If you’d like to fix minor dental imperfections, such as chipped, cracked, or discolored teeth, you have a range of restoration options to repair and renew your smile, including dental veneers, crowns, and dental bonding. Of the three, bonding is the cheapest and least time-consuming, making it a popular choice.
At Back of the Wasatch Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Reed Lobrot and our staff offer a wide range of restoration options, from bridges and crowns to veneers to dental bonding. If you’ve got minor cosmetic issues with your teeth and are looking for an affordable option, dental bonding may be for you.
What can dental bonding fix?
Also known as tooth bonding, dental bonding involves applying composite resin to the surface of a tooth to repair a flaw. It’s a quick procedure and one of the least expensive cosmetic dental restoration treatments.
Dental bonding can address a variety of tooth problems, though it’s most commonly used to cover discoloration or repair a chip. It can also be used to change the shape of one or more teeth, make a tooth appear longer to match those around it, or close large gaps between teeth where plaque can build up.
Dr. Lobrot may even use dental bonding to repair decay within a tooth, and, in some cases, he uses it instead of amalgam or metallic fillings to protect a tooth root exposed by receded gums.
What to expect during the bonding process
Dental bonding usually takes 30-60 minutes per tooth to complete. If you have several teeth that need fixing, you may need to make more than one appointment.
For the process itself, Dr. Lobrot first uses a shade guide to closely match the surrounding teeth’s natural color. Next, he slightly roughens the tooth surface and lightly coats it with a conditioning liquid. Both steps ensure the bonding material will stick to the tooth more easily.
Then, he applies the putty-like resin to the tooth, molding it until it’s the proper shape and “curing” or hardening the material with ultraviolet light. Once the resin has set, he finalizes the shaping and polishes the bonding, so it matches the rest of your teeth.
What to expect after the bonding process
While dental bonding is quick and easy, the composite resin isn’t as strong as your natural tooth enamel or even as strong as a crown, veneer, or filling. That means you need to be careful, or the material can separate from the tooth. Don’t bite down on hard food or candy with that tooth, and never crunch down on ice, or you may cause a chip or crack.
In addition, the resin doesn’t resist stains as much as many other dental materials. That means if you smoke or even drink a lot of tea or coffee, the area may become discolored, especially during the first 48 hours after treatment. Brushing after meals or a teeth whitening treatment may help.
Properly cared for, dental bonding generally lasts from 3-10 years before you need a touch-up. It’ll last longer if you give your bonded teeth the same care as your natural teeth: floss once a day, brush twice a day, use an antimicrobial rinse and a fluoride rinse, and come in for professional cleanings twice a year.
Want more info about dental bonding? To schedule a consultation with Dr. Lobrot, call Back of the Wasatch Family and Cosmetic Dentistry at 435-654-4500, or book online with us today.