A smile is a powerful way for you to communicate. But if you feel self-conscious about your teeth, you may lose this power by not smiling at all or by covering your mouth when
you smile. With advances in modern dentistry, there’s no reason you should be unhappy with the way your teeth look. Cosmetic bonding, often called resin bonding, is when a tooth coloured resin is bonded to your teeth, then sculpted into proper shape. The resin is a composite of liquid acrylic and tiny particles of glass. The composite resin forms a durable, strain- resistant surface that can be polished to mimic the texture of your natural teeth. In the past, if your tooth was chipped, stained, or cracked, you would probably receive a crown. Today, bonding is a quick and easy solution for many of these problems. The procedure is relatively inexpensive, and it lasts for several years (approximately 5 years). The shape and / or colour of teeth can be changed in a relatively short time, influencing the patient’s smile significantly. While bonding is a wonderful technique, it will not solve all restorative dental problems. Where a large portion of the tooth surface damaged, a veneer crown may be more advisable. Also, crowns can be placed if there is gross need for change in tooth shape or colour. If only tooth colour change is needed, bleaching or microabrasion are other alternatives to bonding.
USES FOR BONDING
Whether or not bonding is a good choice for you depends on the size and part of your tooth that needs restoration. However, bonding provides simple and effective solutions for teeth that are:
- Broken or chipped
- Discolored or stained
- Malformed or crooked
- Worn or abraded
- Cracked or pitted
- Widely spaced or uneven
In addition to the above examples, bonding can also restore cavities in front and back teeth, replace old or unattractive “silver fillings,” and repair root abrasions to help prevent cavities and root sensitivity.
Because the tooth surface is left intact, bonding isn’t painful and doesn’t harm the tooth. The procedure is normally completed without local anesthetic or tooth preparation. In most cases, bonding requires only one visit to the dentist. To bond a tooth, the surface of the tooth is etched with a mild acidic solution; this creates micropores (tiny crevices
in the enamel), making the tooth more porous and receptive to the plastic bonding material. Next, the soft, pliable resin is spread over the tooth in layers. A bright beam of light locks the resin onto the tooth surface. Each layer hardens in minutes. After the last coat has been applied and hardened, the bonded material is shaped and polished.
The resin comes in many shades. Your dentist will match the resin to the shade of your natural teeth.
- First, the tooth is etched with a chemical agent.
- Then, liquid resin is painted on in layers.
- Next, each layer of resin is hardened with a high-intensity light.
- Last, the bonded material is shaped and polished.
If you have any further questions, ask your dentist about today’s advances in cosmetic dentistry to improve your smile.
• Upkeep required - bonded teeth require smoothing to remove stains or additions of small pieces of the bonded plastic that may have chipped away from the tooth.
• Eventual replacement - the acrylic materials used in bonding do not last as long as your typical crown and most likely will have to be replaced within 5 years.
• Possible discolouration - bonded teeth are more susceptible to stains than your natural teeth. Smoking cigarettes, drinking tea or coffee, and even eating blue berries may cause some discolouration.
• Potential risks - chronic gum irritation and occasional dental caries (decay) around the bonding materials on the tooth occur in some patients.
The greatest things about bonding are:
• Appearance - available in a variety of colours and special shades, cosmetic bonding can be made to look as natural and pleasing as your own tooth.
• Strength - although not as strong as “silver fillings,” bonding produces a filling that supports a tooth, making it less likely to break. Unlike “silver fillings” that depend on undercuts to hold them in place, bonding adheres to the tooth itself.
• Tooth conservation - only a small amount of natural tooth structure, if any, is removed.
• Reduced anesthesia required - bonding usually does not require anesthesia, your teeth can be restored with little or no discomfort.
• Reduced time - the results are immediate and it can usually be completed in one appointment.
• Economics - it is less expensive than full crowns or veneers and saves money over the long term. Whether your damaged teeth are a result of decay, dark fillings, a swinging door, or a bicycle mishap, bonding can give you something to smile about!