How Tooth Bonding Can Improve Your Smile
Have you noticed some of your teeth are chipped or worn, or perhaps you have some fillings in your front teeth that are discolored and stained? These imperfections can mar an otherwise attractive smile, but the solution could be faster and more economical than you ever imagined. In fact, tooth bonding is one of the least expensive cosmetic dental procedures available in dental offices, yet it can make a considerable difference to your smile.
With dental bonding or tooth bonding, your smile could be rejuvenated in as little as one simple visit to McLoughlin Dental Care. Tooth bonding is a simple, effective and non-invasive procedure which at the same time can help to preserve and protect your natural teeth. So, what is it?
What Is Tooth Bonding?
Tooth bonding is a treatment which uses tooth-colored composite resin material to restore and repair teeth that are damaged or can cover up teeth which are discolored. A tooth bonding treatment may be suitable for mending teeth that are decayed or fractured as the material is bonded to teeth, helping to restore strength and structure to a tooth. You might also want to consider tooth bonding if you have unsightly spaces in between your teeth that you would prefer to close or minimize, or if you wish to change the shape of the tooth or its length. Tooth bonding is an excellent cosmetic alternative to having an amalgam filling, and this material can also be to protect a decayed tooth root which may have become exposed due to gum recession.
Composite resin is the same material which is used to mend cavities in teeth invisibly. It is a material that is very hard wearing, and which can look fantastic. It’s possible that you may not even need any dental anesthetic for this treatment, depending on the type of tooth preparation required. However, of course, if this treatment is being used to repair a decayed tooth, then you will almost certainly need anesthesia to keep you comfortable!
What Is the Procedure for Tooth Bonding?
Firstly, you will need to schedule an appointment with our dentist Dr. Donald Nimz so he can carefully assess your teeth to see if this is the best treatment for your dental health and your smile. Next, Dr. Nimz will take the shade of the tooth to be treated so he can choose a matching shade of composite resin. We keep a huge selection of different shades in stock and if needed Dr. Nimz will use a combination of colors to ensure he achieves a perfect match to your natural tooth.
The next step is to prepare your tooth which is done by lightly abrading or etching the surface of the tooth by painting with a special liquid. It is important to etch the tooth surface because this slightly roughens it, enabling the composite resin to bond strongly to your tooth. Once the etching liquid has been washed off, and the tooth is dried, a conditioning liquid is painted onto the tooth in preparation for the bonding process.
The composite resin is gradually applied to the tooth surface in tiny increments or sections. Dr. Nimz will use ultraviolet light to harden the bonding material at regular intervals. Once all the material is in place, it is hardened one last time and can then be carefully trimmed and shaped. The final stage is for the bonding material to be gently polished. Polishing composite resin creates a very natural looking luster that will match the sheen of a natural tooth. By the time the process is completed, your bonded tooth should look more cosmetically appealing, creating a subtle yet noticeable difference to your smile.
How Long Does Tooth Bonding Last?
Tooth bonding is a process that will last for several years, but eventually, the bonding material will discolor slightly. To minimize the risk of staining, it can be helpful to cut down on your consumption of tea and coffee, and other foods and beverages that may stain the composite resin. If you smoke, then this will discolor the composite resin more quickly, but quitting will help to preserve your smile, and it’ll help your dental health! Another thing that can help a lot is to make sure you brush and floss your teeth regularly and be sure to visit our dental practice for regular appointments with our hygienist. Having your teeth professionally cleaned is a great way to remove some surface staining while helping to protect your oral health. Habits that may harm teeth that have been bonded include biting your nails, chewing on pens or pencils or chewing on ice cubes. If a habit is likely to harm your natural teeth, then it will almost certainly damage any teeth that have been bonded and so it is best avoided.
Combining Teeth Bonding with Tooth Recontouring
Tooth bonding can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with other procedures. One procedure that is frequently used in conjunction with tooth bonding is tooth recontouring, a process where a tiny amount of tooth enamel is gently sanded and smoothed away to give a tooth more appealing profile. Tooth recontouring can be useful if you have a tooth that is only slightly overlapping another. It doesn’t harm the tooth, and once the enamel is removed, then the tooth is gently polished. Tooth recontouring is another subtle, non-invasive and cost-effective treatment that can help to create a noticeable difference in the appearance of your smile.
Is Tooth Bonding Always Appropriate?
Tooth bonding is an excellent treatment that is suitable for a wide range of situations. However, some people with more severely discolored teeth or who have teeth that are quite severely chipped may benefit from a different treatment like porcelain veneers. A porcelain veneer is stronger and longer-lasting than composite resin, but it is more expensive and the process to place a porcelain veneer is more invasive and requires more substantial tooth preparation. Some people may initially choose to use tooth bonding as a transitional treatment while they decide whether to opt for veneers at a later date.
If you are interested in tooth bonding, then it’s best to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nimz. He can examine your teeth and can discuss if tooth bonding is the most appropriate treatment that will provide the outcome you desire.