You know those pesky chips, gaps, or yellow spots that make you feel less than stellar about your smile?
You know the ones. Those imperfections that make you feel self-conscious, but you live with them because they don’t exactly warrant cosmetic surgery?
Did you know there’s an easy, affordable solution?
Cosmetic bonding is a dental procedure created to resolve minor tooth imperfections. It can be completed in just one visit to your dentist’s office, requires no anesthesia, and is a more inexpensive alternative to dental veneers.
What is Cosmetic Bonding?
Cosmetic bonding, or dental bonding, is a dental procedure that involves applying a composite resin to your teeth to fill in minor imperfections.
Candidates for cosmetic teeth bonding are those who desire cosmetic repairs that are not severe enough to require veneers. Cosmetic bonding is ideal for repairing chipped or cracked teeth, discoloration, gaps, short teeth, or protecting exposed roots due to receding gum lines.
How Does Cosmetic Bonding Work?
So what does cosmetic bonding do, exactly? In short, cosmetic bonding is applying bonding resin (an adhesive, putty-like substance) to teeth to repair minor imperfections.
Cosmetic bonding is much a simpler than procedure than veneers because the tooth doesn’t have to be shaved down. Typically it can be completed in-house at your dentist’s office and doesn’t require an anesthetic.
If you’re having just one or a few teeth treated, the procedure can be completed in one visit.
The Cosmetic Bonding Procedure
If your teeth are healthy, there is nothing you need to do to prepare except arrive at your appointment with your teeth brushed and flossed.
To begin the procedure, your dentist will roughen the tooth’s surface to prepare it for adhesive. They will then apply a conditioning fluid to the tooth, which acts as a “glue” for the bonding resin to stick.
Using a bonding resin that matches the color of your tooth, your dentist will then apply the resin and mold it into the correct shape. Next, they will smooth the resin down and use a UVA light to cure and harden it within seconds.
Last, your dentist will take care of the fine details by smoothing the resin down until it is in the perfect shape and looks natural in your mouth. Typically, the procedure takes 30 minutes to an hour per tooth.
After cosmetic bonding, you may experience tooth sensitivity for a few days. Over-the-counter painkillers can help. Also, try to avoid eating extremely hot or cold foods for a few days.
Beyond these, regular brushing and flossing are sufficient aftercare for your teeth following cosmetic bonding.
How to Care for Bonded Teeth
Your bonded teeth will look and feel just like natural teeth. But bear in mind that the bonding resin is not quite as strong as natural tooth enamel, so avoid doing things that could cause damage to your teeth, such as chewing on pens, biting your fingernails, grinding your teeth, etc.
Also, be aware that bonding resin can stain, but unlike natural tooth enamel, it is resistant to whitening treatments. Be cautious when drinking coffee and wine, and avoid smoking to reduce the chances of staining your teeth.
Pros and Cons of Cosmetic Bonding
Cosmetic bonding can be the ideal solution for anyone dealing with tooth imperfections but who wishes to avoid the hassle and expense of veneers. But, like any procedure, cosmetic bonding is not for everyone. In the following section, we will cover the pros and cons of cosmetic bonding.
Pros of Cosmetic Bonding
What are the benefits of cosmetic bonding? Let’s explore the three main advantages of the procedure.
- Great for minor tooth repairs
Pro #1: Cosmetic Bonding is Great for Minor Tooth Repairs
Cosmetic bonding is a solution for those dealing with chips, cracks, discoloration, or gaps in teeth — especially the front teeth. Your front teeth do less work chewing, and since cosmetic resin can be damaged under pressure, it’s not ideal for the hardworking molars in the back of your mouth.
Pro #2: Cosmetic Bonding is a Cost-Effective Alternative to Veneers
The price of cosmetic bonding per tooth is a fraction of what you would pay for dental veneers. Since dental bonding doesn’t require a third party to manufacture a veneer or crown, it can be completed in-house with a relatively quick and straightforward procedure.
Pro #3: Cosmetic Bonding is Long-Lasting
Cosmetic bonding allows you to enjoy your dream smile for up to a decade. If you practice good oral hygiene and avoid excessive wear and tear on your teeth, there’s no reason they wouldn’t last ten years or even longer. If your teeth do become damaged in some way, your dentist can repair the issue.
Cons of Cosmetic Bonding
Let’s explore the disadvantages of cosmetic bonding so you can decide if it’s right for you.
- Not a replacement for veneers or fillings
- Teeth must be healthy before application
- Potential for allergic reaction
Con #1: Cosmetic Bonding is Not a Replacement for Veneers or Fillings
While cosmetic bonding can be an affordable alternative to veneers, it is not always the most suitable solution. Dental veneers, crowns, or fillings may be a better option for large chips, severe decay, or significant wear and tear.
Con #2: Teeth Must Be Completely Healthy Before Cosmetic Bonding
If you have a tooth infection or decay, these issues must be treated before you can get cosmetic bonding. If left untreated, infections and decay will continue to grow under the resin and cause bigger problems down the road.
Con #3: Possible Allergic Reaction to Bonding Resin
Though rare, some people have an allergic reaction to the resin used in cosmetic bonding. The composite resin, or epoxy resin, designed to match the natural color of teeth is a highly adhesive chemical. People sensitive to epoxy resin may experience irritation and allergic reactions.
Schedule a Consultation for Cosmetic Bonding Today
Cosmetic bonding is a cost-effective, long-lasting solution to minor tooth imperfections. Compared to dental veneers, cosmetic bonding can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars and hours in the dentist’s chair.
You deserve to feel good about your smile. So goodbye to chips, gaps, and discoloration with the help of the experts at Slone Dental.
We have helped many patients in Lexington, KY and the surrounding areas achieve the smile of their dreams through cosmetic bonding. Schedule an appointment today to learn more!