Correct Your Smile with Cosmetic Bonding
Extensive cosmetic procedures such as veneers or crowns are usually unnecessary for improving mildly imperfect teeth, which can be easily restored with dental bonding. A popular and economical procedure, cosmetic bonding is an ideal corrective dental solution for:
- Filling dental cavities, as an alternative to amalgam fillings
- Repairing mild chips or cracks in the teeth (ideally the teeth with the least bite pressure)
- Improving the appearance of stained teeth
- Closing spaces between teeth
- Changing the shape or lengthening teeth
- Protecting exposed teeth roots due to receding gums
What Can Dental Bonding Do for My Smile?
Dental bonding is considered a highly-beneficial procedure for teeth that need only minor corrections. A special type of tooth-colored, durable resin is bonded to the tooth, which restores and improves the smile with natural looking results. Compared to other cosmetic procedures, dental bonding is relatively simple and inexpensive. Unlike crowns and veneers, bonding can be done in one office visit (unless multiple teeth are being treated). It also requires the least amount of enamel removed, which minimizes potential tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods. Because bonding is less invasive compared to veneers and crowns, anesthesia is not required unless it is used as a cavity filling. There is no special care required, besides proper oral hygiene and dental habits. Under reasonable circumstances (proper hygiene, no abusive habits like chewing on fingernails or ice, etc.) the bonding should last between 3 to 10 years before it needs replacement or touching up.
However, cosmetic bonding may be inappropriate or inadequate for badly damaged teeth. It’s not as strong as veneers, crowns, or porcelain fillings, and are not as stain resistant. For this reason, bonding is usually done on the front or surrounding teeth, which endure the least bite pressure. Dental bonding is recommended by Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies on a case-by-case basis, depending on what your smile needs to achieve full restoration.
What to Expect from Your Cosmetic Bonding Procedure
Cosmetic bonding usually takes just one office visit for most patients, unless several teeth are being treated. Otherwise, bonding an individual tooth should take between 30 minutes to an hour. Before the start of the procedure, a shade guide is used to select the resin color that matches your tooth. If your teeth are discolored or stained, it is recommended that you get them whitened first. Otherwise, your dentist will have to pick the darker shades to make sure the bonding resin matches the rest of your teeth.
Once the correct shade is selected, your tooth is prepared for bonding. The receiving tooth is thinly shaved to roughen up the surface and covered with conditioning liquid. The resin is then applied and molded onto the tooth, which is cured and hardened by a special laser. After hardening, the bonded tooth may be trimmed and reshaped some more, before the final polishing treatment is applied to match the rest of your teeth. Because the resin is highly susceptible to staining during the first 48 hours after the procedure, it is best that you avoid drinking coffee or tea and abstain from smoking during this critical period. Rinsing and flossing after meals may also be beneficial in preventing post-treatment discoloration.
Is Dental Bonding The Best Treatment For Me?
Determining the right dental solution for your needs depends on the following factors:
- How extensive is the damage or discoloration to your teeth?
- What are your aesthetic goals?
- Are your teeth and gums in good general health with only minor issues?
If you’re curious about cosmetic bonding and would like to explore the best possible solutions for restoring your smile, we can help. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call our Fort Collins office today at (970) 223-6101. If you need to reach us after normal business hours, you can also submit your contact request or appointment reservation online using the form below.