Do you have minor aesthetic flaws affecting your front teeth? Are your teeth and gums in generally good health? Are you a non-smoker? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you may be a good candidate for dental bonding treatment.
In the dental bonding procedure, dentists apply the bonding solution in a shade that matches the patients surrounding teeth; if the patient desires a more brilliant smile, a purer shade of white will be selected. The bonding solution is then carefully applied to the tooth to improve its aesthetic. The amount of bonding solution that is used on each tooth and the number of tooth that are treated varies widely for each patient. The type of dental flaw or flaws that need correction will determine the manner in which composite resin dental bonding material is applied.
Dental Bonding for the Front Teeth
Dental bonding is best suited for use on the front teeth, which do not withstand as much pressure and daily wear and tear as the rear teeth. Of course, when it comes to treatment for the front teeth, patients want to undergo treatment that looks as natural as possible; we don’t want the telltale signs of restorative dental work to detract from our overall appearance. One of the greatest advantages of dental bonding, besides its relatively inexpensive cost and low risk of complications, is the composite resin solution can be matched to surrounding teeth; whether you have treatment on a single tooth or multiple teeth, others will not be able to distinguish the bonding solution from your natural tooth structure. The durable dental bonding solution conceals aesthetic problems without leaving any noticeable signs of cosmetic dental work.
Minor Cosmetic Imperfections
Minor cosmetic imperfections such as yellowed, stained, gapped, chipped, cracked, and misaligned teeth can treated with the dental bonding procedure. For more extensive cosmetic issues, patients may want to consider porcelain veneers.
A chipped tooth can be caused by a number of events: a fall, sporting injury, car crash, bicycle accidents; these are just a few of the ways in which a tooth may sustain a serious injury. Treating a chipped tooth immediately will not only improve aesthetics, it will also protect the tooth from further damage. The application of the composite resin allows dentists to replace the lost tooth material with the durable and natural looking dental bonding agent.
Photo credit: Frisco Family Dental
Some tooth stains and discolorations do not respond to professional teeth whitening treatment. Or, perhaps the patient suffers from severe tooth sensitivity, making teeth whitening a poor option. In other cases, the stains affect only a few teeth. In situations such as these, dental bonding can be used to produce a whitened appearance that remains consistent across the surface of the individual tooth, as well as with surrounding teeth.
Photo credit: Princeton Prosthodontics
The presence of gaps, or spaces between the teeth, can make the teeth appear as the they are out of alignment, asymmetrical, and misshapen. Some patients have opted to undergo dental bonding treatment to close gaps completely or make them smaller. The dental bonding solution may be applied to a couple of teeth to close a single gap, or on multiple teeth to close the spaces between all of the front facing teeth.
Photo credit: Dr. Andrew G Mortensen
Similar to how dental bonding is used to fill in gaps, the composite resin can also be used to add additional width or length to the teeth. Dentists may apply several layers along the lower edge of the teeth to create an even line or better proportion; the solution may also be applied along the sides of the teeth so they sit snugly against one another. The result is a more beautiful smile that complements surrounding features rather than detracting from your overall appearance.
Photo credit: Steven Weinstein
Mildly Crooked Teeth
Dental bonding can be used to correct one or two teeth that are slightly out of alignment. During treatment, the tooth may be filed down slightly; then the composite resin is applied to make the tooth appear flush with the adjacent teeth.
Photo credit: Watergate Dental Associates
Chips and Fractures
Chips and fractures may be caused by constant biting pressure on a tooth, injury, or chewing on a hard objects such as ice. When cracks are present on the front teeth, it can be of cosmetic concern to the patient. Fortunately, the crack can easily be concealed during a quick dental bonding treatment at the dentist’s office.
Dental Bonding after Braces
It is quite common for patients to undergo dental bonding after wearing braces or Invisalign® to enhance the results of their orthodontic treatment. The bonding solution may be used to mask any staining that was caused by the braces, or to change the size or shape of some of the teeth. For patients that wore braces years ago but have once again developed some crowding or gaps, dental bonding may be used to address these problems.
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Healthy Teeth and Gums
Generally, in order to be considered a good candidate for dental bonding, patients must have good oral health. Any dental problems such as cavities and gum disease should be resolved before the patient proceeds with cosmetic treatment.
The dental bonding solution can’t be whitened after application, so it is recommend that patients stop or strictly limit any habits that can cause the bonding solution to become stained or yellowed. Patients that regularly smoke cigarettes will begin to notice increased discoloration of the teeth as the months and years pass; eventually resulting in the need for re-treatment.
Contact a Cosmetic Dentist
To find out if you are a good candidate for dental bonding, find a dentist in your area.