Bonding also called bonded restoration, is used to repair minor imperfections like stains and chipping, at times it is also a solution to fill the spaces between the gaps. If you are looking for a solution that can brighten your smile without any kind of pain then the solution is dental bonding.
Dental bonding is the procedure of applying tooth colored composite resin that is used as a filling on the front as well as back teeth. The material is permanently attached to the teeth by making use of adhesive and high intensity curing light.
How is Bonding Helpful?
Dentists make use of bonding procedures as it is the least expensive and easiest cosmetic dental procedure. It is ideal to repair tooth decay where the composite resin is used as a filling. Repairing cracked teeth, improve discoloration of teeth, fill spacing and even to improve the length of the teeth. If not satisfied with the shape, dentist can improve that too by making use of this resin. It is also used as amalgam filing and to protect the root of the tooth that gets exposed because of receding gums.
Bonding is an easy solution and works really well for minor damages that have been done to the teeth. Any dental procedure begins with consultation where the patient can discuss the requirements with the dentist. In case you are not sure of what services you need, the dentist can explain to you the options available.
You might be asked for your previous dental and medical history, pictures of your gums and teeth can be taken for a detailed study and then an appointment is fixed for the procedure. Patients can take this opportunity to learn more about the service the dentist is about to offer, plus what are the benefits and risks involved.
Types of Dental Bonding Used
Direct Composite Bonding
This is a process where dentists make use of tooth colored composite generally natural looking or white material to repair the esthetics of the mouth. Direct composite bonding means placing the material precisely and it is done during a single visit only. It might extend to multiple visits where treatment is complicated and requires touch up.
The material is applied directly on the teeth and it needs no prior preparations. No temporaries and no making of mold, the precision of the direct composite veneers entirely depends on the artistic skills of the dentist.
Very different to direct composite bonding, this is the procedure of placing restoration on the tooth. This is used for porcelain bridges, esthetic crowning, inlay/onlays, bridges etc. The dentist decides the color of the material keeping in mind the shade of the teeth, and proceed as the surface of the tooth is roughened with mild phosphoric acid solution.
After washing away the roughing agent a bonding agent is applied in its liquid state. Then a putty-like resin which is similar to the color of the tooth is applied, smoothed and molded into a desired shape. The mold is dried and hardened using an ultravoilet curing light. Various layers can be used to get the desired shape and size of the tooth. On attaining the shape, the dentist further polishes to offer you the right sheen.
Completion time– Dental bonding procedure can take around 30 minutes to an hour per tooth to complete. For multiple bonding it could take a little longer or several visits.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Bonding
Dental bonding is the least expensive and most common procedures involved in cosmetic dentistry. Single tooth can be repaired in a short single visit, other major advantage is that as in case of crowning and veneers there is no need of removing the tooth enamel. The tooth covering is not manufactured in labs after taking the sample size. No anesthesia needed.
The material used for bonding is not as strong as natural teeth and brings along with it certain limitations. One has to be extra careful after getting the dental bonding done and acts like chewing a pen or fingernails can chip off the material. Also the material used is not stain resistant. Other restorative procedures are much more stain resistant and comparatively stronger.
Because of the above limitations, dentists need to carefully decide where to make use of bonding solution and where not. The results only last for few years after which it needs to be repaired. Dentist usually make use of it for minor cosmetic changes and temporary corrections. Areas with low bite pressure are ideal for dental bonding. After complete diagnosis the dentist will be able to tell you better if you are the right candidate for this or not.
Caring for Bonded Teeth
Every dental treatment asks for care just the way you do for your natural teeth. The care is all about maintaining hygiene and enhance the beauty of your smile. Brushing is recommended twice a day and that has to be continued even after brushing, followed by flossing. Make sure that you do not damage the dental bonding by rubbing it hard against the floss.
Ensure complete oral hygiene by following the guidelines given by your dentist and get routine check-ups done if advised. The material used for bonding is delicate and can chip off easily so try avoiding hard food item. Dental bonding is a painless procedure but if you feel differently about the material than the day you got the procedure done, consult your dentist immediately.
Cost of Bonding
It would be slightly difficult to tell an estimated cost of bonding as usually it is done in conjunction with other dental procedures. If done with metal free crowing the cost is generally inclusive in the fees. Charge for only direct composite veneer can fall between $300 to $600 but can vary on geographical location, dentist’s experience and reputation. While indirect porcelain veneers can cost up to $700 to $1500.
For any dental procedure, it is wise to select an experienced and adequately trained dentist. While choosing one for yourself you can always ask the dentist if he/she can deliver results that you are expecting. Asking for dentist’s qualification and experience can help you build a bond between the two. To get a clear idea about their work you can also have a look at the “before and after” picture of the recent patients. Ask about the costs involved prior fixing an appointment for bonding and check whether the procedure is covered in your insurance policy or not.