For a person with gum disease, composite bonding can help them improve the aesthetics of their smile while resolving any sensitivity caused by receding gums. However, this procedure is not recommended for individuals with active gum disease.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, involves inflammation and infection of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. The condition can cause gum recession, bone loss, and compromised oral health.
Before undergoing dental bonding, it is essential to address any existing periodontal (gum) disease to ensure optimal results and improved longevity of the bonding procedure.
Risks of tooth bonding with unhealthy gums
Composite bonding relies on a healthy foundation, including healthy gums and adequate tooth structure, to ensure proper adhesion and longevity of the bonding material.
If an individual has active gum disease, the gum tissues may be inflamed, sensitive, and prone to bleeding. This can make it challenging to achieve optimal bonding results, as the gums may not provide a stable and healthy environment for the composite material.
Moreover, the bonding procedure may result in formation of a ledge between the gum tissue and restoration that leads to accumulation of plaque and more severe symptoms of gum disease and even tooth decay.
Resolving gum disease before dental bonding
If you’re considering composite bonding, your dentist will recommend that you start by addressing any underlying gum disease and establish a healthy oral environment.
This may involve professional dental cleanings, periodontal treatments, and maintenance of good oral hygiene practices. Once the gum disease is under control and the gums are healthy, composite bonding can be considered as an option for cosmetic improvements or repairing minor tooth damage.
The specific treatment options for periodontal disease may vary depending on the severity and extent of the condition. Common treatments include:
- Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning): This is a non-surgical procedure performed by a dental professional to remove plaque and tartar buildup from above and below the gumline. It helps eliminate bacteria and toxins that contribute to gum disease.
- Antibiotics: In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to control the infection and promote healing. They can be administered in the form of oral medications or topical gels.
- Gum Surgery: If periodontal disease has progressed to an advanced stage and has caused significant damage to the gums and supporting structures, surgical interventions may be necessary. These may include procedures such as flap surgery, bone grafting, or guided tissue regeneration to repair and regenerate damaged tissues.
Once the initial periodontal treatment is completed, ongoing maintenance and monitoring are crucial to prevent the recurrence or progression of gum disease. Regular dental cleanings, along with proper oral hygiene practices at home, are essential to maintain gum health.
Who is the right candidate for composite bonding?
Composite bonding is a versatile and cost-effective cosmetic dental procedure that can address various aesthetic concerns and improve the appearance of teeth. It involves the application of a tooth-colored composite resin material to the tooth surface, which is then shaped, contoured, and polished to achieve the desired outcome.
Good overall oral health
However, candidates for dental bonding should have good overall oral health, including healthy gums and teeth that are free from active decay or gum disease. Any existing oral health issues should be addressed and resolved before undergoing dental bonding.
Sufficient healthy tooth structure
Moreover, dental bonding requires a certain amount of healthy tooth structure to ensure proper bonding and durability. Candidates should have enough tooth enamel to support the bonding material. If the tooth structure is severely compromised or if there is extensive decay, other restorative options may be more suitable.
It is important for candidates to have realistic expectations about the outcomes of dental bonding. It is an excellent choice for individuals with minor cosmetic issues, such as chipped or cracked teeth, gaps between teeth, slightly misshapen teeth, or tooth discoloration.
While bonding can significantly improve the appearance of teeth, it is not as stain-resistant or long-lasting as materials like porcelain veneers or crowns. Bonded teeth may require periodic maintenance or touch-ups over time, and may require replacement in 5 to 7 years since they don’t last very long.
What are the alternative treatments for dental bonding?
One of the key advantages of composite bonding is that it is a conservative treatment option that involves minimal tooth preparation compared to alternatives like dental veneers or crowns. It is a non-invasive procedure that typically requires little to no removal of the natural tooth structure.
But if dental bonding is not suitable for you, there are alternative restorative treatments that can be considered. The specific treatment options will depend on the condition of the teeth and your overall oral health.
Here are some common alternatives:
- Dental Crowns: Crowns, also known as dental caps, are tooth-shaped restorations that cover the entire visible portion of the tooth. They can be made from various materials such as porcelain, ceramic, or metal alloys. Dental crowns provide strength, protection, and improved aesthetics for teeth that have been significantly damaged by gum disease or other factors.
- Dental Veneers: Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. They are typically made from porcelain or composite resin and can address issues such as tooth discoloration, minor chips, and gaps. Veneers can provide a natural-looking and durable solution for improving the appearance of teeth affected by gum disease.
Tooth restoration treatments for people with advanced gum disease
In cases where gum disease has caused tooth loss, dental implants can be a viable option. Dental implants involve the surgical placement of artificial tooth roots into the jawbone, which act as a stable foundation for attaching prosthetic teeth. Implants can provide a long-lasting and functional solution for replacing missing teeth affected by gum disease.
Dentures or Partials
For individuals with extensive tooth loss due to gum disease, dentures or partial dentures can be considered. These removable dental appliances are custom-made to replace missing teeth and restore oral function and aesthetics. Dentures can be made from acrylic or a combination of acrylic and metal framework.
Bridges are used to replace missing teeth by anchoring artificial teeth (pontics) to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. They can be an alternative to dental implants or dentures in cases where the patient has healthy natural teeth on either side of the gap created by gum disease-related tooth loss.
It’s important to note that while composite bonding can address various cosmetic concerns, it may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with severe gum disease. In cases where gum disease is present, it is crucial to prioritize gum health and address the underlying condition before considering cosmetic treatments.
Your dentist or periodontist can recommend alternative treatment options based on your specific oral health needs and the severity of your gum disease. These alternatives may include periodontal treatments, such as scaling and root planing, gum surgery, or other restorative options like dental crowns or veneers.
It’s important to consult with a dental professional who can evaluate your specific situation, assess the condition of your gums and teeth, and recommend the most appropriate restorative treatment options.