If you have chipped or cracked teeth, stained teeth, spaces between your teeth, or teeth of different lengths preventing you from having the happy, confident smile you desire, dental bonding might be right for you. Allow Lincoln Smiles to provide an overview of bonding as well as what to expect of the process.
What is Dental Bonding?
Bonding is a minimally invasive procedure used to provide cosmetic improvements to your mouth and smile. A tooth-colored composite resin is applied to the tooth and molded to its desired shape. This process repairs chipped, cracked, or fractured teeth; fixes decayed teeth; and can be used to protect roots exposed due to receding gums.
Many patients prefer dental bonding over other options that serve the same general purpose, such as veneers or crowns, due to its simplicity as well as the smaller price tag attached. Other advantages of bonding over other treatments include a relatively quick process, little to no recovery time, and less enamel removal than with other procedures. Also, dental bonding can usually be completed in one 30-60 minute appointment unless multiple teeth need treatment.
There are certainly drawbacks to bonding as well. For example, the composite resin used in bonding is weaker than your natural teeth. In fact, it is weaker than crowns and veneers as well, and is more prone to chipping, breaking, and staining.
What Can I Expect of the Dental Bonding Process?
There is little preparation needed for the bonding process, as anesthesia is typically not necessary unless we are filling a decayed tooth, changing the shape of a tooth, or the damage is close to the nerve. We begin by choosing the resin shade that most closely matches your natural teeth. Next, the area is prepared by etching the surface of the tooth and applying a conditioning agent to assist the bonding resin in adhering to it. We then apply the putty-like material to the tooth and mold, smooth, and shape it into place. After that, we will use a special light to harden and bond the material to the tooth, followed by a final trim to shape it and a polish to make it appear more natural. Patients are usually able to return to their normal daily routine immediately following the procedure.
While dental bonding can last anywhere from 3 to 10 years before needing to be repaired or replaced depending on the location of the tooth treated as well as the specific part of the tooth treated, other factors can significantly extend or reduce the lifespan of the bonding process.
As in any case, good oral hygiene practices go a long way in preserving dental bonding. Be sure to brush twice a day, floss daily, and attend routine dental examinations and cleanings. Avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods and don’t bite your nails or use your teeth to open things as these activities can damage bonded teeth. Also, avoid food and beverages that tend to stain, such as coffee, soda, and wine.
Contact us if you notice sharp edges on the treated area, or if it chips, cracks, or is otherwise damaged or doesn’t feel right.
You have many options to attain a bright, healthy smile that you are happy to show off. Let Lincoln Smiles help you determine if dental bonding is right for you. Call us at 916-543-8800 today to schedule an appointment.