All you have to do is turn on your TV or open your social media apps to be besieged with pictures of perfect smiles. Celebrities and paid spokespeople laud procedures such as dental implants and bleaching as the reasons for their even, white teeth. While these procedures do have merit in their own right, are they really what you need for the few chipped teeth or discolored surfaces you possess? Don't run out and spend a lot of your hard-earned money yet; you may only need an easy, highly effective procedure called dental bonding in order to flash your own perfect smile. In this case, less is more.
What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding is the application of a putty-like substance, called cosmetic resin, to the imperfect surfaces of your teeth. The resin fills areas that are cracked or chipped and covers areas that are discolored. The dentist uses the resin to build up surfaces to narrow gaps between teeth and make unevenly sized teeth the same height. Dental bonding is similar to filling cavities; the same resin is used in both.
How does it work?
Dental bonding, first of all, is painless; the procedure requires no anesthesia, because there is no drilling involved. It is also quite easy--perhaps the easiest stretch of time you ever spent in the dentist's chair. There are the five steps.
Surface preparation. The dentist first roughens the surface of your teeth and applies a conditioning liquid. This ensures that the resin will adhere properly.
Shade choice. Next, the dentist selects the proper shade of resin to best match the natural color of the rest of your teeth.
Application. The dentist applies the resin to your teeth, then shapes it to achieve the desired effect.
Drying. Almost done! Using a UV light, the dentist dries the resin.
Polish. The final step is to trim and polish the surfaces so that they are perfect.
Dental bonding is not only painless and easy; it is also quick. These five steps take only about an hour. The result is teeth that match each other in both shape and color.
How do you care for bonded teeth?
While there isn't any pain associated with dental bonding, your teeth may be a bit sensitive to cold and heat for the next few days. In addition, you will need to keep the following tips in mind to make your bonding a success:
Brush twice a day and floss at least once to keep your mouth free of plaque.
Drink water after each meal to flush out food debris and prevent high acidity levels.
Avoid food and drinks with bright or dark colors, which can stain your teeth.
Don't smoke or chew tobacco.
Break any habits you may have of biting on hard surfaces such as pens/pencils, fingernails, and the like. Also avoid hard candies.
Is dental bonding right for me?
Unfortunately, bonding isn't the right choice for every dental imperfection. It is not recommended for back teeth, because they bear the brunt of chewing; this hard work can erode or break bonded surfaces. It isn't the best choice if you are a smoker, because the resin used isn't fully resistant to stains. Dental insurance doesn't usually cover dental bonding when it is done purely for cosmetic reasons, so you will have to pay out of pocket. And lastly, sometimes bondings break off, necessitating either return trips to the dentist or more extensive cosmetic interventions, such as veneers or crowns.
Overall, dental bonding is the best choice if you have a few imperfections in the shape, surface, or coloration of your teeth.
Less is more. Ask your dentist today or click here for more information about whether or not dental bonding is right for you.