Applying composite resin or plastic, which is matched to your tooth’s coloring is called dental bonding. This procedure is done to repair a chipped, decayed, discolored, or fractured tooth. Dental bonding is different from veneers which are manufactured in a lab as a fitted mold and have to be customized to your personal fit. Dental bonding is a procedure that can be completed in one dental visit.
Why You Need a Dental Bond
Of all the cosmetic dental procedures, dental bonding is the least expensive and easiest one to perform. The composite resin or plastic is able to be shaped around your existing tooth and then polished, so it matches the other teeth in your mouth. The most common reason a person selects dental bonding is to repair a chipped or discolored tooth.
Another reason behind this choice is to fill in spaces between your teeth or to make your teeth look longer. Dental bonding can also be used to change the shape of a tooth or teeth. This tooth repair is also used as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings, or if your gums have receded, it can cover up the exposed gum area.
- Amalgam fillings are a dental material used when you have tooth decay removed, and there is a cavity left in the tooth. These fillings are a mixture of liquid mercury (elemental), and a powdered alloy composed of silver, copper, and tin. The chemicals of the elemental mercury allow the material to react with and bind together with a powdered alloy mixture which forms the amalgam.
Dental amalgams are also known as ‘silver fillings’ due to their silver-like appearance in your tooth, and because of this color, people choose to use dental bonding to hide the silver in their mouth.
Receding gums are when your gum tissue pushes back or wears away from the tooth, and the pink tissue that covers the tooth's root becomes more noticeable or exposed. The receding of gums can also occur if a tooth is in an abnormal position, such as after an injury that has dislodged it from its original spot.
Receding gums can become a health issue as the roots of the tooth are exposed, making your tooth more at risk for loss, infection, or decay.
Other uses for dental bonding include:
- A bonded retainer is a thin piece of wire which is bonded to the back of your teeth after your braces come off. This retainer cannot come out without the help of your dentist. A significant advantage of having a bonded retainer is the invisibility. The wire will be placed behind your teeth where it cannot be seen, unlike the removable retainer where the wire is visible every time you smile. The dentist will attach the wire with the use of bonding material and then secure it with a special light to harden and secure the material.
- Braces use bonding material to attach them to the front of each tooth. The unique dental bonding material is used by your orthodontist to attach the small squares of the braces that hold the wires to your teeth to keep them in place so your teeth can be realigned. There are times this bonding material is used to hold the brackets in the back of your teeth in order to hide them from view.
Four primary dentistry uses for dental bonding include:
- Pediatric dentistry uses bonding as an easy way to fix children’s teeth. Children are often prone to damaging their teeth during play as they fall off swings, from trees, or just fall while running too fast. Bonding is an excellent way to fix their damaged teeth that are still maturing as you would not want a permanent fix to a tooth that is still changing.
- Orthodontic dentistry focus on correcting teeth that are misaligned and bonding works well with these procedures. The material bonds to braces and teeth and are able to fix holes. This bonding material stays in place and keeps braces in place until the dentist is ready to remove them.
- Prosthodontics is a lot like prosthetics except it is used on your teeth. This specialty dentistry deals with severe aesthetic and functionality problems with your teeth. This specialty is the application of implants, and it uses bonding to correct other issues often associated with the damage such as severely decayed, chipped, or cracked teeth.
- Cosmetic dentistry focuses on making your mouth’s appearance better. It works on your bite, gums, and teeth and helps to make it all more functional. Dental bonding is used with cosmetic dentistry to fix small cracks or chips and fills in the sweet spot between teeth that are too small for crowns or veneers.
During a cosmetic dentistry procedure, the dental bonding is applied to the surface of your tooth to harden, shape, and polish it. It will also improve your smile by covering up teeth roots that have become exposed. The bonding material is used to cover up receding gums until your natural tissue returns.
When you have a tooth or several teeth bonded, there is no need for your dentist to do any special preparations. Anesthesia is not generally required unless you are first having the decay removed from a tooth.
How Does a Dental Bonding Procedure Work?
You will not have to perform a special preparation for a tooth bonding, but you should check with your dentist at Ganji Dental to inquire if your situation makes you a suitable candidate for dental bonding. This procedure does not work well on severe tooth decay, and you may require another, stronger alternative for your repair work. If your dentist feels this is the right solution, they can schedule you for an appointment.
There are two types of dental bonding:
- Adhesive bonding is used to attach bridges, crowns, inlays, and veneers to a tooth. When used in this manner, the bonding works like glue to keep the restorative materials in place.
- Direct composite bonding is a quick fix when you experience a chipped tooth or a cracked tooth. The bonding material sticks to your teeth and fills in chips or cracks. You can typically have this procedure finished with one dental visit.
Your dentist at Ganji Dental will use a guide to determine the shade of your teeth so they can choose a composite resin that will match those teeth. After they have selected the matching color, they will abrade your tooth slightly or in other words, etch the surface, so it becomes somewhat rough.
A conditioning liquid is then applied lightly to the tooth being worked on to help the bonding material stick to its surface. Once the tooth is prepared, the dentist applies a tooth-colored, putty-like resin material to the tooth. Your dentist will then mold and smooth out this material until it is the right shape. The material is hardened using an ultraviolet light or a laser.
The complete procedure is typically completed in approximately thirty minutes. If you are having multiple teeth bonded, you may need to schedule additional appointments. Check with your dentist at Ganji Dental when considering more than one tooth to determine how many visits you will require.
Once you are done with your appointment, and your tooth has been bonded, you should avoid eating or drinking foods that can stain for about 48 hours. Tea, cigarette smoke, coffee, and other staining substances can alter the color or leave stains on the resin material if you do not allow it enough time to set. Chewing on ice or your fingernails can chip this material, but under reasonable conditions, the bonding should last you up to three years or more before it would need to be repeated.
Are There Risks to Having Dental Bonding?
A tooth that has received dental bonding is not going to be as strong as your natural tooth. If you have habits such as chewing on pen tops, ice, or your fingernails, you are at risk for chipping this material. The length of time the dental bonding lasts on a tooth depends a lot on a person's habits.
Advantages of Dental Bonding
Crowns and veneers are two other forms of tooth coverings. Dental bonding is less expensive and easier than these two options.
- Dental crowns are a covering or cap placed over a tooth. The crown restores your tooth to its original size, shape, and function. When your dentist places a crown over a remaining tooth, it becomes stronger, its function is improved, and it looks better. Crowns are usually put on if you have a cavity that is too big for a filling, or you have cracked a tooth. These are also used for teeth that have worn down or have somehow become weakened. Generally, if you require a root canal, your dentist will suggest a crown to protect the restored tooth. These crowns can also cover up a tooth that has become poorly shaped or discolored.
The crown is put into place by your dentist drilling the outer surface of your tooth on all sides so that the crown can fit over the tooth. An impression is made of your tooth with impression putty, or a digital scanner and the impression is then sent to a dental lab. It will take from two to three weeks for the crown to be created. Your second appointment will be to have the permanent crown attached.
The dental crown is a fixed prosthetic restoration designed to restore a damaged tooth. These products are permanently cemented onto your tooth, whereas the dental bonding is a material placed on the surface of your tooth. Bonding is designed to last from three to ten years, and the crown is intended to last your lifetime.
- Veneers are a solution to help you gain an improved look to your mouth. Many people choose to have veneers when they have chipped a tooth, or they have an unusually large gap between their teeth. A veneer is a thin cover that sticks to your tooth and gives it a more shaped look.
The dental veneer is a thin shell of composite resin or porcelain and custom made to fit your teeth. The dental bonding is a material brushed onto the surface of your tooth and does not require any molding or impressions to apply to your tooth. The veneer must be made to fit the contour of your teeth and is then attached to your tooth’s original enamel. It will take several visits to your dentist to have a finished veneer attached correctly.
When you choose either the crown or veneer, these products have to be made in a dental lab. For either of these choices, you need to schedule more appointments to the dentist to have molds created and then the actual piece fitted to your tooth. When you have dental bonding, one tooth can be completed in one visit, and you do not have as much enamel removed from your tooth. You will not have to use anesthesia for this procedure unless having decay removed from the tooth before bonding is done.
The dental bonding is a good alternative for teens. Often during the early teen years, teeth have not yet matured. Instead of having a more permanent dental restoration, the bonding works well to protect and correct a tooth until their teeth have finished maturing.
Disadvantages of Dental Bonding
The material used for dental bonding is resistant to stain. It is not; however, as resistant to stains as a crown. The other disadvantage of bonding is that the materials used are not as durable as those used in other tooth restorations processes such as veneers, fillings, or crowns. The material in bonding is susceptible to breaking or chipping much easier than other options.
Some dentists consider bonding a method best used for making small cosmetic fixes or changes such as a temporary fix for a cosmetic defect or to correct a tooth in an area that will receive minimal bite action or low pressure biting action.
Dental Bonding vs. Veneers
The dental bonding and veneers are both excellent choices for cosmetically fixing how your teeth look. Both procedures will change the shape, color, and size of your teeth or tooth. The bonding process has an application of resin brushed right on to your’s tooth’s surface, and the veneer is a piece of porcelain that will cover your entire tooth. Deciding which choice is best for your situation should be discussed with your dentist at Ganji Dental as there are circumstances where one procedure should not be used, and the other provides more significant benefits.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) recommends veneers if you have discoloration of a tooth, chipped teeth, gaps between your teeth or oddly shaped teeth. It is also recommended you use veneers if you are having multiple teeth repaired at the same time. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry reports dental bonding is an excellent choice if you need a chipped tooth repaired, have misshaped teeth, discolored teeth or receding gums.
The dental bonding and veneers will both treat the cosmetic imperfections of your teeth. If the problems are minor and do not require extensive treatments, you would be the right candidate for dental bonding. These are the scenarios where dental bonding is a better choice:
- You need small gaps closed between your teeth
- You have an area on a tooth that needs protection as the gum has receded
- You have a small chip or crack on a tooth
- You have a tooth or teeth that have become discolored
- You would like to reshape or lengthen a tooth or teeth
Both procedures are designed to improve your smile and make your teeth fit and feel as comfortable as possible. Talk to your dentist to find the solution that will provide you the most benefits. In general, dental bonding is an excellent choice for improving small changes in your smile, while veneers will help solve those more significant issues.
Dental Bonding vs. Dental Crown
With dental bonding, a material is attached to your damaged tooth with an adhesive and made to stay in place by drying with a high-intensity light. This procedure is relatively pain-free and is also non-invasive. The dental crown is used to enhance the appearance of damaged teeth. Just as with bonding, the crown can be used to fix a tooth that has cracked or chipped, but the crown can also be used when large fillings are needed to fix a cavity. The crown will take several dental visits, while the bonding should be complete in just one visit.
If you are unsure which procedure will work best for your teeth, talk to the dentists at Ganji Dental. They will perform an exam and evaluation to determine what you will need to restore your teeth and your smile.
Will My Teeth Require Special Care after Bonding?
You will not have to use special care with a bonded tooth, but you will have to use good oral hygiene practices. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day. Rinsing your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash is suggested once or twice a day also. See your dentist at Ganji Dental for regular cleanings and check-ups.
The bonding material can chip, so you will want to learn to avoid habits such as biting your nails, or chewing on ice chips. You never want to use a bonded tooth as an opener for any object. If you feel or notice any sharp edges developing on a tooth that has been bonded, or if your bite begins to feel odd, you should call your dentist at Ganji Dental to have it checked.
The most crucial factor to keep in mind when having a tooth that has been bonded is that it will be susceptible to stains. The composite resin is able to absorb stain much like your regular teeth, so you should avoid coffee, tea, smoking, red wine, and other foods that are known to leave behind stains.
If you are considering a procedure to whiten your teeth, you should have this completed before your tooth is bonded. This consideration is due to the fact that you will want the right shade chosen for your bonding material. If you have your tooth bonded first, the whitening process will leave the bonded tooth unmatched to the color of the rest of your teeth.
How Long Can I Expect a Bonded Tooth’s Material to Last?
Bonding material life span depends a lot on your personal habits. Generally, the material can last from three years and has been known to last as long as ten years.
Can Any Dentist Perform Dental Bonding?
The dental bonding of a tooth is not a complicated cosmetic dentistry procedure, but you should not allow just any dentist to perform it on your mouth. You will want a dentist with extensive experience with performing teeth bonding. Ask to see some of their before and after pictures of other patients they have worked on before agreeing to have them work on your tooth.
You want a dentist familiar with cosmetic dentistry and who understands the importance of a beautiful smile. The dentists at Ganji Dental have this knowledge, experience, and understanding to help you regain a healthy and beautiful mouth.
Does Dental Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is often seen as cosmetic dentistry. Most insurance companies will not cover the cost of cosmetic procedures. You should call and check with your provider to ask about your coverage and see if they will cover your procedure. There are many differences between insurance companies, and your policy might cover part if not all of the costs. You will have to check your specific plan coverages to know.
Find Hawthorne Dentist Near Me
If you think a dental bonding procedure will benefit your smile, call Ganji Dental 310-643-8045. It is our mission to address and fix any oral health issues. We understand the importance of oral health and provide the best possible care to families and individuals with affordable prices and excellent patient care. Call and talk to us about dental bonding, and we can schedule a free exam and consultation to discover which procedure will work best your smile.