We all want a perfect smile, but not all of us can afford a mouth full of crowns and veneers. Is there another option to achieve a beautiful straight white smile without the high price tag and long dental visits? Yes, cosmetic bonding will give you the look and function you want with less time in the dental chair and less money out of your wallet.
What Is Cosmetic Bonding?
Bonding is a simple procedure where the dentist places and shapes tooth colored resin onto part of the teeth. It is considered a cosmetic procedure because it improves the appearance of the teeth. Most commonly patients with chipped teeth, especially in the front of their mouth, choose to have them repaired with bonding. Other reasons patients opt for bonding include: discolored teeth, skinny teeth, gaps and short teeth.
The dentist uses a hand piece to rough the surface of the tooth where the repair will be made. Then he or she applies the resin and uses a light to cure the material. After it is hardened they will polish the restoration so it looks just like your natural teeth. More often than not the patient does not even need to be numb. And the chair time is much shorter than a crown or veneer visit, often a patient is in and out in less than an hour.
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Are There Risks?
There are no serious risks or side effects of having your teeth bonded. You may experience slight sensitivity for a few days from the dentist using a hand piece to abrade the enamel or to correct a chip or crack. In general it is a good idea to avoid extremely hot, cold extremely sweet foods for a few days.
The resin used in bonding is not as strong as your enamel so much care should be taken to protect the bonded teeth. A night guard is recommended to act as a cushion between the teeth and to protect cosmetic work. Patients with poor habits like biting their nails, chewing on pen caps or biting ice should try their hardest to stop those habits. Those negative forces put you at higher risk for breaking the bonding.
Does It Last?
With good home care cosmetic bonding can last ten years or more. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush. Avoid highly acidic foods and drinks that could cause erosion and wash out the restorations. Over time the bonding can stain, especially if your diet includes coffee, wine, tomato sauce and berries. Always brush or rinse your mouth out with water after consuming these foods and beverages. You should also keep up with regular preventive hygiene appointments with your dental hygienist and regular examinations with your dentist.
Cosmetic bonding is a quick, affordable and beautiful way to correct small fractures, discoloration and tooth size discrepancies. Call us today for a consultation and to see if bonding is the right choice for your smile.