Bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure that involves the application of a tooth-colored composite resin material to repair chipped, discolored, decayed, or fractured teeth. Bonding can change the size, shape, and color of a tooth, so it is also be used to fill gaps between your teeth. The bonding typically lasts for 4 to 8 years before needing a touch up or replacement, but this depends on a number of factors including the location of the bonded tooth in your mouth, your eating habits, and your bite or teeth alignment.
Applications of composite resin bonding for front teeth
Composite resin bonding is a fairly simple dental procedure that is primarily used on the front teeth for cosmetic purposes, to improve the appearance of a chipped or discolored tooth and enhance the appearance of your smile.
Your dentist may recommend composite bonding for the following reasons:
To mask deep stains:
Some medications, like antibiotics, which are given to children while their permanent teeth are developing can cause unsightly dark staining deep in the teeth. Bonding can effectively cover these stains.
To repair cracked or chipped tooth:
Bonding is recommended for repairing various cosmetic tooth imperfections, including chips, cracks, decay, and misshapen teeth.
Composite bonding for gaps:
Composite resins can be used to close small gaps between front teeth. This procedure helps to improve your smile and appearance if you’re conscious about spaces between your teeth.
Bonding to protect exposed tooth roots
Composite resins can also be used to protect exposed tooth roots resulting from gum recession. Since the largest element in the roots is dentin – a softer tissue than enamel – roots tend to be more susceptible to wear, decay, and erosion. Applying composite resins to the tooth roots helps to address sensitivity to extreme temperatures that arises when the tooth roots are exposed.
Bonding to restore decayed teeth
Composite resins are also used to fill small cavities, even in front teeth, because they are tooth-colored. In fact, it is virtually impossible to distinguish composite resin bonding from natural tooth.
To replace old amalgam fillings
Your dentist can also recommend dental bonding with composite resin to replace old silver dental fillings and effectively improve the appearance of your smile.
Composite bonding procedure
If you’re considering dental bonding, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with your dentist to determine whether it’s the right treatment for your case. During your visit, you will discuss your treatment goals and review your medical and dental history. The dentist will also examine your teeth and gums, and perhaps take dental X-rays, to ascertain your eligibility for the procedure. If you have serious oral health issues, such as gum disease or tooth decay, your dentist may recommend that you treat these problems first before proceeding with teeth bonding.
Once you’re ready for your teeth bonding procedure, you can expect the following steps:
Step 1: Tooth preparation: No drilling or anesthesia is needed. The surface of the damaged or stained tooth is prepared with an etching solution that allows the composite resins to adhere.
Step 2: Select a shade. Your dentist will use a shade guide select a shade of composite resin material that closely matches the color of your natural teeth. In some cases, differently colored resins are carefully blended to obtain a matching color and shade for your teeth.
Step 3: Application of the tooth-colored resin. The putty-like resin material is applied and molded into the desired shape.
Step 4: Cure the material. The resin is then hardened using a special light to ensure that is has bonded to the surface of your tooth.
Step 5: Polish the tooth. Lastly, the dentist will make the final adjustments for the shape and size of the tooth before polishing it to give it a natural-looking shine.
The tooth bonding procedure is usually done in a single appointment that takes between 30 and 60 minutes per tooth.
How long does bonding last?
If properly done by a professional dentist, the results from tooth bonding should last from 4 to 8 years before needing a touch up or replacement. That said, the durability of your restoration depends on several factors, such as:
- The position of the bonded tooth in your mouth (molars wear down faster than front teeth due to chewing)
- Your eating habits – chewing or biting action, and
- Your bite – poor teeth alignment may cause excess wear on restored teeth
Do you need special care after dental bonding?
You should be able to resume your normal daily activities right after the dental bonding procedure. Moreover, you don’t need any special care after tooth bonding; simply maintain good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, daily flossing, and routine dental checkups and cleanings.
It’s best that you avoid behaviors like biting your fingernails, chewing on pens, or opening things with your teeth because the bonding material can chip. Call your dentist if you discover any rough edges on a bonded tooth or if your tooth feels strange when you bite down.
How much does composite resin bonding cost?
Dental bonding typically costs between $200 and $400 per tooth. Your insurer may cover a portion of this treatment, depending on your justification. You’re more likely to get coverage if your dentist recommends composite resin bonding for structural reasons or to fix a cavity than if it’s just for aesthetics.
Contact your dentist today
If you have any queries about dental bonding, or any other aspect of your treatment with us, do not hesitate to contact your dentist to discuss the specifics of your case.