Bonding is a common technique in cosmetic dentistry that uses tooth-colored materials called composite resins to repair chips and cracks, and transform gaps into an attractive, natural-looking smile.
Uses of Bonding
Bonding can be used strictly for cosmetic purposes or to repair teeth, protecting them against decay. Dr. Polyviou can assist you in choosing which method is right for your condition. Nonetheless, bonding can result in several attractive results, which makes it an ideal tool in cosmetic dentistry.
Masking Deep Stains
Certain antibiotics given to children while their permanent teeth are developing can cause ugly dark staining deep inside the teeth. Bonding serves to cover these stains.
Closing Gaps and Repairing Chips and Cracks
Composite resins are used to close small gaps between front teeth and to repair some chips and cracks. This method improves appearance in addition to providing protection for damaged teeth.
Protecting Exposed Roots
Composite resins are also used to protect exposed tooth roots, which commonly result from gum recession. Since roots are composed mostly of dentin, a softer tissue than enamel, they are more susceptible to decay, wear and erosion. Composite resins (in combination with adhesive resins) are applied to the tooth roots to treat sensitivity to temperature extremes, which occur when tooth roots are left exposed.
Restoring Decayed Teeth
Composite resins may be used to fill small cavities. Composites are tooth-colored, making them preferable for front teeth, as they are almost impossible to distinguish from the natural tooth.
Bonding is often completed in one visit and does not require drilling. The process involves preparing the tooth surface with an etching solution that allows the composite resins to adhere. To match your teeth, various color resins are carefully blended so that the bonded tooth will look natural.
The resin is applied, contoured into the proper shape, and hardened using a special light or chemical process. It’s then smoothed and polished to appear natural. Sometimes a follow-up appointment will be required for finishing and a final polish.
Bonding material, while exceptional in treatment, is not as strong and natural as tooth enamel. In fact, it can chip and may have to be replaced periodically. Bonded areas of the tooth are also prone to stain. For these reasons, bonding requires careful home and professional maintenance.
Remember that smoking, drinking coffee or tea, and eating berries may stain bonding.
Do not put excess pressure on resins. Chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy can also cause damage.