The Benefits and Risks of Teeth Bonding
With teeth bonding, everyone can achieve the look of a beautiful smile without the costly and time-consuming use of braces. You may also know this procedure as composite bonding, which is most likely a term you would hear your dentist use. Many people can benefit from teeth bonding whether their teeth have structural issues or they simply want to improve the aesthetics of their teeth. We are going to discuss what makes a good candidate for dental bonding as well as give a brief description of the procedure, costs, and risks.
A teeth bonding procedure can prove beneficial to almost everyone. A person whose teeth have chipped or whose teeth have a gap between them (particularly in the front) can easily be corrected with bonding. Stained teeth and cavities are also issues that can easily be covered up so that the teeth appear much healthier. Other good candidates for dental bonding include those who want the shape of their teeth altered or whose teeth have broken away and need structural reinforcement. Teeth bonding can even be used as a form of whitening, especially when the discoloration is due to cavities on the back or sides of the teeth, calcium issues, or smoking. The ideal candidate would have fairly good oral health (i.e. brushes daily) and would have discussed the process of teeth bonding as well as the risks with their dentist before committing to the procedure.
The procedure itself is pretty basic. The dentist starts by slightly abrading the surface of the teeth that are to be fixed. Roughening up the texture of the tooth helps to ensure that the bonding will adhere well to the tooth. The dentist then applies a “conditioning” agent, which also helps in the bonding process. After the conditioning liquid has been applied, it will be time for the dentist to choose the correct color of bonding resin and begin the application. This substance bears a resemblance to putty, and will indeed be sculpted in a similar fashion. The resin will be molded until the ideal shape and appearance has been reached. An ultraviolet light is then shined onto the resin to make it harden. After the resin is nice and hard, the dentist may further shape or trim bits away, and then he/she will smooth the tooth to a texture that matches the rest of the teeth.
Overall, the teeth bonding process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour per tooth. If you are having several teeth done, you may want to break the procedures up into individual visits. As far as procedure costs go, it’s very difficult to give an exact figure because prices differ depending on the location and the dentist used. As a ballpark figure, one could expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $600 per tooth. Note that the cost will increase depending on the difficulty of the work to be done.
The risks are not very great with this procedure, but there are some things you should know if you are considering this procedure. First, teeth bonding is not an altogether permanent fix. The human mouth contains a great deal of bacteria and due to various food and drink, it also subjects the teeth to rapid temperature changes and textures. The resin used in bonding isn’t nearly as strong as a natural tooth and simple tasks such as chomping on ice or biting ones nails can affect the life of the resin. With good oral hygiene practices and careful treatment of the bonded teeth, one could expect the bonding to last anywhere from seven to ten years. It is also worthwhile to note that coffee, tea, and smoking can easily stain the bonding resin. These substances should be avoided for the first 48 hours after the procedure and care should be used in consuming them in the future.
This method of bonding is best suited to cosmetic cases and small structural issues. Serious structural problems may better be served by applying veneers to the tooth or teeth. These are porcelain “covers” that are produced and molded in a laboratory to achieve a proper fit. Once the veneers are ready, the dentist will bond them to the teeth. Your dentist will be able to tell you whether a typical dental bonding procedure is right for you.