Dental bonding is the application of a composite resin to the exterior of your teeth. The resin is a mixture of finely ground glass and plastic, paired with a resin that bonds them together. Whereas many dental restorations are made in a dental lab and shipped to us, the composite resin is prepared entirely in our office.
What is dental bonding used for?
Bonding is one of the most cost-effective cosmetic procedures that we perform. Regarding affordability vs. value, dental bonding cannot be beaten. When we mix the composite resin, we make sure to match the coloration and shading of the surrounding teeth perfectly. When applied to the tooth the composite resin is putty-like in texture and malleable, which allows us to shape it to the contours of your teeth. We even texture and polish the resin (once it is hardened) to match the aesthetic of your teeth perfectly. In short, dental bonding is used to repair damaged or unsightly teeth.
We can use dental bonding to fix spacing issues with teeth if they are too far apart, or close together. We can alter crooked teeth to appear straight. We can even use bonding to protect portions of the teeth that have been exposed because of gum recession. Dental bonding is a versatile tool that allows us to fix a wide variety of cosmetic and structural issues in teeth.
The composite resin that we use in dental bonding is the same material that we use to restore teeth that have experienced some level of decay. When a tooth needs a filling, we can provide a tooth-colored filling, which is a fantastic option when compared to silver-colored (amalgam) fillings.
How Dental Bonding is Done
The first step in the process is to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. Dental bonding is not an invasive procedure and is not known to cause discomfort. We will apply local anesthetic if we feel the procedure warrants it and you are free to request any variety of sedation that you desire for any procedure here at Nicholas Dose, DMD Family Dental Care. Your comfort comes first!
Next, we will use a shade guide to find the color of your teeth so that we can match them with the composite resin that we will mix. Once we choose the color, we will prepare your teeth to receive the composite resin by abrading them to give them texture. We add texture to the teeth in the form of very fine scratches and etches so that the resin has more surface area to gain a solid purchase on your tooth. By doing this, we ensure the longevity of the dental bond.
Once the tooth is ready to receive the dental bond, we will apply the composite resin, which resembles putty, to the surface of your tooth. Dr. Dose will shape and mold the resin so that it matches the contours of your teeth and gives the perfect aesthetic that you are looking to achieve. Once Dr. Dose is happy with the form of the dental bond they will set it permanently with a special ultraviolet light. This ultraviolet light hardens the composite compound and forces it to bond to the surface of your teeth permanently.
When the bond is set permanently, Dr. Dose will set to work shaping and trimming them. Excess material is trimmed to give the tooth an appropriate look to the bond. The final step is polishing the bond to match the sheen of your teeth.
This process takes roughly a half-hour to complete per-tooth. If we are restoring multiple teeth using dental bonds, it may be necessary to schedule several visits.
What do dental bonds cost?
A common question that we get asked about dental bonds is, how much do they cost? Depending on the issue you want to have fixed, dental bonds can vary greatly in cost. The more work we have to do to a tooth to achieve the desired effect will obviously have an impact on the cost of the procedure. Dr. Dose will need to evaluate your situation to more accurately provide you with the cost breakdown. Many dental insurance plans cover the cost of dental bonds when it is done to fill a cavity or to fix structural issues in a tooth.
Where Dental Bonds Work Best
There are applications where dental bonds work well and applications where they should not be used. When bonds are being used to fix aesthetic issues dental bonds work best in teeth that experience low bite pressure. Front teeth are not typically used to apply much pressure to the foods that we eat, so dental bonds are ideally used to fix aesthetic issues in the front teeth. Dental bonds can work in teeth that experience extreme bite pressures as long as they are used as fillings.
Dental bonds or porcelain veneers?
What are porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers are thin strips of porcelain that we use to place over teeth that you would like to alter. To have porcelain veneers placed, we have to alter your teeth by removing some of the enamel from the teeth.
Dental Bonds Vs. Porcelain Veneers
It is important to consider your options whenever you are looking for a cosmetic dental solution. In the case of dental bonding, the procedure that it is most commonly compared to is porcelain veneers. Veneers can address the same issues that dental bonds can. Both dental bonding and porcelain veneers can be used to fix the following cosmetic issues:
- Cracks and chips
- Teeth that are too far apart
- Teeth that are too close together
- Crooked teeth
- Misaligned teeth
- Teeth that appear too small or large
There is much overlap in the things that dental bonds and veneers can fix. The one cosmetic issue that porcelain veneers can address that dental bonds don’t do as good of a job with is coloration changes. Because dental veneers effectively cover the teeth that they are placed on, they can be used to change the color of your teeth. Porcelain resists staining much better than composite resins.
Veneers are not better than dental bonding, and dental bonding is not better than veneers. They each have their strengths and weaknesses that make them great choices for similar applications in different circumstances. Dental bonds are cost-effective and great at minor touch-ups. Porcelain veneers offer a fabulous way to alter your smile significantly. Both have their strengths and weaknesses that must be considered before choosing one over the other.
Sometimes people use dental bonding as a transitional treatment while waiting for a more permanent or comprehensive solution like veneers.
Once you receive your new dental bonds, you should expect your teeth to feel strange. Small changes in the mouth often feel very large until your mind gets used to the new structures. Over time, this sensation will fade. While you experience this sensation, it is important to avoid probing the areas too much. Excessive probing with the tongue can result in muscle fatigue and soreness.
Take Care of Your Dental Bonds
Dental bonds can be stained by food and drink that commonly stains teeth. Things like coffee, wine, tobacco, berries, and other foods and drinks that are known to cause staining should be avoided for at least 48 hours after the dental bonds have been placed as this is the time when they are most easily stained.
It is important that you take good care of your dental bonds so that they last you a long time. Brush and floss regularly and avoid using your teeth as tools to open packaging or to chew your fingernails. Chewing on hard things like candy or ice can result in chipping of your dental bonds, and even your natural teeth.
Dental bonds can last decades if you take great care of them. Are you interested in getting a dental bonding treatment? Give us a call at (503) 647-4565. We are happy to help you learn more about your smile!
Or book an appointment with us online today!