Did you know that the same dental material used for tooth-colored fillings can be used for cosmetic dental treatments? Dental composite resin is often used for composite fillings, but can also be used for a procedure called dental bonding. Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure that bonds composite resin to the tooth in order to repair damage, improve color, change its size or shape, and to fill gaps between teeth. Since dental bonding is not as well known as other cosmetic dental treatments, here are five facts about dental bonding:
In some cases, dental bonding can be used to fabricate composite veneers. Just like traditional veneers, composite veneers can improve the size, shape, color, alignment, and spacing of your teeth. They can also be used to restore a single tooth or multiple teeth. Unlike porcelain veneers, however, composite veneers do not require the removal of enamel for their placement, making the treatment reversible. This also means that they do not last as long as porcelain veneers.
In most cases, dental bonding can be applied without needing to alter the natural tooth structure in anyway. Since composite resin is bonded to the exterior of your tooth, there is often no need for dental anesthetics during dental bonding treatment. During dental bonding treatment, the composite resin is applied and hardened with a curing light layer by layer. The final layer will then be shaped and polished to match the natural tooth structure.
Out of all the various options available for cosmetic dental treatments, dental bonding is one of the most affordable cosmetic dental treatments. One reason for its affordability is that it is considered a direct restoration. Direct restorations can be entirely performed without the need for a dental laboratory. This means that the normal fees charged by a dental lab are waived, so the overall treatment cost is lower. However, the total cost of dental bonding will depend on the individual procedure.
Dental bonding is not associated with any major risks because there is no enamel modification or invasive treatments. It can also be easily reversed, so any problems can be solved by its removal. For this reason, many people opt for dental bonding until they are ready to commit to more permanent forms of cosmetic treatment.
Although dental bonding may not last as long as other cosmetic dental methods, it is still exceptionally durable. If properly cared for, dental bonding can last about 5-7 years. To preserve the results of dental bonding, it is recommended to avoid chewing extremely hard foods, as well as teeth grinding or clenching. Twice daily brushings, daily flossing, and regular dental appointments are also essential to maintaining this type of restoration.
Overall dental bonding can offer similar results to veneers with a treatment that is comfortable, affordable, durable, and has no significant risks. Dental bonding is an ideal treatment for those who are interested in seeing how cosmetic dentistry can help their smile, without needing to commit to costly or lengthy cosmetic procedures. If this sounds like you, then dental bonding may be the perfect cosmetic dental treatment for you. For more information, see “Dental Bonding”.
Dr. Anthony Mancino is Monmouth and Ocean County New Jersey’s General and Cosmetic Dentist and has been practicing for over 25 years focusing on cosmetic and overall dental health. Dr. Mancino is a graduate of Villanova University and University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, New Jersey Dental Association, Monmouth & Ocean County Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Academy of General Dentistry.