Dental bonding is a strikingly popular cosmetic treatment in modern dentistry. It is also referred to as tooth bonding. It can provide highly satisfactory solutions to a number of issues related to the teeth. Dentists rely on this procedure to fix the following problems –
- Perfectly covering up decayed and discoloured tooth
- Fix a fractured or chipped tooth
- Close space between the teeth
However the procedure, by and large, is used for cosmetic purposes. It is often used as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam filling. The procedure is also largely used to protect the exposed portion of a tooth root resulting from gum recession.
The procedure involves applying a bonding material which comes in the colour of the tooth. A light of high intensity is also used to get the application hardened faster. Thus the material bonds with your tooth and restores the damage.
What are the circumstances when tooth bonding is suggested to patients?
Dentists usually suggest the procedure to patients under the following circumstances –
- Fill up cavities in the tooth with composite resin
- Fix slight misalignment issues with the teeth
- Repair a cracked, decayed or chipped tooth
- Fill up unwanted gaps between the teeth
- Cover up discoloured or stained teeth to give them a better look or appearance
- Protect the roots of a tooth that have been exposed due to recession of the gums
In addition to the circumstances mentioned above, while dealing with tooth cavities composite resin is also used as an alternative to amalgam filling.
Types of the procedure
Dental bonding can be done in two ways –
- Direct composite bonding and
- Adhesive bonding
Direct composite bonding
In direct composite bonding dentists use a composite material, resin for example, which comes in the colour of the tooth. The tooth-coloured composite material plays its role in fixing various dental issues including gapped teeth, chipped, cracked or broken tooth, shielding tooth roots resulting from receding gums and much more. The composite material can be directly applied or even sculpted to the teeth surface. In comparison, composite bonding is a more affordable procedure. Because of its reasonable cost, it easily fits into almost every budget. Moreover the procedure requires just one visit to your dentist’s office. There is no follow up appointments or post treatment checkups.
adhesive bonding is frequently used in treatments with porcelain veneers, dental bridges, inlays and on-lays, aesthetic as well as metal-free crowns and others. The process involves attaching a restoration to a tooth with an intermediary bonding agent and adhesive under the presence of a light with high intensity.
The steps involved in adhesive bonding procedure are as following –
- A dentist carefully matches the shade that go perfectly with the shade of your tooth.
- The dentist then roughens the surface of the targeted tooth. this is done by applying a gentle solution of phosphoric acid.
- Once the tooth surface is roughened, a liquid bonding agent is applied to the roughened surface.
- In the next step, the tooth coloured resin is attached to the bonding agent. It is followed by moulding the tooth into desired shape and then it is smoothened.
- The step that follows involves hardening of the composite resin material in presence of a bluer light with high intensity or UV ray.
- Once the composite material is hardened, the dentist has to further trim and shape it with care as well as match its sheen with that of the other teeth. matching the sheen involves polishing the bonded tooth.
Advantages that dental bonding offers
Advantages that the procedure offers are many and include the following –
- Unlike crowns and veneers teeth bonding procedure gets complete in just a single visit to a dentist’s office. (Unless ofcourse several teeth are involved.)
- In contrast to crowns and veneers the procedure requires scrapping away or removing a very less quantity of the tooth enamel. Thus the basic structure of your tooth remains untouched and unaltered.
- The procedure is painless and thus anaesthesia is usually not used on these patients. However anaesthesia is required to sedate your feeling when bonding is done to fill up a tooth cavity.
- Teeth-bonding happens to be one of the least cumbersome, fastest, simplest and least expensive cosmetic dental procedures.
- On the flip side, the bonding material is not as strong and durable as crowns, veneers and fillings.
- It cannot bear severe pressure and are likely to develop cracks or get broken. This is the reason why patients of teeth grinding are recommended to wear mouth guard at night before going to sleep.
- Because of the bonding material, the tooth may get frequently chipped or fractured and can also break.
Considering both the pros and cons, dentists recommend teeth bonding to the patients. As such irrespective of its benefits and disadvantages, the procedure is one of the best options to bring about small cosmetic changes to the front teeth in particular which are least subjected to bite pressure.
All in all, composite bonding is an efficient and cost-effective treatment if you have a chipped tooth or one of your teeth is decaying. It will effectively restore your tooth and will prevent any further damage. But it is important to understand that composite bonding is most suitable when only one or two of your teeth is affected.
In scenarios when several teeth are affected at once, other alternative treatments like dental veneers or dental crowns are more suitable. If you are still unsure about the right treatment for your dental issue, consider contacting our cosmetic dentistry Surrey team and they will be happy to help you out.
Is there any risk involved in this procedure?
On the whole the procedure is safe and does not involve any risk. But you have to remember that composite resin, which is used in the procedure, is not as strong and durable as the natural tooth enamel. Thus chances are high that the composite material to get chipped or separate away from your natural tooth. with crowns, fillings or veneers the chances of chipping and breaking are exceptionally thin. Do not indulge in chewing on ice, pen or pencil tips, biting fingernails or eating hard foods like certain nuts and candy to prevent it from chipping or separating away from the natural tooth structure.
Another problem with composite resin is it is easily prone to stains. Smoking and drinking a lot of coffee can discolour your bonded tooth.
Before going ahead with the composite bonding treatment you must check with your dental insurance provider. Some oral health insurances do not cover dental bonding considering it a purely cosmetic procedure.
In order to take proper care of your bonded tooth, brush and floss the teeth properly every day. Get your teeth professionally cleaned by a dental hygienist at least once a year. In case you feel a sharp or rough edge after the procedure or accidentally chip or break the bonding material, see your dentist immediately.