Everyone has at least some cosmetic imperfections with their teeth. Dr. Glasser uses dental bonding to mask those flaws and give the patient a perfect smile. And in most cases bonding can be done in a single appointment!
What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding is a cosmetic alternative to porcelain veneers. Using a composite resin made from a combination of tooth-colored plastic and glass, Dr. Glasser can repair decayed, chipped, fractured, or deeply discolored teeth. He sculpts the resin, applying it layer by layer, until satisfied. Then the tooth is polished to a beautiful finish. Dental bonding is a less expensive alternative to porcelain veneers or crowns.
What problems can be masked with dental bonding?
Dental bonding can cosmetically cover many problems:
- Minor chips
- Small cracks
- Uneven teeth
- Teeth stained in the dentin (interior)
- Crooked teeth
- Gaps between teeth
Dr. Glasser also uses composite resin for tooth-colored fillings, but bonding is considered to be a separate, purely cosmetic procedure. It is important to remember that bonding is only cosmetic; any problems such as decay or deep cracks need to be addressed before bonding can be done.
What is the dental bonding procedure?
Your teeth are first cleaned. If you have staining from coffee or red wine, Dr. Glasser may recommend whitening your teeth first to return them to their natural color before selecting the composite resin color. After selecting the color to match your other teeth, we then lightly etch the enamel of the tooth or teeth being bonded. This creates a better surface for the resin to bond to. We also apply a conditioning liquid to further aid adherence.
Now Dr. Glasser applies the resin in small increments. The consistency is akin to putty at this point, and the contour and depth are built up in layers. There is an element of sculpting involved in this process. Dr. Glasser will usually cure the resin in various layers by applying a curing lamp.
When satisfied with the shape of your bonded tooth, the final step is to test the bite to make sure there aren’t any high points and the like. When you are satisfied, we polish the cured resin and it blends perfectly with your adjacent teeth. The entire process takes just an hour or two, depending on how many teeth you are having bonded.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of dental bonding?
Dental bonding is a less expensive option for cosmetically improving your teeth. But there are pros and cons to this procedure.
- Bonding is a cheaper alternative to porcelain crowns or veneers.
- Bonding can be done in a single visit, usually requiring just an hour or so.
- The resin color is matched to your natural teeth very accurately.
- The procedure is painless, and doesn’t require anesthetic.
- The procedure is completely non-invasive.
- Bonding is applied over the tooth, so it doesn’t require removing any enamel, as is necessary for placing veneers or crowns.
- Chewing hard foods and grinding your teeth can make the bonding crack or chip.
- Although it resists staining better than your natural enamel, composite resin isn’t as stain resistant as dental porcelain.
- Excessive bite force or trauma can cause the bond to detach.
- Bonding isn’t meant for large areas. 5. Bonding doesn’t return strength to a damaged tooth, as a crown does.
- Bonding doesn’t respond to whitening.
How is bonding different than having porcelain veneers?
Dental bonding and porcelain veneers are both solely cosmetic procedures, covering minor damage and flaws on the teeth. But their application is entirely different. With bonding, composite resin is applied, sculpted, and then cured and polished. Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are applied to the fronts of the teeth. To make room for the veneers, from 0.3 mm to 0.5 mm of the tooth enamel is shaved off. With bonding, enamel is not removed.
Veneers are very resistant to staining, more so than resin. Veneers last longer but are more expensive. Veneers require two appointments, bonding only one.
How long does dental bonding last?
If you follow a good home hygiene routine and avoid chewing ice and your fingernails, your bonded teeth will look great for a decade or so. Your resin can wear down over that time, and it can become slightly stained. At that point, it can be redone.
Do I need to provide special care for my bonded teeth?
Bonded teeth don’t require any special care, just a regular good home hygiene routine.
Is Dental Bonding As Strong As Natural Teeth?
No. Your natural tooth enamel is one of the strongest materials in your body. The composite resin material that is bonded to a tooth is susceptible to damage as well as staining. To sustain the integrity of dental bonding, it is helpful to learn how to care for this cosmetic restoration properly. Hygiene is the first habit to master. To reduce the risk of discoloration and damage, brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Also, avoid using the bonded teeth for biting into chewy or hard foods. Finally, never use your teeth (natural or bonded) to open packages or other items. After having the dental bonding procedure done, it is necessary to adhere to your dentist's care instructions, including routine dental check-ups and cleanings. At your appointments, we thoroughly check all functional and cosmetic restorations to ensure they are in good condition.
Is Dental Bonding Visible?
The dental bonding procedure is performed with extraordinary care to ensure that the composite material blends in seamlessly with the surrounding enamel. With good care, the bonded tooth should look just like your natural teeth for many years. The cosmetic restoration may become visible over time if the resin gets discolored. Discoloration can occur if you consume products that are known to stain teeth, such as red wine, coffee, tea, and tobacco. Having dental bonding does not mean that you have to completely alter your lifestyle habits. However, you will want to develop ways to mitigate some. For example, if you love your morning cup of coffee, you can create the habit of rinsing your mouth with water afterward. Brushing and flossing also serve to prevent discoloration on or around dental bonding.
Can You Whiten Bonded Teeth?
It is possible to have your teeth whitened after the dental bonding procedure, but we recommend doing it first. Unlike your natural tooth enamel, the composite resin used in dental bonding is not. The reason we can whiten your natural enamel is that the pores in that material absorb the whitening agent, allowing it to break up stain molecules. Due to its nonporous characteristic, composite resin cannot absorb whitening gel. It can, however, become stained over time, though not nearly as quickly as natural enamel. When you have your teeth whitened before the dental bonding procedure, Dr. Glasser can match the bonding material to the brighter shade of your natural teeth. When your teeth become discolored again over time, the whitening process can be repeated and, if the bonding material does not blend seamlessly with your newly whitened smile, it is easy to replace the bonding restoration to match perfectly.
What Can't You Eat With Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is generally very durable and capable of withstanding normal biting force. This is why dental bonding is known to last 10 years or longer. While the material can hold up to normal biting, it may degrade more quickly as a result of intense chewing, hence the reason dental bonding is most commonly performed on front teeth, not back teeth. If you get dental bonding, our team may advise you to avoid biting into very dense or hard foods like steak and raw carrots. You may eat these items, but it is better to cut them into bite-sized pieces and chew with molars rather than using your bonded front teeth. Sticky, chewy foods like gum and caramel can also damage dental bonding. In this case, biting and twisting is the problem. This motion can compromise the integrity of the bonding material against the tooth. While you can continue to enjoy your favorite foods after getting dental bonding, you want to make sure that you chew carefully and rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking items that can stain your teeth.
Is Dental Bonding Painful?
Patients do not describe the dental bonding process as painful. All aspects of the procedure, from the dental cleaning to etching to the curing of the resin material, occur on the surface of the tooth. During the consultation visit, Dr. Glasser fully discusses the steps to the treatment and the techniques that are involved to assure patient comfort at all times. Most patients have zero pain during their treatment and minimal, if any, discomfort like sensitivity afterward.