When most of us think of dental procedures, we don’t imagine a simple one-visit procedure that results in a dramatically improved smile instantly. In fact, that may sound too good to be true. But that is a great description of dental bonding. This remarkable process is simple and fast, and the end product is the kind of beautiful smile that you may not have believed you could ever have!
Bonding involves applying a tooth-colored resin material over the top of the patient’s natural teeth. This can be a very effective way to repair minor dental issues, such as teeth that are badly stained, teeth that have small cracks, teeth with wide gaps in between, or teeth that are chipped. Put simply, dental bonding is a simple way to change the shape and/or the color of your natural teeth.
The process can often be completed in just a single visit to the dentist office. It starts when your dentist lightly etches the surface of your natural teeth to create a slightly rough surface. After that, he or she will apply a liquid that helps the bonding material adhere more easily to your teeth. Finally, your dentist will apply the bonding material, which is similar to the consistency of putty. The bonding material will be molded into the desired shape, after which your dentist will used a specially designed light to harden it. Once the material hardens, your dentist will do the “finishing touches” by polishing the bonding material until it looks more like the surface of your natural teeth.
Bonding is often an excellent way to brighten your smile, but there are a few considerations when deciding whether or not this procedure is right for you. The bonding material can be stained in much the same way as your natural teeth, so if you smoke or drink too much coffee or red wine, for example, you can stain the material. Bonding resin can also be damaged if you chew anything too hard (like ice or hard candy, for example) or sticky (such as extremely chewy candy). And bonding doesn’t last forever. You’ll have to have it replaced every 4 to 7 years.
Talk to your dentist to find out more about how to brighten your smile with dental bonding!