Tri Le Dental bonding is a procedure that can repair and enhance your smile. Common applications are to fix chips, cracks, and other imperfections with your teeth. Is teeth bonding right for you? We discuss who are – and who may not be – good candidates for bonding. What is Dental Bonding? Dental bonding uses a composite resin to change the appearance of your teeth. The treatment is sometimes also referred to as teeth bonding or composite bonding. The composite material is applied and hardened, bonding to the tooth in the desired shape and length. Dental bonding can be used to repair chips and cracks in the teeth as well as small cavities. This is especially helpful if the cavities are on the front of your teeth where a silver filling may stand out. You can also get dental bonding in order to lengthen your teeth or make the lengths of your teeth uniform in appearance. Dental bonding can also help with hiding stains, but it’s not meant to whiten your teeth. How Teeth Bonding Works Your initial consultation will involve discussing your goals for the appearance of your teeth, taking x-rays, and examining the health of your teeth and gums. Before the procedure, the dentist will help you pick a shade for the bonding material that matches the color of your teeth. Next, the dentist will roughen the surface of your tooth to help the bonding material adhere to the surface. The composite material is then applied to your tooth, shaped and smoothed. Once the desired look has been achieved, a curing light is used to harden the material and ensure that it bonds properly to the surface of your tooth. Lastly, the resin is filed and polished and your bite is checked to make sure no undue pressure is being placed on your jaw when you close your mouth. The entire process for each tooth usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes. Learn more about what to expect during your dental bonding procedure. Dental Bonding Cleaning, Care and Longevity After your dental bonding procedure, cleaning and care for your teeth isn’t much different than your normal dental hygiene routine. You will still need to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss once a day, and have regular dental checkups. In addition to basic dental care, you’ll want to avoid eating and drinking stain-causing foods and chewing on objects or food that are extremely hard as they could damage the resin. With proper care, the dental bonding on your teeth can last as long as ten years with the average lifespan being between three and ten years. Learn more about the shelf life of dental bonding and how to make it last longer. Good Candidates for Dental Bonding Dental Bonding – Before and After Suitable candidates for bonding have healthy teeth and sufficient enamel. Bonding may then be the right treatment for people who have: Gaps between their teeth, but it isn’t severe enough for braces or other orthodontic solutions like InvisalignTeeth that have chipped or crackedWorn down or excessively short teethTeeth that are stainedExposed tooth roots from gum recessionMinor tooth decay Teeth bonding is also considered a fast treatment with little to no recovery time, and it typically costs less than other cosmetic procedures, like veneers. Reasons You May Not Be a Suitable Candidate for Dental Bonding If your dental problem is more severe, bonding may not be the right treatment. For example, a filling could be a better solution for restoring a larger cavity, a crown may better protect a more severe crack, and orthodontic treatment can better move misaligned teeth. In addition, bonding is not as stain-resistant or as strong as crowns and veneers. Some habits may make you more at risk for staining the resin or wearing it down faster than normal. For that reason, dental bonding may not be the right choice if you like to chew on your nails or pens or eat exceptionally hard foods. Foods like coffee and berries can stain the resin, and smoking can discolor the material. You must also have healthy teeth and gums. This means that you must have enough tooth structure for the composite material to adhere to, and you cannot have any infections in your teeth or gums. If you do happen to have gum disease, cavities, or oral infections, those issues must be treated prior to having your teeth bonded. Are There Any Risks Involved With A Dental Bonding Procedure? Having your teeth bonded with resin to improve their appearance doesn’t come with any major risks to your oral health. In fact, most people choose this process because it’s fast and very little of the tooth’s surface is removed. Bonding is not a permanent procedure, meaning its effects are reversible. The composite resin can be removed later with no damage to your teeth, giving you more options for later treatment if needed. Still Not Sure If Dental Bonding is Right For You? If you’re still not sure if dental bonding is right for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our dentist, Dr. Le, at Bunker Hill Dentistry in Houston. He can take the time to answer all of your questions and concerns and go over all the options for improving the look of your teeth and your smile in order to get the best results. In fact, to help you maximize the appearance of your teeth, he has a unique artistic background that helps him choose the right shades of resin for your teeth and ensure that the shape of each of your bonded teeth is ideal. Learn more about dental bonding treatment at Bunker Hill Dentistry. Tri LeA practicing dentist since 1987, Dr. Le has been running successful dental practices in Texas with his wife Ann since 1990. A member of the ADA, AACD and AADSM, Dr. Le has also contributed to several leading dental journals.