Very few are happy with the set of pearly whites they’re born with; and even if you started off having a great set of teeth, chances are, you’re eating, drinking and smoking habits may have already turned your teeth into something you’re particularly really proud of when you smile? So what do you do? Well, have you considered tooth bonding (a.k.a. dental bonding)?
What Is Tooth Bonding?
Tooth bonding is a dental cosmetic procedure wherein a dentist adheres composite resin on affected teeth. Dental bonding is a great way to fix many tooth imperfections. It can be used to whiten your teeth, fix chipped or cracked teeth, replace silver fillings that you may currently have, replace the decayed parts of your teeth, and is a great instant remedy for ‘accidentally’ broken front teeth.
The composite resin used in tooth bonding is actually composed of plastic material with fillers and modifiers added to it to produce certain desired characteristics. For instance, say you want to replace a silver filling that is currently on one of your back teeth, the composite resin needed should then have characteristics more geared towards strength and durability (for chewing) than color consistency with the rest of your teeth. Still, having said that, do note that tooth bonding is preferred by many people precisely because the composite resin used can be enhanced with pigments to mimic your teeth’s natural color.
The composite resin used in dental bonding is then made into a paste-like consistency so that it can be applied on your teeth and sculpted perfectly so that it looks natural. Once the resin is applied, high-intensity light is applied to harden the composite resin. Once hardened, it is then buffed or polished to give it that translucent shine.
Tooth Bonding – Procedures Involved
If you want to pursue dental bonding, the first thing you should do is to select a competent cosmetic dentist and set up an appointment. During the initial appointment, expect questions pertaining to your particular tooth problems and what you want to achieve, you will then get a quote on the tooth bonding procedure that needs to be done. There are actually two types of tooth bonding procedures: one-time and multi-session.
One-time tooth bonding is for small corrections such as tooth whitening, or if you just need small fillings. Multi-session dental bonding is for larger teeth corrections that require fillings to be first made in a dental lab (e.g., porcelain veneers).
Regardless of the type of tooth bonding, the cosmetic dentist will need to reduce (also called ‘etching’ or ‘shaving’) the affected tooth’s enamel so that the composite resin can be fitted and shaped on top of it.
How Much Does Tooth Bonding Cost?
Tooth bonding is very affordable compared to other dental bonding and cosmetic surgery options. The resulting expense depends on the number of teeth that needs to be fixed and the type of tooth bonding required. On the average though, dental bonding which makes use of composite resign costs about $200 to $600 per tooth.
Tooth Bonding – The Pros and Cons
Teeth bonding offers many advantages. It can usually be done in just one dental visit; it’s affordable; it’s not a painful procedure; and it lasts long. Silver fillings are known to last about 7 years, while teeth bonding composites can be expected to last to 12 years. Another main advantage is that the materials used in tooth bonding can be modified to perfectly match the natural color of your teeth. So even simply from just an aesthetic point of view, teeth bonding is a great choice. On the more practical side, the composite resin used in dental bonding is quite flexible. So much so that it expands and contracts with your natural tooth, preventing the occurrence of cracks.
As regards disadvantages, the main complaint against teeth bonding is its tendency to stain. As such, if you’re smoker (and/or your eating and drinking habits promote tooth staining), chances, are, you would need regular dental maintenance done on your dental-bonded teeth.
Some people also still find tooth bonding expensive. But this usually the cause if you’re main desire to begin with was just to whiten your teeth. If this is so, then you are indeed better off with at at-home whitening system. You’ll get the same results at much lesser expense.
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