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. Often, this also means that many people only think of the dentist when they need a cleaning or have oral pain.
One of the most overlooked procedures is called dental bonding. Bonding is a very versatile procedure that can be used for a variety of smaller smile imperfections. At Mint Dental Alaska, we provide dental bonding services for anyone who wants to restore the look of their smile.
What is Dental Bonding?
As mentioned above, dental bonding is a procedure we use to restore the shine of your smile. A cosmetic dentist does this by applying a very thin layer of a composite 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.
Bonding is also a much faster process than something like veneers or crowns. The entire procedure normally takes only 30 minutes to an hour. In many cases it’s also a good alternative to some other procedures that require altering or drilling into a tooth to finish.
What is Dental Bonding Used For?
Dental bonding can be performed for several 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. This is limited and will only work for minor damage. If your tooth is severely chipped or cracked, your dentist will probably pursue other restorative treatments instead of bonding.
- 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.
- Fill in large or awkward gaps: Dentists can apply dental bonding resin between teeth to make the spaces seem smaller, resulting in a better aesthetics.
- Change the shape of a tooth: 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 clean the tooth and lightly etch surface with a gentle acid that roughens to surface of the tooth. This allows the resin a good surface to bond with.
You will then have a thin layer of paint substance applied to 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 your dentist finishes the application process, all that is required is to 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 and an improved smile!
Just like many other procedures, dental bonding is an irreversible and permanent cosmetic dentistry procedure. However, depending on how much bonding was applied the materials will last three to 10 years. Because of this, bonding is sometimes a good option to bridge a few year gap until veneers, bridges, or full dentures are needed.
Dental Bonding Cost
The average Dental bonding procedure costs between $150 and $400 depending on the size and number of teeth being repaired. Because this is normally a cosmetic procedure, insurance will not cover it unless your dentist can use it to repair a cavity, filling, or other problem needing restorative dentistry.
Dental Bonding Appointments
If you’re interested in dental bonding or if you have more questions about how we can help restore your smile to its former glory, make sure to ask one of our dentists about it. We understand that the wide variety of dental procedures can often be confusing, and we can help you decide the best option for your situation.
At Mint Dental Alaska, we’re always happy to help you your dental bonding work, or any other cosmetic procedure you’ve been considering. Simply call us at (907) 646-8672!