Bonding Teeth: Sticky-Notes on Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is the term used to describe a process to reshape or bulk out any misaligned front teeth.  It is the application of white filling material to the front dentition, usually in order to improve some cosmetic defect.  It is a relatively simple technique and much less harmful to teeth than some other treatments.  However, bonding teeth is not always the best treatment option for some cosmetic problems.  Here is a brief summary:

 

Reasons for Dental Bonding Include:

  • Decay. Early and minor decay of a front tooth can be repaired with dental bonding.
  • Chipped dentition, where the damage is minor.
  • Larger fractures can sometimes be repaired by dental bonding.
  • Spaces/gaps between the dentition.
  • To bulk out/even up teeth that lie out of line or are less-than-ideally shaped.
  • Camouflaging discoloration, with or without prior dental whitening.

 

"Image of dental bonding"

Dental bonding: Using white filling to repair fractured front teeth

Advantages of the Treatment

Dental bonding is often used as an alternative to veneers or crowns.  The advantages over these other treatments include the facts that bonding usually:

  • Involves less tooth damage.
  • Is completed in one visit.  This also adds the benefit of not needing ‘temporaries’.
  • Is generally a much cheaper option.
  • Is reversible, as generally no drilling of tooth structure is performed.
  • Can allow veneers/crowns to be placed later if necessary. If for some reason the treatment fails or is not satisfactory, these other options are a next possible step.

 

Any Disadvantages?

Some of the drawbacks of the treatment include:

  • Not as durable as other cosmetic treatments such as veneers and crowns.
  • Requires a high degree of skill from the dentist.
  • Can be more liable to staining than other options.
  • This technique will not strengthen a very weak tooth.  Here a crown will be needed.

 

Dental bonding is often carried out in conjunction with whitening.  In this case, whitening is carried out first.  Once the required shade is reached, things are left for about two weeks to stabilize.  Then bonding can be carried out to make any modifications to the shape of the teeth.  The color of the filling material is carefully selected to blend in with the whiter teeth.

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