The Dental Bonding Process
How Is Dental Bonding Different From Veneers?
Dental bonding and porcelain veneers are two different ways to achieve a similar result. Essentially, dental bonding is a simplified version of a veneer. A veneer is a restorative material placed over the surface of a tooth. Veneers are done to protect a damaged tooth surface or to improve the aesthetics of a tooth. Most veneers are custom made in a dental laboratory and can last 10-25 years.
Cosmetic dental bonding is a simpler, faster, and less expensive process than veneers. While dental bonds may need to be touched up or replaced every 5-10 years, the process of dental bonding is far less invasive than veneers. Consult with your dentist about which process is best for your teeth.
Who is a good candidate for teeth bonding?
Teeth bonding isn’t for everyone. If your smile is crooked as the result of an over- or under-bite, this treatment won’t be able to correct it. Teeth bonding is more for people who have healthy teeth but aren’t exactly thrilled with the way they look. It’s a cosmetic solution.
How to care for bonded teeth
Taking care of your teeth helps extend the life of a bonded tooth. Self-care tips include:
- brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily
- avoiding hard food and candy
- not biting your nails
- avoiding coffee, tea, and tobacco for the first two days after the procedure to avoid stains
- scheduling regular dental cleanings every six months
See your dentist if you accidentally chip or break the bonding material, or if you feel any sharp or rough edges after the procedure.
What are the Pros and Cons of Dental Bonding?
The main benefit of dental bonding is the ease of the procedure, both for time and money. Dental bonding is one of the most common and least expensive cosmetic dental procedures. Bonding one tooth can be done in one brief dental visit. Multiple teeth take longer, but in general, dental bonding is a fast process. Another benefit is that, compared to veneers and crowns, dental bonding requires little to no removal of tooth enamel, and, as mentioned, anesthesia is not necessary for dental bonding.
While there are no inherent cons to dental bonding, there are some limitations to the procedure that patients should be aware of. The material used in dental bonding is not as strong as your real teeth, so biting hard objects and foods should be afforded after a dental bonding procedure. Bonding may need to be touched up or replaced after a few years, but the upfront cost is less expensive than other restorative procedures.
How long does dental bonding last?
The success of dental bonding is determined, in part, on the location of the restoration on the tooth. If the bonding is on the very edge of your tooth, it most likely won’t last as long because of biting forces and what types of food you are biting into. Chewy, hard or crunchy foods will weaken the bonding quickly compared to soft foods. Many patients with bonding on their front teeth avoid directly biting into food that can compromise the structural soundness of dental bonding. A tooth-coloured bonding can last 4 to 8 years on average, depending on tooth location and patient’s bite and eating and chewing habits.
Benefits of Tooth Bonding
- Requires less removal of tooth enamel
- Repairs damaged or broken teeth
- Can close gaps in teeth
- Durable, lasting material
- Can be molded and color matched to adjacent teeth
- Natural looking results
- Can be altered in the future
- Ideal for developing smiles
Disadvantages of dental bonding:
- Although the material used in dental bonding is somewhat stain resistant, it does not resist stains as well as crowns.
- Another disadvantage is that the bonding materials do not last as long, nor are they as strong as other restorative procedures, such as crowns, veneers, or other types of dental restorations.
Composite bonding uses tooth-coloured composite resin to repair chips, cracks or broken teeth or to improve the proportions of your smile if you feel self-conscious about gaps or the shape of your teeth. A small amount of resin will be added to the affected tooth or teeth to improve it’s proportions, colour, and appearance. The resin is sculpted to the desired shape as it sets so that it covers and fills your damaged teeth.
The composite will perfectly match the colour of your teeth to ensure a natural result, and so that no one will notice any difference from a natural tooth or teeth. Composite bonding is a more affordable alternative to some cosmetic dental treatments like veneers.