There are a lot of dental procedures that can enhance your smile and dental bonding is one of the most common options. Many people are unfamiliar with the procedure until they experience a tooth that’s chipped, decayed or discolored. This is usually when they learn about the use of bonding as a way to restore a damaged tooth. It can be the perfect solution because it’s affordable and the process can be completed in a short amount of time.
How Does It Work?
Dental bonding uses a material called resin that’s matched to the color of your teeth to mask minor imperfections, such as chips, cracks, discoloration and small gaps between two teeth. But that’s not all. Bonding can also be used to change the shape of a tooth and to protect the root of a tooth. In many instances, the goal is to match a damaged tooth to the others in shape and color. Generally speaking, the procedure takes less than an hour for each tooth and it’s performed here in the dental office. The benefit of tooth bonding is two-fold in that it can serve a cosmetic purpose and it can also be used to fill cavities.
With the exception of bonding for the purpose of filling a decayed tooth, anesthesia is not required for the procedure because the process is simple and not at all invasive. One of the first steps is identifying the right shade of resin so that it’s a good match to your tooth. The process of applying the resin involves creating a rough surface and using a conditioning liquid that will help to ensure the bonding material adheres securely to your tooth. This process helps to keep it permanently in place.
Now it’s time to add the resin to your tooth. Once applied, your dentist will mold it into the shape that aligns with your other teeth. At that point, an ultraviolet laser or light is used in order to harden the resin. The next step is to complete any final trimming or shaping so that your tooth can be polished. This ensures that it matches the surface of your other teeth. Although it sounds like a lengthy process, as previously mentioned, it usually takes less than an hour for each tooth. This procedure can have a tremendous impact on your appearance, even though it doesn’t take a lot of time. In fact, you can resume your daily activities right after the procedure is completed.
How Long Does It Last?
When you have a tooth bonded, it’s a permanent solution and there is very little risk of the resin breaking off or falling out of your mouth. However, there is a chance that your tooth will require a touch up after five years or so. It may even need to be replaced, but every situation is unique and it depends on each person. After the procedure, you’ll follow the same dental care routine for all of your teeth. However, having good oral hygiene can reduce the chance of needing a new tooth bonding procedure.
Good dental care will consist of brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. You’ll also need to make sure that you have routine check-ups and teeth cleanings. This will give your dentist an opportunity to make sure everything is secure. In addition to proper oral hygiene, there are practical ways to avoid chipping the bonding material, such as not biting hard candy. If you have a habit of biting your fingernails, you’ll want to find a way to break the habit to maintain the integrity of the bonding material.
If you’re thinking about dental bonding and want to learn more about the process, we’re here to answer all of your questions and help you decide if it’s the right procedure for you.