Milwaukie Dentist

Have you ever wondered about having cosmetic dentistry but don’t want to spend too much time or money on procedures? Dental bonding could be a solution you’d like to consider. It is quicker to complete and less invasive than many other dental treatments and can create subtle yet noticeable improvements to the appearance of your smile.

What Is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is a treatment that uses composite resin, a tooth-colored resin material that is a type of plastic and which is designed to bond strongly to the tooth. Once applied to the tooth, it is hardened using a special light and is shaped and polished to provide a natural-looking appearance.

When to Consider Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is a treatment that can help improve the look of your teeth in all sorts of different circumstances. You might want to think about this treatment if you have teeth that are chipped and cracked, but which don’t need to be covered up entirely with a dental crown. The bonding material can cover teeth that are severely discolored, and which may not respond to conventional tooth whitening treatments, perhaps because the staining is internal. Do you have unsightly spaces in between your teeth? Dental bonding could help to close these spaces or at least to reduce them. Perhaps some teeth are worn or too short? This treatment can be used to lengthen teeth. Some people have one or two teeth that aren’t an ideal shape, and dental bonding can be used to change their appearance and to create a nicer and more cosmetically appealing shape. Dental bonding is also useful for protecting tooth roots that may have become exposed when gums recede.

An Alternative to Amalgam Fillings

Your dentist may have already used composite resin to repair your teeth. These days, it’s frequently the material of choice for repairing decayed teeth and filling small to medium-sized cavities. Instead of having silver-colored amalgam fillings, you can choose to have tooth-colored composite resin to repair and protect the tooth. Once in place, the resin is virtually invisible and looks just like a real tooth. Opting for tooth-colored fillings can eliminate dark patches created by amalgam restorations.

What Is the Procedure for Tooth Bonding?

When tooth bonding is used to cosmetically improve the appearance of your teeth, very little preparation is needed. It may not even be necessary to have a local anesthetic unless the tooth needs to be reshaped in any way by our dentist Dr. Donald Nimz. If the tooth shape does need to be changed or if a crack or chip is near to the tooth nerve, we will make sure you feel entirely comfortable during the procedure by numbing the tooth. The next stage is for Dr. Nimz to select the correct color of composite resin. Composite resin comes in a huge range of different shades, and there are even different translucencies, and we may use more than one shade to get a precise match with your natural tooth.

Once we have chosen the shade, we will prepare the surface of the tooth to ensure the composite resin bonds strongly to it. This is achieved by lightly etching the tooth surface to roughen it slightly before applying a conditioning liquid. The composite resin is a putty-like material and is gradually applied and molded onto the tooth. Usually, the material is hardened with a laser or blue light, and once it is all in place, it is shaped and carefully polished. Polishing the material creates a natural-looking sheen that matches the tooth surface.

What Are Some of the Main Advantages of Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is one of the least expensive and most straightforward cosmetic dental treatments as it can be completed chairside, often in a single visit unless multiple teeth are to be treated. Another huge advantage is that treatment is minimally invasive, and very little tooth enamel is removed, or it may be unnecessary to change the shape of the tooth at all. Instead, it can protect teeth that are damaged, chipped, or which require a filling.

The material used to bond teeth is what’s called a biomimetic material, meaning it works harmoniously with natural teeth, closely mimicking nature. It’s advantageous because the composite resin bonds strongly to the tooth, and when used to fill a cavity will react in a way that is very similar to natural teeth. In comparison, amalgam fillings tend to flex when they contact hot and cold beverages or food, and over time, this can create microfractures in teeth, weakening them slightly. Also, composite resin helps to preserve more of the healthy tooth structure when used to fill teeth. Only the damaged portion of the tooth must be removed when the dentist prepares the cavity. When amalgam is used to fill a cavity, it’s often necessary to remove some healthy tooth structure as well, to ensure the cavity is the correct shape to hold the filling in place.

Dental bonding is perfect if you want to change the appearance of your smile relatively quickly and inexpensively. However, this procedure is best suited to making minor cosmetic changes. Also, composite resin will stain slightly over time, and it isn’t as durable as other materials such as porcelain, but with the proper care, these restorations should last several years before they need replacing.

How to Care for Bonded Teeth

Bonded teeth don’t require any special care, and you can look after them in the same way as the rest of your teeth. Just make sure you follow a good oral hygiene routine of brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once-a-day. Visiting us here at McLoughlin Dental Care for regular checkups and cleanings is also important. We can check the condition of any dental bonding and other restorations, and having your teeth cleaned professionally is a great way to preserve and protect them. Composite resin can chip, so it’s important to avoid practices such as chewing on ice or other hard objects or using your teeth to open packets. These practices are also inadvisable because they can chip your natural teeth too!

Discover if dental bonding is the right solution for you by scheduling a consultation with our dentist Dr. Don Nimz.