How Bonding Fixes Chips, Cracks, and Gaps in Your Teeth
Restore your teeth in a single dental visit with tooth bonding.
It happens. Either from an accident or just biting down wrong on a weakened tooth, your tooth is suddenly chipped, cracked, or broken. Now what? Thankfully, modern dentists have a variety of restorative techniques at their disposal to fix these types of issues with your teeth. For instance, tooth bonding is a relatively inexpensive, painless procedure that can restore your smile in just one office visit.
Want to know if teeth bonding is the best option for your situation? Here’s an overview of what it is and when it’s right for you.
What is tooth bonding?
Tooth bonding is a simple tooth restoration procedure in which your dentist uses a composite resin material to restore your tooth. They’ll begin by choosing the resin material in a color that exactly matches the color of your teeth.
Then, they’ll roughen up your tooth’s surface slightly and apply a liquid to ensure that the bonding agent can stick. From there, they’ll apply the resin composite and shape it to the desired size and look. Your dentist will then harden this resin with an ultraviolet light and add any finishing touches at the end.
It’s a no-fuss process that typically only requires one office visit and no anesthesia. Most procedures will only take between 30 and 60 minutes. Your dentist may use anesthesia if you are getting a different procedure at the same time (such as having a cavity filled), but tooth bonding itself is painless.
Why get tooth bonding?
Tooth bonding can be used to repair all sorts of small cracks and chips in your natural teeth. Your dentist will choose this procedure particularly if the tooth in question is otherwise a healthy tooth.
The resin will fill in the missing areas or replace a corner that has broken off. Tooth bonding can also be used to build up teeth that never grew into full-sized teeth. Your dentist can also change the color of your teeth by applying a thin layer of resin over the front of your teeth.
Other Tooth Restoration Options
Keep in mind that tooth bonding is an excellent, budget-friendly option for repairing or changing the color of your teeth. The resin is not quite as strong as your natural teeth, but with proper care, it can last for decades. However, if you chew on ice or otherwise misuse your teeth, it’s possible that the resin will break. The resin material can also discolor faster than your natural teeth if you consume a lot of staining food or drink, like coffee or cola, or if you smoke.
For a stronger restoration option, some people choose porcelain veneers instead. Furthermore, tooth bonding does little to support a severely damaged tooth, which might require a crown instead.
Let’s look closer at these other options.
Veneers are thin shells of material that are applied to the front of your teeth. The shell completely covers your damaged or discolored tooth and works by hiding the damage from view. There are a few different types of veneers. Some require a bit of grinding to wear down the front of your tooth and make room for the veneer. This type of veneer is an irreversible procedure.
Properly cared for veneers can last for a couple of decades, but they are still more prone to chipping or breaking than your natural teeth.
Sometimes your tooth is more than just chipped. It might have sustained enough damage that it is no longer strong enough to maintain itself, or the soft inside of your tooth is exposed and needs to be sealed to avoid infection.
In this case, a custom-fit crown will be a more appropriate option than just tooth bonding. It is a more involved—and therefore more expensive—procedure, but it is far better for your oral health if deemed necessary.
Traditional crowns require more than one office visit. The first one involves preparing the site and taking measurements. This information is then sent to the dental lab where your tooth is crafted and you come back a couple of weeks later to have it installed. Now there are same-day crown options where dentists can use digital imaging and a special printing machine to construct the crown in their office in a single visit.
Inlays and Onlays
Finally, your dentist may choose to install an inlay or onlay instead. This type of restoration is often used for filling small gaps and holes. Instead of directly adding resin for bonding or creating a crown to go over the top, the dentist creates an impression of the gap. This impression is used to create a piece that fits perfectly and can be cemented into place.
Ready for a gorgeous smile?
Is your head spinning with all these options for tooth restorations? Don’t worry, you don’t have to make the decision alone. Expert dentists like those here at The Tooth Doc will advise you on the best option for your situation. All you have to do is smile. Book your appointment today to get started!