Cosmetic bonding is a flexible, affordable, but little-known cosmetic dentistry procedure that allows you to transform your smile for the better. If you’re dealing with small cosmetic imperfections that are keeping you from being happy with your smile, dental bonding may be the right solution.
What is Dental Bonding?
If you’ve ever had a tooth-colored filling, you’re already familiar with the durable composite fillings that is used for dental bonding. This same material is used for cosmetic bonding as well because it’s incredibly strong, easy to shape, and is virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth once it’s been colored, cured, and polished.
Composite dental material starts out as putty that your dentist will color to match your natural teeth. Once the resin has been applied to the tooth, the dentist will shape it based on whatever cosmetic change you desire. Since your dentist is essentially sculpting with the composite resin, this procedure is extremely flexible — nearly any shape or correction can be made this way. Alternatively, this means you’ll want to go with a local dentist skilled in cosmetic dental procedures, as this will affect the results.
Once the putty has been shaped, the dentist will use a curing light to permanently harden the composite resin. For large applications, you might need multiple cycles of application and curing. Finally, the bonding will be polished so it matches the glossy look of your natural teeth.
What Issues Can Dental Bonding Correct?
There are a wide variety of aesthetic problems that dental bonding can be used to solve:
- Tooth gaps — If you don’t want to or can’t use orthodontics to close a gap between two teeth, bonding can be used to fill in the space by falsely widening the teeth on either side.
- Chipped teeth — Some tooth chips don’t compromise the structural integrity of the tooth, but still present an aesthetic problem. For these chips, bonding is the perfect speedy solution to build the lost tooth material back up.
- Teeth Shape — Sometimes a tooth or two may be too small or poorly shaped, which can throw off an otherwise attractive smile. Bonding allows your dentist to reshape a tooth as desired.
If you have any of these particular cosmetic problems, an experienced cosmetic dentist can offer dental bonding as a cheap and affordable solution. Unfortunately, dental bonding does have its limitation.
The Limitations of Dental Bonding
Although bonding is both an affordable and multifaceted approach to cosmetic issues, there are many cases that require more permanent solutions, like porcelain veneers. Dental bonding isn’t as strong as natural tooth enamel, and can be prone to wear, including staining and chipping. Also, because dental bonding relies on dental artistry, the end result can vary.