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.