What Is Dental Bonding?
The concept of dental bonding is similar to a sculptor molding clay into a beautiful, shapely form. During the procedure, one of our dentists will use dental resin to reshape teeth that may be cosmetically flawed due to issues like gaps, minor chips, and discoloration. This resin is applied directly to your tooth and carefully shaped into the proper form. Once it looks perfect, the resin is hardened with a UV light. Afterward, it is perfected and polished until it blends perfectly in with the rest of your smile. The entire process takes less than an hour per tooth and it is completely non-invasive, making it a great option for those who are interested in improving their smiles without oral surgery.
Understanding The Bonding Process
Dental bonding typically takes only one appointment, and it usually takes between 30-60 minutes to bond a single tooth. The process begins with a comprehensive cleaning from our team at Enamel Dentistry.
Then, your teeth will be painted with a special solution to slightly roughen your enamel. This allows a secure hold for the dental resin. Next, one of our doctors will select a resin that matches the color of your tooth, and apply it directly to your enamel.
Using special dental tools, the resin will be sculpted into the proper size and shape to restore the appearance of your tooth. The resin will be hardened using a UV light and it will be trimmed and refined to shape it further, until the resin looks just like a natural part of your smile. Finally, the newly-bonded tooth will be buffed and polished.
Common Issues Treated By Dental Bonding
If you have multiple cosmetic issues with your smile, but your mouth is healthy and you are free of oral health issues like gum disease, tooth decay, or major orthodontic problems, you are likely a good candidate for dental bonding.
Dental bonding can be used to treat a wide variety of cosmetic issues including gaps, small and misshapen teeth, minor chipping, and severe stains that can’t be treated with whitening. Bonding can also be used alongside enameloplasty (shaping & contouring) to correct uneven teeth and straighten your smile. However, bonding should not be used if you have cavities or other oral health issues, or if you have major orthodontic problems like multiple crooked teeth or a malpositioned jaw.
How To Care For Bonded Teeth
First, make sure you brush and floss regularly, and see the team at Enamel Dentistry for a regular six-month cleaning and checkup. Proper oral hygiene will keep your smile healthy and help prevent the buildup of surface stains.
Speaking of stains, you should also try to minimize your consumption of coffee, tea, wine and other beverages and foods that can stain your teeth. Unlike porcelain veneers, dental bonding uses a porous dental resin, which can become stained over time.
Can’t cut back on your coffee or wine habit? We recommend brushing or rinsing your mouth after drinking your favorite beverages to help prevent stains. You can also drink through a straw to minimize the risk of tooth stains. Avoid chewing hard foods (ice, almonds, etc.) or non-food objects (pens, pencils, fingernails) with your bonded teeth, as this could crack or dislodge the bonding material. Get a night guard to protect your teeth if you grind them, and consider an athletic mouth guard to protect your bonded teeth when you play contact sports.
What Is Shaping, Contouring, And Enameloplasty?
During the process of dental bonding, you may also need an enameloplasty, which is often referred to as “shaping” or “contouring.” These terms refer to the cosmetic removal of a small layer of enamel from the teeth. Removing enamel allows our dentists to change a tooth's shape and enhance its appearance. For example, contouring can remove small chips or pits in the surface of a tooth, remove “points” from the canines, and correct irregular tooth shapes. Bonding and contouring is a cost-effective way to revitalize your smile.
The Benefits of Bonding, Shaping, Contouring
- Correct and restore teeth that are slightly damaged or flawed by large gaps and unappealing shape.
- Dental bonding can be used with teeth whitening to help treat and cover up stains and restore your smile.
- Results from dental bonding can last up to 10 years or longer with proper care and precautions.
- Many patients opt to have most or all of their front teeth treated as a cost-effective alternative to porcelain veneers.