Everyone knows that teeth can become discolored and chipped over time, but not everyone may know of all the different ways in which cosmetic dentistry can fix those problems. One of the often overlooked procedures is dental bonding. At Mint Dental Alaska, we provide dental bonding services for anyone who wants to restore the look of their smile.
What is dental bonding and what is it used for?
As mentioned above, dental bonding is a procedure by which you can restore a smile. A cosmetic dentist does this by applying a very thin layer of a resin-based material to the surface of a tooth so that it “bonds” to the tooth, essentially giving the tooth a second layer that covers up any imperfections on the original surface. Think of it like a veneer but not premade. Like a veneer, dental bonding covers up the original tooth, but unlike veneers, the dentist doesn’t have to create custom pieces for each patient, making bonding a much cheaper and more accessible procedure.
Dental bonding can be performed for a number of reasons, most of them cosmetic. The most common reasons why dentists perform dental bonding are to:
- Repair teeth that have decayed: The material used for bonding is the same as the material used to fill cavities, so dental bonding is able to repair minor cavities in a tooth.
- Repair slight chips and cracks in a tooth: A dentist can spread the resinous material over and into any chips or cracks in a tooth, sealing them off and restoring the tooth to its original look. Note that this only works for minor damage. If your tooth is severely chipped or cracked, your dentist will probably pursue other restorative treatments as well.
- Fix irregularities in a tooth: Bonding can help cover up any irregularities in a tooth, evening out craters and pits on the surface.
- Hide evidence of discoloration and staining: Because the resinous material is painted over the tooth, any discoloration or staining in the tooth below is hidden by the layer of bonding.
- Make the spaces between the teeth seem smaller: Dentists can apply dental bonding resin between teeth to make the spaces seem smaller, resulting in a better esthetics.
- Change the shape of a tooth (eg. making it seem longer): Depending on how the bonding is applied, a dentist can make a tooth look different, perhaps making it seem longer or wider than it was before.
What is the dental bonding procedure?
Unlike with most types of cosmetic dentistry, dental bonding takes very little time and preparation. The only thing your dentist needs to do before applying the bonding resin is match the pigmentation of the resin to your natural tooth color. No anesthesia is necessary because the process isn’t invasive at all.
After preparing the resin accordingly, the dentist will carefully paint a thin layer of the substance on the surfaces of your teeth. Because the material is so thin, your teeth don’t need to be filed down like they do when getting dental veneers, directly layering on the resin is sufficient. Once the dentist reaches all the spots, he or she will dry the resin with an ultraviolet light or a laser, causing the resin to bond with the tooth. The result is a tooth with resin directly attached to it. Dental bonding is an irreversible and permanent cosmetic dentistry procedure.
If you’re interested in dental bonding or if you have more questions about the procedure, make sure to ask one of our dentists about it. At Mint Dental Alaska, we’re always happy to help you with whatever cosmetic procedure you’ve been considering. Simply call us at (907) 646-8672!