There’s no need to worry if you experience a chipped tooth or have a gap in your teeth, cracked teeth, teeth that appear too short, or cavities. Composite dental bonding can be an effective, affordable treatment for all of these issues and it is completed in a single visit. Bunker Hill Dentistry is proud to offer patients bonding by one of the most capable dentists in the industry at performing this demanding procedure. Read on for answers to many of the most common questions about dental bonding and why we’re the best place to have it done. What Does Dental Bonding Treat? Dental bonding is an affordable and convenient solution for a variety of tooth issues: Filling Gaps Between Teeth Filling gaps in teeth is one of the most common uses of bonding. Because the gap is usually found between the two front teeth, a skilled dentist who is experienced in cosmetic dentistry is absolutely crucial for an attractive result. Repairing Chips in Teeth Small-to-medium sized chips can often be repaired with bonding so long as they don’t affect the nerves in the tooth. In that case, a root canal with a crown or cap would be necessary. See other treatment options for chips and more serious breaks. Dental Bonding – Before and After Bunker Hill Dentistry Repairing Cracks in Teeth Minor cracks in teeth are common and can be easily filled in by bonding. If the crack is severe enough to loosen the tooth, the doctor can bond it to an adjacent tooth to stabilize it and promote healing in the bone and gum tissues. Lengthening Short Teeth The most attractive smiles are typically known for having a well-balanced row of teeth that are symmetrical in length on both sides. Bonding is a method of making teeth longer to improve the aesthetics of the entire row of teeth. Filling in Cavities There’s another type of gap in teeth bonding can be used to fill: cavities. If it’s a small cavity, bonding presents a viable alternative to silver fillings. Is dental bonding right for you? Check here if you are a good candidate for teeth bonding. Benefits of Dental Bonding Here are a few reasons why you should consider dental bonding for your cracked, chipped, or “short” teeth… Affordable: Bonding is covered by many insurance plans, but even if it isn’t, it’s still a low-cost dental solution, especially compared with an alternative treatment such as porcelain veneers. Fast: Bonding a tooth can be started and completed, or repaired, in a single office visit. Repairing veneers is a significantly more complicated process. No anesthesia: With the exception of bonding to fill cavities that requires drilling, there’s no anesthesia necessary for a bonding treatment. So you can go about your normal day after your appointment. Excellent aesthetics: Although it doesn’t last as long as porcelain, composite can create a natural look that rivals veneers in every way. What to Expect from Your Dental Bonding Procedure Your Appointment: up to 3 hours We perform what is called direct composite bonding, which means the resin that hardens into a tooth-like substance is applied by hand. This skill is not taught in dental school and is as much art as science, and masters of the craft such as Dr. Le are difficult to find. The process is completed in a single visit. It begins with the application of a gentle, painless acid solution for a few seconds to roughen the tooth to help the resin adhere to it better. After that a liquid bonding agent is applied, then the dentist applies the resin, shaping it and sculpting it beautifully. Next, the resin is cured under a high-intensity light to harden it, and shaped and trimmed until the desired form is achieved. In some cases, the dentist will use a color modifier kit to closely match the subtle color variations virtually all teeth have. This layer of resin is applied either onto the bonding agent or between bonding layers. When Dr. Le is satisfied with the structural and color looks of the restoration, he will polish the tooth until it matches the finish of your other teeth and feels smooth. Learn more about what to expect during your dental bonding procedure. Post-Treatment: the next 48 hours Direct composite bonding is somewhat susceptible to staining. So in the first two days after a treatment, avoid consuming anything that may stain the composite resin, including coffee, tea, and nicotine. If your bonding was to address a cavity and you received local anesthesia, you may experience numbness in your lips or tongue for a few hours. Read our guide on dental bonding after care and learn how to care for your teeth in the immediate post-treatment days and over the long-term. Long-term Effectiveness Dental bonding typically lasts between 5 and 10 years before it needs to be touched up or replaced. And when it does, or even ealier, bonding can also be replaced by with an alternative treatment (such as veneers or crowns) since it is not permanent and its effects are reversible. Your biting and eating habits play a role in the bonding’s durability, as well as the location of the resin. For example, if the bonding is on the edge of a tooth, your biting force will wear it down more quickly than if it were higher on the tooth. Brushing and flossing twice a day, as recommended for everyone regardless of bonded teeth, will help extend the life of the resin. Note that if the bonding is intended to fix a crack in a tooth, bonding doesn’t heal it and in fact the crack could worsen despite getting a bonding treatment. However, bonding can extend the life of the tooth indefinitely and is still an excellent option for cracked teeth. Learn more about the shelf life of dental bonding and how to make it last longer. Like natural teeth, bonding can become stained and discolored over time, especially if you regularly use tobacco products and consume soft drinks, red wine, dark sauces, and caffeinated beverages. However, unlike natural teeth, dental bonding does not respond to teeth whitening agents thanks to the non-porous resin. If you have bonding work, and you want to whiten your smile, you still have options to continue to match the color of your natural teeth to bonding. What Does Dental Bonding Cost? Dental bonding prices vary but you can expect to pay several hundred dollars per tooth. Depending on the reason for getting the treatment, some insurance plans do cover bonding. Dr. Le will discuss the costs with you before your treatment to ensure you’re fully informed. Dental Bonding Alternatives Other options your dentist might recommend depend on your particular dental issue. For filling a gap between teeth, braces are a slower but more permanent solution. For teeth that are severely damaged, dental crowns may be the best fit. Of course, as we’ve mentioned, veneers are the most common alternative to bonding. Able to last a lifetime and stain-resistant, veneers are the pricey, long-lasting solution that many patients decide is worth the higher cost. To learn more, read our post on the difference between porcelain veneers and dental bonding. As mentioned earlier, since bonding is not permanent, other options remain open even after a bonding procedure. Why Use Bunker Hill Dentistry for Bonding? As a form of cosmetic dentistry, direct composite bonding requires a practitioner who has not just in-depth knowledge, but also an artistic eye. As a holder of both a DDS and a BA in Studio Art, Dr. Le is uniquely qualified for dental bonding work. He prides himself on achieving results through bonding that are aesthetically pleasing, as well as functional and long-lasting. In the bonding courses he teaches for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Le seeks to instill these high standards in other dentists, as well. Schedule An Appointment Today Not been to Bunker Hill Dentistry before? To help you prepare for your first visit, read our new patient information page.