What do you think of when you hear “dental bonding?” Do you image your teeth becoming friends with one another (“bonding” so to speak?” Or maybe you imagine the gaps between your teeth being filled, each tooth being “bonded” to another. Neither of those is quite right (although we do love the idea of our teeth working together in happy harmony.) Dental bonding is, in fact, a common procedure used for many different purposes.
For functionality, Dr. Henritze explains that dental bonding is “the process of placing a composite material in or around a tooth, to fill a cavity or a repair a chipped tooth.” The American Dental Association explains that in this process “the natural tooth enamel is fused together with the bonding materials to create a strong structure that feels like your original tooth.” Dental bonding can also be used to make your teeth stronger, or to protect a tooth’s roots if receding gums have left them exposed.
Dental bonding can also be used cosmetically. Bonding materials can close gaps between teeth or improve the appearance of a discolored tooth. Because the resin resembles the natural color of teeth, it can be used to reshape and recolor damaged teeth to give a patient a more cosmetically pleasing and functional smile.
The process is very simple and typically does not require any type of pain relief prior to the procedure. Here is what you can expect when experiencing a dental bonding procedure:
- The dentist selects the resin color based on the surrounding teeth.
- The dentist slightly abrades the tooth’s surface to roughen it (which allows for better adhesion,) and then paints on a conditioning liquid.
- The composite resin material is placed directly onto the tooth structure.
- The malleable, putty-like resin is shaped and sculpted to fit the tooth and correct any flaws.
- The resin hardens, and is then trimmed and polished for a long-lasting smile.
Bonding is among the easiest, and least expensive, cosmetic dental procedures and can be completed with just one visit. This process can also be used in place of amalgam (silver) fillings to be more aesthetically pleasing. The resin can be stained by coffee, tea, cigarettes, and other substances (just like they can stain your unbonded teeth,) so maintaining healthy brushing & flossing habits, as well as scheduling regular teeth cleanings with your dentist, is a must.
We are here to help improve the look of your smile and boost your confidence in a time and cost efficient way. Some dental insurance providers may cover all, or a portion, of the cost of dental bonding if it is for tooth decay or a fracture. However, contact your dental insurance provider for more specific details in respect to your individual plan. If you are suffering with a broken or discolored tooth, contact our office, or request an appointment online and we can discuss your needs.