The tooth bonding procedure utilizes a composite resin and is used for a variety of structural as well as cosmetic purposes. One can draw a parallel between tooth bonding materials and a sculptor”s clay. By using dental composite resin bonding your dentist can restore chipped or broken teeth, fill in gaps and reshape or recolor your smile.
“Today bonding can be used to do many types of dentistry. Bonding is the chemical preparation of hard tooth structure, both enamel and dentin, to cause micro pores that the bonding agent fills and locks into”, says Joseph Preziosi Jr., DMD.
What is Tooth Bonding?
Tooth bonding is a composite resin filling placed in the back teeth as well as the front teeth. Composites are the solution for restoring decayed teeth, making cosmetic improvements and even changing the color of your teeth or the reshaping of teeth. Tooth bonding will lighten any stains you may have, close up minor gaps and can be used to correct crooked teeth.
Basically, bonding will cover any natural flaws applying a thin coating of a plastic material on the front surface of your teeth. After this, your cosmetic dentist will apply a tooth bonding material and sculpt, color and shape it to provide a pleasing result. A high-intensity light then hardens the plastic, and the surface is finely polished.
Tooth bonding, also known as composite or dental bonding, is an excellent way to fix cosmetic and structural imperfections in the teeth. Tooth bonding can repair cracked, chipped, and discolored teeth as well as replace silver amalgam fillings. Cosmetic tooth bonding can also repair misaligned teeth, providing a straighter, more uniform smile.
Tooth Bonding Technique
Composite tooth bonding is a cosmetic dentistry technique that can work wonders for your smile. Using materials that match the shade, translucency and texture of your teeth, tooth gaps can be closed, spots, chips, and discolorations can be eliminated, and your self-confidence can be enhanced through the improved appearance of your smile. It”s also great for an instant repair of a broken front tooth.
The Tooth Bonding Procedure
To begin the teeth bonding procedure, the dentist selects a composite resin (dental bonding material) that matches the natural shade of your teeth. The dentist then roughens the existing tooth so the resin can adhere properly. Next, the composite resin is carefully applied to the tooth, shaped, and smoothed to achieve the desired look. It is then quickly hardened via a high intensity light. Lastly, the bonded tooth is buffed and polished so it has the same appearance as the surrounding teeth.
A very mild etching solution is applied to your teeth to create very small crevices in the tooth”s enamel structure. These small crevices provide a slightly rough surface permitting a durable resin to bond materials to your teeth. The resin is then placed on your tooth and high-intensity light cures the resins onto your tooth’s surface – with each individual layer of resin hardening in just minutes. When the last coat has been applied to your tooth, the bonded material is then sculpted to fit your tooth and finely polished.
The resin comes in many shades so that we can match it to your natural teeth. Due to the layers involved, this procedure will take slightly longer than traditional silver fillings because multiple layers of the bonding material are applied. Typically bonding takes an hour to two hours depending on your particular case.
Advantages of Dental Bonding
Esthetics is the big advantage over silver fillings. As silver does not stick to teeth, entirely healthy tooth structure is usually removed to keep a silver filling in place. Composites permit your cosmetic dentist to remove only the decayed area of your tooth. Unlike silver fillings, composite bonding expand just like your teeth and are much less likely to cause cracks in your tooth. Composites bond directly to the tooth providing support. Composites can be used to fill in cracks, chips and gaps – and will match the color of your other teeth.
Disadvantages of the Dental Bonding procedures
Bonding with composites simply costs more in material and time.
Tooth Bonding Risks
The composite resin used in bonding isn”t nearly as strong as a natural tooth. Biting your fingernails or chewing on ice or pens can chip the material. Bonding usually lasts several years before it needs to be repaired. How long it actually lasts depends on how much bonding was done and your oral habits.
Tooth Bonding Care
Maintain the teeth by brushing and flossing faithfully. Avoid sweets or starchy foods between meals. Bonding holds up much better when it is clean.
If you have extensive bonding work, we recommend frequent professional maintenance. Having your teeth cleaned two to four times per year by a hygienist skilled in bonding maintenance can help protect your bonding and make it look better and last longer.
Toothpaste is also safe for bonding, but it isn’t quite as effective in our opinion. Hard toothbrushes will also damage bonding. For small areas of tooth bonding, this degree of care is not necessary. But if you have large sections of a tooth or teeth that are bonded, the extra care would be recommended.
Alcoholic beverages can cause the bonding to deteriorate prematurely. Also, smoking and frequent drinking of coffee or tea tend to stain both your teeth and the bonding.
Do not let your bonded teeth be cleaned with pumice-containing prophylaxis pastes, ultrasonic cleaning devices, or air-polishing instruments. These will damage the surface of the bonding and make it more susceptible to stain. There are special polishing pastes and techniques for bonded teeth that not all hygienists or dentists are aware of.
When to Call a Professional after Tooth Bonding
In the days after having the bonding tooth done, call your dentist if you notice sharp edges on the bonded teeth, or your teeth feel strange or “off” when you bite down.
At any time, call your dentist if the bonding chips or pieces fall out.
Tooth Bonding Cost
As with all procedures, prices vary depending on your location. The cost of dental bonding will also vary with the extent of the bonding process you need. Many dental insurance plans cover most of the cost of the bonding, particularly when it is done for structural reasons. The average cost of cosmetic dental bonding ranges from $300 to $600 per tooth.
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