Few things can ruin your day faster than an imperfect smile. A chipped or cracked tooth can make you feel insecure, cause discomfort, and even influence how others see you!
For these reasons, many people with damaged teeth hurry to their dentist’s office for a bonding procedure. In just a few short minutes, your dentist can repair chipped, decaying, discolored, or otherwise damaged teeth, giving you the confidence to flash a big smile again.
But what exactly is dental bonding? Is this procedure the solution for all dental damage? Is it for certain cases only? Let’s take a look at this treatment and see if it’s the right one to perfect your smile.
What is Bonding?
Tooth bonding is a quick and simple cosmetic procedure, in which your dentist repairs damage by attaching a composite resin to your existing tooth. The dentist shapes the resin and hardens it with a UV light. Once it’s hardened, the resin will stick to your tooth and cover the damage.
Just like that – presto! Your chipped, cracked, or decayed tooth looks as good as new. The entire process takes 30 to 60 minutes and requires no anesthesia.
Tooth bonding is a popular choice among patients for three main reasons: it’s quick, it’s painless, and it’s relatively inexpensive. Patients with minor imperfections (like one cracked tooth or a gap between two teeth) can have their smile fixed in a single afternoon!
Bonding is also considered a cheaper cosmetic procedure than veneers or dental implants. This makes it a great choice for someone who needs to repair a broken tooth but doesn’t want to break the bank.
Additionally, composite resin is a long-lasting and natural-looking substitute for a tooth. With proper oral care, bonding can last anywhere from five to ten years! After a bonding procedure, most people can enjoy a healthy and beautiful smile for up to a decade.
While tooth bonding can be a great solution for some people, it’s not a treatment for everyone. The biggest problem with bonding is the risk of separation.
After bonding, your tooth is essentially in two pieces (the natural tooth and the composite resin). Because of this, there is a chance that the two parts can separate. People who undergo tooth bonding should avoid biting their nails, chewing on ice, or biting down on hard candies, as these habits could break a bonded tooth.
The other major difference between bonding and other cosmetic dentistry is the materials used. Veneers and crowns are often made from porcelain, which is tough and fairly stain resistant. Bonding uses resin, which is much more porous than porcelain.
This means that a bonded tooth is more likely to become stained if you are a heavy smoker or avid drinker of coffee or wine. However, it is easy to avoid this problem with regular brushing.
Is Bonding Right for You?
Bonding is a quick and effective way to repair damaged teeth, but it is not the perfect solution for every person.
If you want to repair a small chip – and you’re on top of your dental hygiene – this procedure can be a great way to give you a beautiful smile. If you smoke, bite your nails, or want to do a full-mouth makeover, you might be better off with a different treatment.
Luckily, there are many cosmetic dental treatments available to help people have healthy, beautiful, and bright smiles. If you’re not sure which treatment is right for you, just ask your dentist! He or she can use your habits and your dental history to determine the best option for your teeth.