Dental bonding is a cosmetic dentistry treatment that involves adding more material to your tooth using dental composite. This is a blend of resin and crushed glass, which is very similar to the material used for tooth-colored fillings.
But instead of filling a cavity, this material is applied to the outside of the tooth, reshaping it and improving its appearance. Bonding is typically used to treat minor chips, to reshape uneven or misshapen teeth, to cover up stains, and to enlarge teeth to fill gaps between teeth, among other purposes.
The bonding process is quite fast and it’s totally non-invasive. You don’t need any numbing, and it usually takes about 30 minutes to treat each tooth, so it’s possible to have multiple front teeth restored in a single consultation at our Bowling Green office.
To begin the process, Dr. Packard will need to clean your teeth. This ensures that he has a clean, healthy tooth surface to work on. Next, he will paint a thin layer of acid onto the surface of each tooth that is being bonded. This doesn’t harm your enamel at all. Instead, it roughens the smooth enamel slightly. This lets the bonding achieve a tight hold on the tooth, and boosts its durability.
Once the tooth is prepared, Dr. Packard will select a shade of dental resin that matches the color of your teeth perfectly, and begin applying it to your tooth. He will apply it layer-by-layer, sculpting, smoothing, and hardening each layer with a UV light.
After he has added the right amount of material to the tooth and the overall shape looks right, he will move on and begin trimming and adjusting the tooth until it looks indistinguishable from a real tooth. Then, he will check your bite and make any final necessary adjustments. After this, you’ll be sent home, or the process will be repeated if you’re having multiple teeth bonded at Precision Dental.
As far as oral hygiene is concerned, you should treat your newly-bonded teeth the same way that you would treat your natural teeth. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to keep your teeth clean, and floss to remove buildup from between your gums and teeth. You also should see Dr. Packard every six months for a checkup. During your appointment in Bowling Green, he will check your natural teeth and your bonded teeth to ensure that your mouth is healthy.
To prevent damage to your new teeth, you also may need to make some lifestyle adjustments. You should not bite extremely hard foods with your bonded teeth. Think almonds, popcorn kernels, and ice. Chew these with your rear teeth.
You also should not chew non-food objects. Avoid biting pencils, fingernails, pens, and anything else that’s not food. This prevents premature wear and damage. In the same vein, never use your teeth as tools. Don’t tear paper or bags with them, or use them to open packages or bottles. This could damage both your bonded teeth and your natural teeth.
Dental bonding is highly effective for various dental complications. However, it’s especially ideal for addressing tooth decay. Dentists use the bonding material to fill up cavities created by tooth decay, thus restoring the decayed tooth’s shape and structure. The treatment is also great for repairing small cracks and chips on teeth caused by physical impacts from accidents, falls, and rough sports.
Some dentists may recommend dental bonding for covering teeth imperfections like stains. Remember, the bonding material mimics your tooth’s color and can cover up these stans, thus restoring your smile to its former glory. Dental bonding is also great for shaping misshapen teeth that look out of place from the rest. Dentists also use it to lengthen teeth that appear shorter than other teeth.
Severe gum recession can lead to the exposure of highly sensitive tooth roots. Dental bonding can cover the exposed area to protect the sensitive roots from exposure to hot and cold substances or cavity-causing bacteria.
No, you cannot whiten dental bonding. The non-porous bonding material made of composite resin is immune to the whitening effect of teeth-whitening agents like hydrogen peroxide and hydrogen carbamide. This non-porosity means the whitening agent cannot permeate inside the inner layers of the bonding material to dislodge stains and pigments on the dental bonding.
This is quite a bummer, given the predisposition of dental bonding material to stain and discolor. This is especially true for people who regularly consume pigmented drinks and foods like coffee, red wine, and certain sodas. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll have to live with discolored teeth for the rest of your life.
The dentist will apply another layer of dental bonding material to your dental bonding should it stain. This layer will cover all the training and discoloration on the bonding. Past that, it’s your responsibility to maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing your teeth regularly to prevent the dental bonding material from staining.
Plenty of factors determine how long bonded teeth last, but they last, on average, for three to fifteen years. The adhesive material attaching the bonding material to your teeth eventually wears off, and the bonding falls off. Dentists recommend dental bonding touch-ups when there’s visible damage on the bonded area or when your bonding discolors. You might also need touch-ups if you have issues with your bite or if your bonded teeth are causing your discomfort.
That said, you can lengthen the lifespan of your bonded teeth by practicing proper oral hygiene habits, which include brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing them daily. You should also avoid biting into hard foods and objects with your bonded teeth. In addition to hard foods, steer clear of alcohol that accelerates the wear of dental cement and compromises the longevity of your bonded teeth.