If you have imperfections in any of your teeth, you may spend time trying to cover them up. You may even avoid smiling for fear that someone notices your cracked or misshapen teeth. For patients in San Diego, tooth bonding is a fast, painless procedure that can correct a variety of imperfections in your teeth. Bonding is a tooth-colored material that can be used to fill in gaps, change the color of teeth, or change the shape of teeth.
Do you want to know if you’re a good candidate for a cosmetic dentistry procedure like teeth bonding? We’ve compiled everything you need to know.
What Problems Can Teeth Bonding Repair?
Dental bonding can be used to treat a wide variety of tooth problems. It can be used to:
- Repair decayed teeth
- Repair chipped or cracked teeth
- Improve the appearance of discolored teeth
- Close spaces between teeth
- Make teeth look longer
- Change the shape of teeth
- Protect a tooth’s exposed root
Tooth bonding can also be used as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings.
Typically, tooth bonding is used to make small cosmetic changes to the teeth to improve your satisfaction with your smile. The material that is used to repair your teeth is called composite, a tooth-colored material that can be custom-matched to the shade of your teeth for a natural look.
To determine if you’re a good candidate for teeth bonding, our San Diego office will be happy to discuss your options.
The Teeth Bonding Procedure
To see if tooth bonding is best for you, your dentist will take x-rays of your teeth and perform an evaluation of your teeth and gums. They will identify any chips, cracks, or decay, and decide if tooth bonding will be the right fix for your issues.
At your appointment for teeth bonding in San Diego, your dentist will talk you through the procedure and answer any questions that you might have before beginning.
Sedation dentistry is usually not necessary for cosmetic tooth bonding, though you may need sedation if the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth, if the tooth needs to be drilled down first, or if the crack is near a nerve.
To make sure that the bonding matches your teeth’s natural color as closely as possible, your dentist will use a shade guide to select the right bonding.
Before the bonding is applied, your dentist will etch the surface of the tooth to roughen it. Then, they will coat the tooth with a special conditioning liquid that will help the bonding adhere. The putty-like bonding is then applied to the tooth, with the dentist molding it into the correct shape. An ultraviolet light or laser is then used to harden the bonding.
After the bonding hardens, your dentist will make final adjustments, including polishing the bonding until it matches the natural sheen of your teeth. The entire process takes about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth.
Caring for Your Bonding
After your appointment at our office in San Diego, tooth bonding doesn’t require any special care. You should continue to brush and floss as usual, and you should schedule regular cleanings every six months.
However, tooth bonding is prone to chipping. You should avoid habits that can increase the risk for chipping, such as biting fingernails, chewing on pens, or using your teeth to open things. If you notice that your bonded teeth has a sharp edge or feels strange when you bite down, contact your dentist.
How Long Does Tooth Bonding Last?
The lifespan of tooth bonding depends on your own oral habits and how much bonding was done. Typically, bonding lasts anywhere from 3 years to 10 years. After that time, you’ll need to have your bonding touched up or replaced.
Advantages of Tooth Bonding
Teeth bonding is one of the most affordable cosmetic dentistry options. Other options that are used to change the shape and color of teeth are crowns and veneers, and they must be custom-made in a lab. Since bonding can be done in one visit by the dentist, it makes the process significantly cheaper.
During the bonding process, only a minimal amount of enamel has to be removed. Comparable procedures like crowns and veneers require a significant amount of enamel to be removed, a process that cannot be reversed.
For patients who want to avoid sedation, tooth bonding is an option that typically does not require any sedation.
Disadvantages of Tooth Bonding
Although bonding material is somewhat stain resistant, it is still more susceptible to staining than crowns. Avoiding things like coffee and red wine can help prevent staining. Scheduling regular cleanings every six months will also help reduce the risk for staining.
Bonding is not as long lasting as other cosmetic dentistry procedures like veneers or crowns. Although properly cared for bonding can last up to 10 years, veneers can last 20 years or longer.
Bonding materials may also chip and break off of the teeth. You can reduce the risk of breaking by avoiding biting down on hard things.
Before deciding whether tooth bonding is right for you, talk to our dentists about the pros and cons of the procedure. You can discuss other cosmetic dentistry options like crowns and veneers to see how each option stacks up for you. Tooth bonding often is the best option for minor tooth imperfections due to how simple and affordable the procedure is.
You don’t have to live with a smile marred by chips and cracks. If you have been looking for an affordable, simple way to correct tooth imperfections, it may be time to consider teeth bonding. San Diego patients can call Sedation Dental Center at (619)-493-4188 or contact us online to make an appointment.