Dental bonding is one of the most affordable ways to restore chipped, broken or stained teeth. It is also used to address a host of oral issues. This cosmetic dentistry treatment makes it possible to restore the appearance of damaged teeth, without having to spend as much as other treatments that do the same thing require.
Dental bonding is an oral procedure that consists of a composite material that has the same color as the patient's real teeth being applied directly to a tooth, shaped into the desired position, hardened with an ultraviolet light and polished. The term "bonding" is used to describe the procedure because the composites used bonds with the tooth, becoming one with it. The composite resins used for this treatment can also be used to fill up cavities. It is an alternative to metal fillings, and it blends right in with real teeth.
What to expect during a dental bonding treatment
During this treatment, the first thing the dentist will do is apply phosphoric acid to the tooth. This roughens the surface of the tooth, making it easier for the composite resin to stay in place. The putty-like composite resin is then applied directly to the tooth. It is shaped to look just like a real tooth, then it is hardened with an ultraviolet light. The newly restored tooth is then polished, giving it a smooth finish.
Why people opt for dental bonding
Dental bonding is a popular choice for addressing discolored, stained, cracked, or broken teeth because it is effective and affordable. It also restores the appearance of the tooth after a single visit to the dentist. Some of the other alternatives for dealing with stained or damaged teeth, like crowns and veneers, often require multiple visits to the dentist.
The not-so-great things about dental bonding
The composite resins used for dental bonding are more vulnerable to chipping off and stains than alternatives like veneers. That means it is up to the patient to ensure the composite resin remains intact over the years.
It is often best to avoid consuming foods and drinks that are known to discolor teeth, like red wine, tea, soda and coffee. Habits like smoking, or using other tobacco products, can also stain teeth that have been repaired with composite resins. Smoking tobacco also increases the risk of developing many other dental issues, like oral cancer.
While a composite can be used to restore the look of a natural tooth, it is not as strong as real teeth. Those with teeth who have been repaired with composite bonding should avoid chewing on hard things like ice and habits like tooth grinding.
Dental bonding can be repaired by applying more resin, so patients are advised to head straight to the dentist if they notice parts of their repaired tooth chipping off or becoming stained. Composite bonding is not always the best way to deal with a damaged tooth, but it is one of the most affordable ways.
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