When it comes to choosing a cosmetic dentistry treatment for stained, chipped, broken, or gapped teeth, your dentist can help you find the most ideal option that will not compromise on your smile, self-confidence, and overall well-being. You deserve to be completely satisfied with the appearance of your teeth.
While teeth bonding may seem like an attractive solution, considering the quick procedure and minimal downtime, it’s essential to understand its limitations and potential drawbacks.
Some of them are discussed below:
1. Not resistant to stains and discoloration
One notable drawback is the susceptibility of the bonding material to staining, making it necessary to limit consumption of certain foods and beverages that could easily discolor it.
Composite resin is more porous than porcelain or tooth enamel, meaning that it easily absorbs deep-colored foods, including berries, wine, coffee, and tea. You will notice that consuming these and similar items will cause bonded teeth to appear stained or discolored compared to your natural teeth.
Even smoking and poor oral hygiene practices can lead to the bonding material becoming discolored or losing its original shade. So it’s best to reduce the consumption of deeply colored foods and drinks, avoid using tobacco products, and enhance your oral hygiene routine, including swishing your mouth with clean water after consuming colored items.
2. Susceptible to wear and tear, chipping, or breaking
Teeth bonding using composite resin material is susceptible to wear and tear over time, from the typical process of chewing foods, and also prone to chipping and breaking, which can affect its durability compared to natural tooth enamel or other restorative materials like porcelain used in veneers or dental crowns.
As such, you may need to take proactive measures to maximize the longevity of your bonding restoration, by:
- Being cautious when eating and avoid biting down on overly hard or crunchy foods, as they can exert excessive force on the bonding material, leading to chips or fractures.
- Paying attention to any changes in the texture of the bonded teeth or if your bite feels uneven. Rough or jagged surfaces on the bonded teeth may indicate wear or damage to the bonding material. In such cases, it is advisable to visit your dentist promptly for an evaluation. They can assess the condition of the bonding and determine if it needs to be filed down or replaced to maintain the integrity of the restoration.
- Avoid harmful habits like chewing on pens, biting nails, or chewing gum, which could cause the material to chip or separate from the teeth.
3. Limited lifespan
While dental bonding may initially provide satisfactory results, the composite resin material is not as strong and long-lasting as regular tooth enamel or ceramics used in other restorations. It can chip off or deteriorate within a few years, necessitating replacements that can be both inconvenient and costly.
In some cases, the bonding may need to be replaced as often as every 2 years, adding to the frequency of dental visits and expenses. But with proper oral hygiene and being careful about your lifestyle habits, your bonding restoration can last for 5 to 10 years before needing replacement.
4. Incompatibility with extensive tooth damage or decay
Dental bonding is mostly recommended for minor cosmetic enhancements and repairing small chips or cracks in teeth. It is not an effective solution for severe dental issues that involve significant tooth damage or decay.
This is because bonding requires a certain amount of healthy enamel to adhere to and create a stable restoration. In cases where there is extensive tooth damage or decay, dental bonding may not be feasible or long-lasting.
Furthermore, dental bonding is unsuitable for severe dental problems that require structural reinforcement or significant reshaping of the teeth. It is a cosmetic procedure designed to enhance the appearance of teeth rather than provide comprehensive restorative solutions.
For individuals with severe dental issues such as advanced tooth decay, significant enamel erosion, or extensive tooth fractures, alternative treatments like dental crowns, inlays, onlays, or orthodontic procedures may be more appropriate to address the underlying dental issues.
5. Potential for visible differences compared to natural teeth
While dental bonding can improve the appearance of teeth, it has limitations when it comes to color matching and achieving a seamless blend with natural teeth, as compared to alternatives such as porcelain veneers or crowns.
Dental bonding materials are typically made of composite resin, which comes in a variety of shades but may not perfectly match the natural color and translucency of the surrounding teeth. This can result in visible differences between the bonded tooth and the adjacent natural teeth, especially in certain lighting conditions.
Moreover, the porous nature of composite resin makes it susceptible to discoloration and staining, which further contributes to noticeable differences between the bonded tooth and the natural teeth, compromising the overall aesthetic outcome.
In contrast, alternative treatments like porcelain veneers or crowns offer a higher degree of aesthetic customization. These restorations are fabricated in dental laboratories and can be precisely color-matched to blend seamlessly with the patient’s natural teeth. The advanced materials used in porcelain restorations also provide better resistance to staining, maintaining their color and appearance over a longer period.
6. Potential sensitivity and discomfort
It is not uncommon for patients of dental bonding to experience some sensitivity to temperature changes. This is because the composite resin used in bonding can conduct hot and cold temperatures more readily than natural tooth enamel. The resulting sensitivity can cause discomfort when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages, leading to temporary tooth sensitivity.
Potential irritation of surrounding gum tissue
During the bonding procedure, the dentist applies and shapes the composite resin directly on the tooth surface. If the resin comes into contact with the gum tissue, it can cause irritation and soreness. Proper isolation techniques and precise application by an experienced dentist can minimize this risk, but it is still a possibility.
Potential bite misalignment
The added thickness of the bonding material can alter the way teeth come together when biting or chewing. This can create an uneven bite, causing discomfort, jaw pain, and headaches. In such cases, additional adjustments may be necessary to realign the bite and alleviate discomfort.
These issues are not experienced by everyone who undergoes dental bonding, and the severity of sensitivity and discomfort can vary from person to person. If sensitivity or discomfort persists or becomes severe, it is essential to consult with a dentist. They can evaluate the situation, identify the cause of the discomfort, and recommend appropriate measures to address it, such as adjusting the bonding material or considering alternative treatment options.
In conclusion, dental bonding, despite its advantages in providing quick and cost-effective minor cosmetic enhancements, does come with certain disadvantages that should be considered.
To ensure the lasting results of dental bonding, a diligent oral hygiene routine should be followed, including regular brushing, flossing, and the use of mouthwash. Avoiding hard foods and sweets is also crucial to prevent damage to the bonding material. Regular dental visits are also necessary for monitoring the condition of the bonded teeth and addressing any issues promptly.