What is Dental Bonding?
Dental Bonding is the process of bonding white, tooth-colored composite material to the teeth for aesthetics and preventative purposes to preserve the integrity of affected teeth.
When do dentists use dental bonding?
Dental bonding is inexpensive and is often used to repair small imperfections on the teeth, such as:
- To fill gaps between teeth
- To cover up discoloration
- To repair a decayed tooth
- To repair chips or cracks in teeth
- To aesthetically change the shape of a tooth
- To protect the exposed roots by receding gums which cause sensitivity (root exposure).
Gaps in between the teeth tend to accumulate food and bacteria, making teeth prone to cavities. A composite material is used to fill the space to prevent cavities from forming. The gap is eliminated giving a cosmetic and harmonious look.
Discoloration can happen due to a number of reasons. There are three main types of teeth discoloration:
Extrinsic discoloration occurs when the enamel (outer layer of the tooth) is stained. Diets high in caffeine, coffee, sodas, wine and even smoking can cause extrinsic stains. Extrinsic discoloration can be treated and prevented by regular cleanings. Teeth whitening might be suggested in order to get a more cosmetics result and depending on the intensity of the stain.
Intrinsic stains appear yellow as the dentin (inner layer of the tooth) gets darker. Common causes are:
- Exposure to fluoride during early childhood.
- If mother used tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy.
- Use of tetracycline antibiotics when 8 years old or younger.
- Trauma (causing internal bleeding).
- Dentinogenesis imperfecta (causing purple and dark stains).
Dentine naturally turns yellow overtime due to extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Spots can vary from white stains to yellow and brown. Despite or best efforts these stains are expected but can be prevented or easily fixed by our dentists to achieve a great healthy looking smile.
Is Dental Bonding ideal for you?
The best way to determine if you are eligible for dental bonding is consulting with a dentist. Bonding is a cheaper alternative than crowns or veneers but it might not be applicable to all cases. A crown or veneer will be more appropriate for teeth with major decay or teeth that take a great amount of pressure when chewing. Our dentists will be happy to assist you and advice the best option in your case.
The Bonding Process
- Shade: Our dentist will start by finding the closest shade of your teeth to deliver a natural-looking smile.
- Freezing: Freezing might not be used in most cases. However, in cases like root exposure, an anesthetic will be applicable for your comfort.
- The dentist will start by examining the area where the composite will be bonded. A surface cleaning might be necessary in order to place the composite successfully. Surface conditioners (Etch), as well as the bonding material, will be applied followed by the composite.
- The dentist will give shape to the composite and follow by light-curing it. In some cases, an additional trim and polish will be given to achieve a more harmonious look.
After Care of Bonded Teeth
Oral hygiene is a must after any dental procedure. Keep up with your regular cleaning and examination (usually once or twice year) so the dentist can keep an eye on the bonded teeth. Bonded composites last 3 up to 10 years with periodic touch-up and adequate cleaning.