Cosmetic bonding, often called resin bonding, is when a tooth colored resin is bonded to your teeth, then sculpted into proper shape. The resin is a composite of liquid acrylic and tiny particles of glass. The composite resin forms a durable, stain resistant surface that can be polished to mimic the texture of your natural teeth.
In the past, if your tooth was chipped, stained, or cracked, you would probably receive a crown. Today, bonding is a quick and easy solution for many of these problems. The procedure is relatively inexpensive, and it should last for several years. The shape and/or color of teeth can be changed in a relatively short time, influencing the patient’s smile significantly.
While bonding is a wonderful technique, it will not solve all restorative dental problems. Where a large portion of the tooth surface is damaged, a veneer or a crown may be more advisable. Also, crowns can be placed if there is gross need for change in tooth shape or color. If only tooth color change is needed, bleaching is another alternative to bonding.
Bonding offers a new treatment option for dental problems. Best of all, it is conservative, inexpensive, and easily attained. If you don’t like your teeth, cosmetic bonding may be for you!
Uses for bonding
Whether or not bonding is a good choice for you depends on the size and part of your tooth that needs restoration. However, bonding provides simple and effective solutions for teeth that are:
- Broken or chipped
- Discolored or stained
- Malformed or crooked
- Worn or abraded
- Cracked or pitted
- idly spaced or uneven
In addition to the above examples, bonding can also restore cavities in front and back teeth, replace old or unattractive ‘silver fillings’, and repair root abrasions, to help prevent cavities and root sensitivity.
Most of the times is completed without local anesthetic or tooth preparation. In most cases, bonding requires only one visit to the dentist.
To bond a tooth, the surface of the tooth is etched with a mild acidic solution. This creates micropores (tiny crevices in the enamel), making the tooth more porous and receptive to the plastic bonding material. Next, the soft, pliable resin is spread over the tooth in layers. A bright beam of light locks the resins onto the tooth surface. Each layer hardens in seconds. After the last coat has been applied and hardened, the bonded material is shaped and polished.
The resin comes in many shades. Your dentist will match the resin to the shade of your natural teeth.
You should know:
- Upkeep required: bonded teeth need upkeep from time to time, including smoothing to remove stains and/or addition of small pieces of the bonded plastic that may may have chipped away from the tooth.
- Eventual replacement :the acrylic materials used in bonding do not last as long as your typical crown and most likely will have to be replaced within 2-5 years.
- Possible discoloration: bonded teeth are more susceptible to stains than your natural teeth. Smoking cigarettes, drinking tea or coffee, and even eating blueberries may cause some discoloration.
- Potential risks: chronic gum irritation and occasional dental caries (decay) around the bonding materials on the tooth occur in a few patients.
The greatest things about bonding are:
- Appearance: the most obvious advantage is aesthetics. Available in a variety of colors and special shades, cosmetic bonding can be made to look as natural and pleasing as your own tooth.
- Strength: cosmetic bonding, although not as strong as ‘silver fillings’, produces a filling that supports a tooth, making it less likely to break. Unlike “silver fillings” that depend on undercuts to hold them in place, bonding adheres to the tooth itself.
- Tooth conservation: in cosmetic bonding only a small amount of natural tooth structure, if any, is removed.
- Reduced anesthesia required: bonding usually does not require anesthesia unless decay is present. Your teeth can be restored with little or no discomfort.
- Reduced time: cosmetic bonding is fast. The results are immediate and it can usually be completed in one appointment.
- Economics: by performing bonding (which is less expensive than full crowns or veneers) you save on dental bills over the long term
Whether your damaged teeth are a result of decay, dark fillings, a swinging door, or a bicycle mishap, bonding can give you something to smile about!
Psychologists have proven that a beautiful smile enhances your personal appearance and improves your self confidence. Remember your smile is often the first thing people notice about you and the last thing they forget!