If you're looking forward to a better smile, then you'll probably want to take a look at dental bonding. It's one of several popular options for those wanting to improve the natural appearance of their teeth. The following goes into detail about the procedure, its advantages over other procedures and its financial cost to you.
How Dental Bonding Works
Compared to other dental procedures, dental bonding is a relatively simple process. As the name suggests, dental bonding involves adhering or "bonding" a composite resin over your existing teeth. The actual bond is made with a specialized ultraviolet (UV) light or laser tool, hardening the resin material onto the tooth surface.
You're probably wondering exactly how the procedure will play out in the dentist's chair, so here's what you can expect during the procedure:
- After a cursory inspection of your teeth, your dentist may trim the surface of the tooth to prevent it from crowding the surrounding teeth once the resin shell is in place.
- For the next step, your dentist will apply a mild etching solution to the surface of the tooth. This will give the tooth enough of a rough surface for the resin to bond properly.
- After roughing up the tooth surface, your dentist will apply the resin material onto your tooth. The resin material looks like and can be shaped like putty, plus it's carefully colored to closely match the natural shade of your teeth.
- Once the resin putty has been properly shaped and molded, a UV light or laser will be used to cure the resin. Some polishing and last-minute shaping may be in order to match your teeth's natural appearance as closely as possible.
Once finished, you shouldn't be able to tell the difference between the dental bond and your own natural teeth.
Advantages and Drawbacks
There are plenty of advantages when it comes to dental bonding:
- According to CostHelper, a typical dental bonding procedure costs an average of $300 per tooth, with some dentists charging as low as $100 per tooth.
- Most dental bonding procedures can be done in less than 60 minutes for each tooth. It's possible for a complete bonding procedure to be done in just one office visit.
- It can be done without the need for anesthesia, unless dental bonding techniques are used to fill cavities.
However, there are a few caveats to take note of:
- Dental bonding resins are designed to last a long time, but they're not quite as durable as crowns, fillings or veneers. Bonded teeth can also chip or even break under some circumstances.
- Some resin formulas and shades may not resist staining as well as others.
- Your insurance plan may not cover this cosmetic procedure, so you should be prepared to pay out-of-pocket.
When to Consider Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is a great option for changing the outward appearance of your teeth, as well as for repairing physical damage to your teeth, including cracked, chipped or otherwise decayed sections of teeth. It's also a good cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings, which can be more noticeable in many cases. If you're not satisfied with the overall appearance of your teeth, you can use dental bonding to make them appear longer, close large spaces in between teeth and change the overall shape of your teeth.
Dental bonding can even be used as a way to protect your teeth. Dental bonding resin can hide exposed portions of teeth caused by receding gums, preventing your teeth from being exposed to further damage.
Dental Bonding vs. Veneers
It's also important to note the differences between dental bonding and veneers, which are also popular for restoring a flawless smile. Whereas dental bonding uses moldable resins, veneers consist of a thin porcelain shell that fits over the tooth. The shell is usually kept in place with an adhesive, which may also be UV activated.
For more information, contact a local dental clinic like Bristol Dental Group.