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Dental Restoration: Learn About Dental Bonding
Bonding is a type of dental restoration technique that has both therapeutic and cosmetic applications. It involves applying a type of plastic called composite resin to the tooth. This material is tooth-colored and can be shaped and molded to produce the effect desired. It forms a permanent bond with the surface of the tooth, which is where the name comes from.
Bonding can be used to change the shape and appearance of the teeth. It can close spaces and change the tooth's color. It can be used as a filling to repair tooth decay without compromising the tooth's cosmesis, or outward appearance, as amalgam fillings sometimes do. Bonding can also repair teeth that become cracked or chipped. If gum recession has exposed the roots of the tooth, bonding can protect them.
Dental restoration bonding procedure
The entire bonding procedure typically only takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete. The first step in the bonding process is to match the color of the existing tooth. The dentist uses a shade guide to accomplish this and chooses the resin that is the closest match to either the existing tooth or the color that the patient requests.
Drilling is usually only necessary if the bonding is being performed to fill a cavity. However, the dentist does apply a conditioning gel that roughens the surface of the tooth. This helps the resin to fuse more securely with the tooth. The dentist then applies the resin directly to the tooth, smoothing it and molding it into the proper shape.
Once this is completed, the dentist shines an ultraviolet light into the mouth. This cures the resin, causing it to harden and permanently bond to the tooth's surface. A patient who feels rough edges around the tooth after the bonding should discuss this with the practitioner who applied it. The dentist can also provide instructions for caring for the tooth to prevent damage and make the bonding last longer. Even with proper care, however, bonding is only expected to last between four and eight years.
Dental bonding advantages and disadvantages
Compared to other methods of dental restoration, bonding offers some significant advantages but can also pose potential problems.
Other dental restorations, such as veneers or crowns, have to be crafted in a lab. Factoring in the wait time, these methods take days or sometimes weeks to complete. Dental bonding can usually be finished within an hour or less. It is among the easiest restoration procedures to perform. Compared to other restoration methods, bonding is one of the least expensive.
A disadvantage of dental bonding is that insurance does not always cover it because it is sometimes considered cosmetic. Bonding is more prone to breaking compared to veneers and crowns. It does not last as long even with good care. Bonding with composite resin is also more susceptible to staining.
Although this dental restoration technique provides many advantages, patients who undergo bonding will have to adhere to a strict regime of dental hygiene to protect the resin and prevent staining. It may also be necessary to revise habits that could otherwise cause damage.
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