If you want to improve the appearance of discolored, decayed, or chipped teeth, dental bonding is a good solution. This treatment method works by bonding resin to the damaged tooth to alter its shape and color. Learn more about this efficient and inexpensive dental treatment ahead.
What Is Dental Bonding?
Many cosmetic dental treatments are time intensive and expensive. Bonding, on the other hand, is a simple procedure. During the dental bonding treatment, a composite resin is applied to the damaged tooth to be bonded to the existing tooth structure.
The resin is molded to match the length and shape of the surrounding teeth, so that the difference between bonded teeth and normal teeth is imperceptible.
This process differs from veneers, which are also used to cosmetically enhance the shape and color of teeth. To ensure that veneers fit in the mouth, a custom mold is manufactured in a laboratory. The bonding process can be achieved in one visit to the dentist’s office, and it doesn’t require costly dental molds.
Why Get Dental Bonding?
Patients choose tooth bonding for a variety of reasons. Usually, it’s because they have a tooth in need of cosmetic enhancement. Bonding can fix teeth that have chipped due to injury or that have decayed over time.
Sometimes, patients have one tooth that is a different color than the others, and tooth-colored resin is used to correct this issue.
It’s also used as a more attractive alternative to amalgam fillings made from metal alloy. Resin bonding can make small teeth larger (or longer) to fill small gaps between the teeth.
When Is Tooth Bonding Necessary?
While dental bonding is frequently used for cosmetic reasons, it’s also used to enhance teeth’s health. For example, patients with receding gums sometimes use resin bonding to protect exposed tooth roots, and protect teeth from further decay.
When Is Dental Bonding Recommended?
The resin used to make the bonds is an effective way to repair damaged teeth, but it isn’t as strong as the materials used to make veneers and crowns. For this reason, dentists use bonding on teeth with low-bite pressure—namely, the front teeth.
Molars, teeth regularly used to break down food, may not be viable candidates for this treatment. If the problem with the molar is not in an area of high-bite pressure, however, bonding may be a suitable solution.
Can Dental Bonding Fix Gaps?
Tooth bonding has become a popular way to get rid of small gaps between the front teeth. Not everyone will be able to get rid of their gap using bonding, however. The treatment works best for patients with a small gap and teeth that are otherwise straight, even, and aligned. If you have spaces or orthodontic problems, your dentist may not be able to fix your gap using a simple bonding treatment.
What Happens During Bonding Treatment?
When being used for cosmetic purposes, anesthesia is rarely necessary.
Your dentist will select a resin color that suits your smile before the treatment starts. To ensure the resin bonds effectively, the dentist will use a material to etch the outermost layer of the tooth. Then, a special liquid is applied to improve the connection of filling (“bonding” it) to the tooth.
When the tooth is ready, the dentist will smooth the resin over the tooth. It has a putty-like consistency that enables the dentist to mold it, but it cannot fully harden on its own. To speed up the setting process, dentists usually expose the tooth to a laser or ultraviolet light.
After the resin has set, the dentist will make the last adjustments to the tooth’s new shape. Any excess resin that feels uncomfortable when you bite down is shaven off. Then, the tooth is polished to give it a natural, tooth-like appearance.
Does Dental Bonding Hurt?
The tooth bonding process is rarely painful. If the resin is being applied to a sensitive area, however, your dentist may choose to use a numbing agent to minimize pain.
How Do I Take Care of Newly Bonded Teeth?
Bonded teeth don’t last forever, but practicing good dental hygiene will make them last longer. Following a good, regular oral hygiene routine allows the bonded teeth to maintain its enhanced appearance too. Remember to brush in the morning and at bedtime with a high-quality toothpaste, and floss daily.
Avoiding harmful behaviors to your teeth help also. Using bonded teeth to tear open food wrappers or bite your fingernails can crack or damage the resin. Be mindful, too, that drinking too many stain causing beverages such as coffee, tea, and wine tint teeth. If your bonds do start to change color, don’t reach for whitening treatments. The ingredients typically used to whiten teeth don’t work on resin used for bonding.
How Much Does Dental Bonding Cost?
The cost of bonding varies by case, but most patients pay between $300 to $600 per tooth. If the bonding is being done for health reasons, as opposed to cosmetic purposes, insurance may cover part of the cost.
For lower fees, consider a dental savings plan like Metrodent. You may pay as little as $100 for bonding treatment.
How does Metrodent Work?
If you’re interested in cosmetic dental treatments, Metrodent can be a great way to get excellent dental care at affordable prices. When you select a participating dentist or specialist, you will pay the pre-negotiated Metrodent discount, rather than traditional prices. You can learn more about it here.
This article was reviewed and approved by a board certified dentist.