A chipped or crooked tooth might not cause physical health issues, but feeling embarrassed to smile can affect your self-esteem and confidence. Fortunately, dental bonding can transform the entire look of your smile and improve the function of your teeth by covering minor flaws. If you are considering making a cosmetic change to your teeth, dental bonding is often a great option.
What Is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is a procedure in which a composite resin is used to hide tooth imperfections. Your dentist will match the color of the resin to your existing tooth for a natural look. Often, bonding can be completed in one office visit. You might be a good candidate for dental bonding if your tooth only needs a minor touch-up, not a complete makeover.
Bonding can serve a variety of purposes, both functional and cosmetic:
- Dental bonding can be used to close noticeable gaps between teeth.
- It can cover minor tooth decay.
- Chips, small cracks, and fractures can be repaired through dental bonding.
You should care for your bonded tooth in the same way you care for your natural teeth. Just practice good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice a day, flossing, and getting routine check-ups. However, the resin that is used in bonding is not as strong as a natural tooth. It can chip, so do not bite on hard objects like candy or ice.
Bonding is not permanent – it is only designed to last a few years and it will eventually need to be fixed (source). In addition, bonding isn’t as resistant to stains as a crown. If you are looking for a more long-term solution to cosmetically enhance your smile, ask your dentist about crowns, veneers, or fillings.
Dental Bonding Procedure
Unlike many other dental procedures, dental bonding requires hardly any preparation, and anesthesia usually isn’t used unless the bonding is filling a decayed tooth. First, your dentist will color match your tooth to a composite resin. For direct composite dental bonding, your dentist will apply and sculpt composite to the surface of your tooth that is the most visible when you talk and smile. Next, a high-intensity curing light hardens the composite. This process is repeated layer by layer until the composite is the correct shape. To finish the process, your dentist will apply a finish to make sure that the bonded resin stays in place.
Dental Bonding vs. Veneers
Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are used to cover the fronts of your teeth. Bonding and veneers are typically used for similar purposes – to conceal gaps or correct crooked, stained, or misshapen teeth. Unlike veneers, dental bonding does not typically involve removal of the enamel or tooth reshaping. On the other hand, the installation of veneers might require the removal of some enamel and reshaping of the tooth. The entire procedure may require several visits to the dentist’s office, but the result is a long-lasting and natural look that will not discolor. In addition, veneers are more permanent than bonding and won’t need to be reapplied for many years.
Are you interested in improving your smile with dental bonding? Ask your dentist if you are a candidate.
And if you’re looking for an experienced dentist near Springfield, Missouri, check out Wilkinson Dental. We have a reliable and friendly staff that would love to meet your dental needs. Dr. Wilkinson will create a personalized plan to help you achieve your ideal, healthy smile. Schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556, or request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you in our office!