 to 60 minutes.
The first step in the dental bonding procedure is to choose a color for the composite resin to match your natural teeth. Once your dentist finds the perfect match, your he or she will roughen or etch the enamel of the tooth to be bonded. Then a conditioning liquid is put on the area of the tooth that the dental bond will adhere to. The composite resin will then be placed on the tooth so it can be molded and contoured to the desired shape and size. A special ultra-violet light or laser will be used to harden the resin. Once the resin is hardened, your dentist will smooth and polish the tooth to make sure there are no sharp edges and to match the surface of the surrounding teeth.
Dental Bonding is a Permanent Procedure
Once dental bonding is completed it can’t be reversed. This is due to the roughening and etching of the tooth enamel. The dental bonding on the tooth should last approximately two to ten years, depending on where the bonding is in the mouth and overall daily use. Over time, with regular use, the dental bond may become chipped or crack and will need to be replaced.
Dental bonding is usually considered a cosmetic procedure. This is anything done to the teeth and gums to only improve their appearance. Cosmetic dental procedures are generally not covered by dental insurance.
Out-of-pocket expenses for dental bonding varies. After a thorough examination your dentist can give you an estimate on what the cost of dental bonding would be for your individual needs.
Caring for your Dental Bonding
Caring for your dental bonding is as easy as caring for your own teeth, although there are a few differences.
The first few days after your dental bonding procedure the resin can stain easily. Try to avoid drinking coffee or tea, and, if possible, refrain from smoking. In general, your dental bonding isn’t as strong as your natural teeth. Take care when biting and chewing, and be especially careful not to bite your nails, chew on ice, or other hard substances.
A dental office experienced in dental bonding, such as Aesthetic Family Dentistry in Phoenix, Arizona, can explain to you what you should know about dental bonding and help you make the best decision for your oral health needs.