What is teeth bonding
Teeth bonding also called dental bonding, is a process where the dentist attaches or bonds tooth-colored composite material (resin) directly to your damaged tooth or teeth in order to change the color and shape. Before the bonding process, your dentist will carefully choose the color and shade of the composite that closely matches your surrounding teeth. Your dentist will continue to reshape and prepare your tooth. After reshaping, your tooth will be coated with a liquid that helps the bonding composite adhere. Next, your dentist will apply the resin (a putty-like material) and use a special light for the material to harden (or bond) to your tooth surface. Finally, the closing trimming and polishing will give your smile a perfect look. The whole process typically lasts about an hour.
While dental bonding can be used for different purposes, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, tooth bonding is most useful for repairing chipped teeth. That’s because the bonding materials (high-density, modern plastics called composite resin) and porcelain used are natural in color, and allows for a finished product that closely matches your surrounding teeth, making it difficult to discern there ever was a broken tooth. However, if the damaged area is larger or more severe, you may need other restorative treatments such as crowns or veneers. Dental bonding is much simpler and can fix minor gaps, chips or stains.
Dental bonding for front and back tooth has proven to be beneficial if you need to improve:
- gapped teeth
- misshapen or cracked teeth
- damaged or decayed tooth.
- sensitive teeth
- stained teeth
In general, dental bonding provides a great solution for cosmetic improvement.
Dental bonding is a comparable alternative to dental veneers and ideal for young patients looking for a less permanent option for improving the aesthetics of their smile. Dental bonding is typically more cost-effective than dental veneers for patients looking to treat cosmetic concerns on a budget. Dental bonding requires less tooth enamel removal than porcelain veneers. Dental bonding allows patients to revisit their cosmetic concern at a later date when they are ready for a permanent dental veneer.
Transitional bonding is used for anything from a mock-up to a full-mouth rehabilitation. It’s called transitional because it allows the patient to transition into more permanent dentistry as he or she can afford, or as the treatment sequence demands, and it allows the dentist time to work out any bite-related and aesthetic issues. Transitional bonding is an important tool in the skill set of an accomplished cosmetic dentist.
Does teeth bonding hurt?
When you have dental bonding done, your tooth needs to be slightly prepared. In general, the treatment is quite simple and does not require anesthesia. However, some patients are extremely sensitive to dental tools. In such case, your dentist can suggest to numb the area so that you feel comfortable and at ease during the whole process.
How long does dental bonding last?
Dental bonding could last anywhere between 5 and 10 years, depending on your bite, oral home care, etc. Dental bonding may not be as long-lasting as a crown, for example. However, with good regular hygiene and proper care of your teeth, bonding can last for many years. As with all restorative treatments, after the bonding procedure you should avoid biting on hard foods or anything that can break the composite material adhered to your tooth. If you grind your teeth at night, consider wearing a night guard to prevent cracks or fractures. Also, right after the bonding treatment, avoid drinking tea or coffee, as these can stain the composite material.
How often should my dentist check my dental bondings?
As a general rule, visit your dentist every six months and you will make sure your dental bonding does not need replacement.
Should I choose porcelain veneers or dental bonding?
Here are three areas to consider:
- Cost: Veneers are made from porcelain and will usually cost more than the material used for bonding teeth. Since Veneers are permanent they can save you money over time compared to bonding which may break or will have to be replaced eventually. If you want to cover stains that are not helped by professional teeth whitening, veneers are often the chosen solution. Dental bonding will work better to repair chips or gaps.
- Appearance: Both veneers and bonding are made to blend in with the color of your surrounding teeth. Veneers, however, are stain-resistant unlike the bonding resin which may darken over time. Cosmetic bonding is more useful for chipped or damaged teeth since it can be shaped like clay to fit your tooth.
- Durability: Dental veneers are made for permanence, lasting 10 to 25 years. While they are not invincible, porcelain is more durable than the dental bonding resin. Again, depending on what your teeth need, bonding is still a strong material that can be used for repairing teeth.
- Goals: Depending on the correction you want to make; a combination of dental bonding and veneers may be the best option. If you are looking for whiter teeth, try professional teeth whitening first. If you are not satisfied with the results, veneers may be the next best option for you.
Teeth bonding pros and cons
Teeth bonding benefits
Because dental bonding is a very simple procedure, it is one of the easiest and least expensive cosmetic treatments available. Bonding can repair a broken or chipped tooth or close gaps between teeth without the need for lengthy orthodontic treatments. Typically your American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry certified dentist can use dental bonding to improve the appearance of your smile in just one visit to the dentist office. Dental bonding can also be altered and patients are able to choose a more permanent cosmetic restoration in the future.
Here are some of its main benefits of teeth bonding:
- Requires less removal of tooth enamel
- Repairs damaged or broken teeth
- Can close gaps in teeth
- Durable, lasting material
- Can be molded and color matched to adjacent teeth
- Natural looking results
- Can be altered in the future
- Ideal for developing smiles
- Teeth bonding normally takes just one office visit.
- The cost of tooth bonding is relatively low
- It is painless and does not require anesthesia.
- After the bonding treatment, your teeth will be stronger and your smile brighter.
Tooth bonding is a popular treatment option because it provides a successful attachment between the filling material and the tooth’s original enamel and dentin. It looks like the original tooth and functions like it as well.
Direct composite bonding is used to recreate a smile in an additive manner, where little or no tooth reduction is needed. Direct bonding, in the hands of a skilled operator, is less costly than porcelain veneers and dental crowns and can be long-lasting with proper maintenance.
Teeth bonding cons
Dental bonding may need to be treated or replaced at a future date (though it will typically last for many years before any replacement is needed).
Some drawbacks of tooth bonding include:
- Dental bonding is not stain-resistant. Risk of staining – tea, coffee, cigarette smoke and other substances can stain the resin material.
- Less strength – The resin is not as strong as your natural tooth enamel. Therefore, it can chip and break off. So you should avoid biting your fingernails; chewing on ice or other hard substances; or using your bonded teeth as an opener.
- Limited lifespan – Depending on your oral habits, bonding typically lasts a few years before repair or replacement is needed. The average shelf-life of dental bonding ranges between three to seven years.
- Less durable. The material used for teeth bonding is a special type of plastic called composite resin. Although it is a strong material, it is not as durable as your natural teeth enamel. In fact, porcelain veneers and crowns are much more durable compared to the bonding material used for this treatment.