Dental accidents happen all the time, and they can make you chip or break a tooth. Chipped, broken, or discolored teeth can affect your smile and consequently your self-image. Luckily, you can repair these flaws using procedures such as cosmetic dental bonding. Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure used to repair or cover up undesired cosmetic issues and achieve a perfect smile.
Cosmetic dentistry has a wide range of procedures you can use to transform your smile. While deciding the type of treatment that suits your needs is challenging, you should not miss out on the array of benefits offered by cosmetic dental bonding. A signifi8cant part of ensuring that the procedure produces the desired outcome is consulting with a highly qualified dentist.
At The Whittier Dentist, we take an individual approach in handling your condition and guide you through the process of choosing the right procedure to suit your need. We provide cosmetic dental procedures to all clients requiring top-notch dental health treatment in Whittier, CA.
Overview of Cosmetic Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material is applied to your teeth and hardened to restore and improve your smile. There are two forms of dental bonding:
- Direct dental bonding. Direct bonding involves the placement of an adhesive tooth-colored composite to your teeth. The composite material is bonded to your teeth using a curing light, and the process takes a single appointment.
- Indirect tooth bonding. The procedure involves making dental restoration in a lab and attaching it to your teeth. Indirect tooth bonding takes two appointments.
Patients often undergo cosmetic dental bonding to treat minor dental flaws such as:
- Fixing chipped, cracked, or damaged teeth
- Close small spaces between your teeth
- Change the shape of your teeth.
- Relieve the pain associated with exposed roots and gum recession
- Improve the appearance of discolored teeth
- Filling the tooth cavities. Earlier, tooth cavities were filled with silver fillings or amalgam. Cosmetic dental bonding is a cheaper and more efficient alternative to traditional fillings.
Factors to Consider Before Bonding your Teeth
The dentist can create a conservative cosmetic restoration for several dental defects with the composite material used for bonding. Bonding can be used to close gaps between teeth, repair chipped teeth, or cover the front of your teeth to maintain a perfect smile. Regardless of your reason for opting for this procedure, it would be best if you considered the following factors before going through with it:
The composite material used in dental bonding is tooth-colored. Composite resins are available in several shades and thus could match your teeth perfectly. One of the most vital factors to consider before moving forward with the procedure is the specific outlook you want for your teeth. Color considerations will be unnecessary if your teeth are already in your desired color or are using the procedure for a different purpose other than to correct discoloration.
If there is a chance that you will want to undergo tooth whitening, you should not go through with bonding. Composite cannot be whitened. If you undergo bonding on your front teeth and later whiten your teeth, you may not notice any changes on the bonded teeth. This could create color variations. If you want to whiten your teeth, it would be wise to do it before the bonding procedure. A skilled dentist can match your new white teeth with a bonding material.
Preference of Shape
Your cosmetic dentist can beautifully recreate your teeth’ natural share using composite resin. The goal of the bonding procedure is to ensure that your smile appears as natural as possible. If you do not like the natural shape of your teeth, your dentist can make the necessary adjustments through dental bonding. Before the procedure begins, ensure that you discuss your desired shape and alignment with your dentist. After the procedure, changing the alignment and shape of your teeth will require a more invasive procedure which can be painful and risky.
Commonly known as teeth grinding, bruxism is common among many adults in America. Teeth clenching or grinding involves squeezing the jaw muscles with extreme force causing your teeth to absorb the pressure. Teeth grinding can chip or crack your natural teeth. If the force can break the tooth enamel, which is the strongest part of your body, the habit can cause serious damage to the composite material used for composite bonding.
If you clench or grind your teeth, it would be wise to consult with your dentist before the cosmetic bonding procedure. The dentist will advise you on the best course of action and help you with ways to protect your teeth should you go through with the procedure.
Para-functional Teeth Habits
Para-functional habits mean using something outside of its intended purpose. Most para-functional habits involve using your teeth to do activities other than chew food. This could include biting on hard objects or using your teeth to tear something open. If you decide to undergo the bonding procedure, you will need to do away with the para-functional habits. Biting on unusual things could damage the dental bonding sending you back to the dentist for a restoration.
Process of Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is a relatively easy and pain-free procedure compared to other cosmetic procedures. Bonding is an outpatient procedure and could be done in one appointment. However, application for the composite resin could vary depending on your case. Some people opt for bonding to repair decayed teeth, while others want to improve their smile. Whatever your need for this procedure is, you can expect the following basic process in a dental bonding procedure:
The composite resin used for dental bonding comes in several shades and colors. You will need to choose your desired color before the procedure. The dentist will place each sample next to your tooth and compare the color. Your dentist can use different shades for different layers of the tooth based on your preference. Some issues could arise when determining the appropriate shade of material to use.
During dental procedures, your mouth always remains open, which can cause the teeth to dry out. A tooth dehydration effect could lighten the tooth and distort the color perception. However, a skilled cosmetic dentist will factor in these considerations and guide you to choose the right shade.
A strong bond will not be formed unless your teeth are clean and free from food particles and bacteria. Before the bonding procedure, your dentist will clean and polish the tooth.
In addition to improving your smile, you can use dental bonding to correct the shape of your teeth. If you have tooth decay or severely chipped teeth, the dentist must trim and drill the tooth to attain the desired shape. When teeth are severely damaged by tooth decay, the amount of drilling needed could be extensive.
Once the tooth is in the desired shape, the bonding process begins. The first stage involves etching the exposed parts of the tooth with a tooth conditioner. The tooth conditioner is a gel that contains phosphoric acid and is spread out through the surface where the bonding is intended. After some minutes, the tooth conditioner is washed off. Etching is not meant to reach your gums, and you may not even feel it.
Application of the Bonding Agent
Using a small brush, the dentist will blush some liquid plastic on the etched part of the tooth enamel. Sometimes, the dentist could blow some air on the tooth to ensure evenly distribute the bonding agent.
Curing the Bonding Agent
After applying the bonding agent, the dentist will shine a curing light on the agent. The curing light hardens the curing agent by activating a catalyst. Your teeth will be exposed to the light for up to twenty seconds to achieve the desired level of attachment.
Application of the Composite Restoration
After establishing the initial bond using a bonding agent, your teeth are ready for successive composite layers to restore the teeth. A chemical bond is created between the composite and the bonding agent layer when applied to each tooth. Due to its consistency, your dentist will apply the composite gently and pat the area to achieve the desired shape.
Once the composite is perfectly positioned on the teeth, the dentist will place you under a curing light to harden the composite. The amount of time you spend on the curing light after applying the composite will depend on the intensity of the light and the thickness of the composite layer. A thicker layer of composite will often be required when bonding damaged teeth. If the desired shape of your teeth is not achieved with the first placement of the composite, the dentist will repeat the application and curing. The main reason dentists opt to place the bonding material one layer at a time is that the light used to cure the composite can only penetrate one 2mm layer.
Shaping and Trimming
Once the appropriate layers are placed, the dentist will drill and trim it to a proper shape. The dentist will then polish the surface of the composite with gritstone and check your bite.
Is Anesthesia Necessary for Tooth Bonding?
Tooth bonding has made procedures and applications that are not invasive. Therefore, applying local anesthesia is not necessary for any of them. The necessity for anesthesia may arise if the dentist must do extensive drilling and shaping of the tooth. Shaping and drilling will be unnecessary unless the teeth you want to bond are damaged.
If your tooth is numbed during the procedure, you need to be careful with your bite. Until the anesthesia wears off, you should limit chewing or biting activities.
Benefits of Cosmetic Dental Bonding
Teeth are the first and most important thing that a person notices when you smile. Chipped, cracked, or crooked teeth could impact your appearance and possibly your self-esteem. Fortunately, cosmetic procedures like dental bonding can help correct these complications and improve your smile. Your oral health is a sensitive part of your overall well-being. Therefore, before you undergo any dental procedure, you should understand its advantages. Compared to other procedures like veneers and crowns, cosmetic teeth bonding offers a wide range of benefits, including:
Saves on Cost
The most important benefit of cosmetic bonding is a cheap option for correcting your smile. Earlier, most people paid little or no attention to their dental health and general outlook. However, people have become more aware of their oral health and care for their teeth to maintain the desired smile. Treatments must be affordable so that many people can access them. Dental bonding is a more economical procedure when compared to dental crowns and Lumineers. Additionally, many dental insurance providers will cover the cost of this form of treatment.
Safe and Secure Procedure
One of the main concerns when undergoing a dental procedure is its effects on your natural teeth and overall oral health. In the past, dental complications like chipping were corrected using the silver filling. The silver filling used to have chemical leakages, which could cause body damage. However, the material used for dental bonding is pure and completely biocompatible. This means that the material does not contain harmful substances that can damage your body.
Additionally, the material used in cosmetic dental bonding bonds perfectly fits on your teeth, creating a tight seal to keep bacteria away from that part of the tooth. If you have silver fillings on your teeth, you can replace them with beautiful and safer composite bonding.
When compared to veneers and crowns, dental bonding takes less time. The entire bonding procedure could be carried out in one appointment. Therefore, if you have no time to keep visiting the dentist, opting for dental bonding would be the wisest idea. Also, dental bonding does not require creating material in a laboratory. The cosmetic bonding procedure includes applying the bonding material on the tooth and is done in the dentist’s office.
Preserves your Enamel
Your enamel is the strongest part of your tooth and the first line of defense. If the enamel is damaged, bacteria can easily enter your teeth and cause serious dental complications. Unlike veneers, dental bonding does not cause damage to your enamel. Additionally, the preparation of your teeth by removing some tooth material is not necessary with this procedure.
When performing the cosmetic bonding procedure, your dentist will clean your teeth to remove any leftover food particles and apply the material. Additionally, you will not need to commit yourself to lifelong repairs.
Dental bonding is one of the most preferred cosmetic dental treatments for minor dental flaws. By choosing a composite resin that matches the shade of your teeth, you can achieve a beautiful and natural-looking smile. The material used in dental bonding not only brightens your teeth but can also fill gaps between the teeth and align slightly crooked teeth.
Cosmetic dental bonding only involves the placement of the composite resin on your teeth and shaping it to achieve the desired look. The process is very easy and not invasive. Therefore, you will not need to worry about post-procedural pain and discomfort.
Dental Bonding Aftercare Practices
Cosmetic dental bonding would be a great option to correct dental flaws economically and quickly. However, it is important to understand that dental bonding has an increased susceptibility to damage and chipping compared to other cosmetic procedures. Therefore, basic aftercare is essential to ensure that you maintain the procedure’s integrity. Some of the tips to keep your bonded teeth in good condition includes:
- Brushing: Bonding your teeth does not mean that you will not take care of them. Even after this procedure, brushing your teeth at least twice a day or after meals will help prevent the accumulation of food and bacteria on the surface of the teeth. Poor oral hygiene could ruin the structure and aesthetics of your cosmetic dental bonding.
- Flossing: Regular flossing ensures that you remove particles stuck in between your teeth. When you floss, ensure that you bring the floss up to the gum line before proceeding to the next tooth.
- Drink plenty of water after consuming acidic foods. It is no secret that acid is not good for your teeth. When you consume highly acid8c foods, the acid remains in your mouth and can soften the material used for bonding, causing damage and cavities to your teeth. You can protect your dental bonding by taking plenty of water after acidic foods. The water will flush out the acid and stimulate saliva production. In addition to keeping the mouth moist, saliva helps neutralize the PH in the mouth.
- Avoid foods that could stain your teeth. Foods with artificial coloring such as coffee, tea, and wine can cause dark stains on your teeth even after dental bonding. Although these foods cannot damage the bonding structure, they can cause an unpleasant appearance, especially on the front teeth. If you cannot avoid these colored drinks, you should not keep them too long in your mouth and should rinse your mouth with water after consuming the drinks.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride helps harden your tooth enamel and reduces the likelihood of cracking or decay.
- Make regular dental visits. Visiting your dentist at least twice a year is a significant part of ensuring good oral health. Undergoing cosmetic dental bonding does not mean you will not need to make dental visits. During your visits, your dentist can identify the signs of possible tooth decay and damage of the bonding and make necessary adjustments early on.
How Long Does Cosmetic Dental Bonding Last?
Dental bonding on your enamel can last from three up to ten years before you will need to repair then. With proper dental hygiene and a good oral care routine, the effectiveness and durability of the procedure could be extended. Additionally, regular dental visits will help maintain your oral health. Some of the ways through which you can protect your dental bonding include:
- Avoid chewing on ice. Chewing on ice cubes is common for many individuals, especially during the summer. Some people chew on the ice to cool their mouth, while others use it to satisfy their hunger cravings without consuming additional calories. Chewing on ice is bad for your oral health, especially dental bonding. The ice cubes could cause damage to the bonding material and destroy your image.
- Avoid picking on the bonding.
- Keep sharp objects away from your mouth.
- Avoid teeth grinding or wear a mouthguard. Teeth that grind against each other have a high potential of chipping. The pressure from the grinding of the teeth can cause damage to the bonding material, reducing the durability and effectiveness of the procedure.
Cost of Cosmetic Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is a cheaper option when compared to veneers, Lumineers, and dental crowns. The cost of dental bonding will depend on the condition of your teeth and the number of teeth that need treatment. Typically, you will spend $300 to $600 to bond each tooth. Dental bonding is prone to chipping and staining. Therefore, you may need to replace it every five or ten years.
Since dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure, many insurance companies may not cover the procedure. However, if you want to undergo the procedure to fill a cavity, you can discuss your options with the insurance company.
Find an Experienced Cosmetic Dentist Near Me
Discolored, broken, and chipped teeth can not only affect your oral health but also distort your smile. Dental bonding is a procedure in which tooth-colored material is applied to your teeth to restore these cosmetic flaws and improve your smile. Unlike other cosmetic procedures like veneers and tooth crowns, bonding is a simple procedure that solves a variety of dental flaws at an affordable price. You can ensure that the procedure is done correctly and effectively by seeking the services of a skilled cosmetic dentist.
At The Whittier Dentist, our skilled cosmetic dentists have the knowledge, skills, and experience to improve your smile through comprehensive cosmetic procedures like dental bonding. If you are interested in improving your smile by correcting the cosmetic flaws within your teeth, you will need our skills and expertise. Call us today at 562-632-1223 from any location in Whittier, CA.