tooth bondingIf you were born with great teeth, over time the look and function of your teeth may be affected by accidents, bad dental hygiene or age. If you are not happy with your teeth, bonding may be the solution. The experts at Raleigh implant and Family Dentistry offer tooth bonding procedures as a solution to your less than perfect smile.

What is bonding?

The dentist attaches or “bonds” certain materials to your tooth in order to change the color and shape of the tooth.

Reasons to consider tooth bonding:

  • To fill cavities and repair decayed teeth
  • Bonding may be used instead of amalgam (metal) fillings
  • Repairing chipped or cracked teeth
  • To protect a portion of the tooth’s root when gums have receded
  • To close spaces between teeth
  • May be used to alter the shape of teeth
  • In some cases, can be used to make teeth look larger or longer
  • To whiten discolored teeth

What is the tooth bonding procedure?

In the dental bonding process, your tooth enamel and dentin are fused with bonding materials such as porcelain and resins. The enamel is the surface of the tooth and it protects the tooth from damage. Dentin is calcified bodily tissue, which is protected by the enamel.

There is little preparation necessary for tooth bonding. Unless drilling is necessary or a chip is close to a nerve, anesthesia is generally not necessary. Your dentist will choose a composite resin color that matches the shade of your teeth as closely as possible to make sure the repair is a seamless addition to your natural teeth.

To begin the bonding process, the surface of the tooth will be etched, or roughened, so that it binds correctly. Then a conditioning liquid will be applied. The dentist will apply a tooth-colored resin, which has a texture similar to putty. Next, the resin is formed into the appropriate shape. Once the resin is the proper shape, the dentist will use an ultraviolet curing light to harden the material. Finally, the tooth will be polished to match the sheen of your natural teeth. The process takes about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth.  

Advantages:

The resin used for tooth bonding can be used to treat cavities and other types of damage. The resin actually bonds with and strengthens the teeth. Tooth bonding prevents tooth decay from spreading and reinforces the walls of the teeth.

Tooth bonding is an easy and relatively inexpensive dental procedure. It generally removes only a small amount of tooth enamel. Dental work such as veneers or crowns must be manufactured in a lab, and requires multiple office visits before the procedure is complete, but bonding can often be done in one office visit.

Caring for Bonded Teeth

Because the shape and size of your teeth may be different after a bonding procedure, your teeth, lips, and tongue may feel different at first but will soon start to feel normal again. It is important to know how to protect and care for your teeth after a dental bonding procedure. Just like caring for your natural teeth, you need to maintain good oral hygiene habits.

  • Brush at least twice a day with an ultra-soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. Floss at least once a day, or as necessary.
  • Choose a mouthwash that does not contain alcohol, as the alcohol may soften the bonding materials.
  • Sodium fluoride may be used. However, stannous fluoride or acidulated phosphate fluoride are not recommended after tooth bonding.
  • Keep your routine cleaning and dental check-ups.
  • Avoid tobacco products, coffee, tea, colas, grape juice, curry, blueberries or red wine. Be kind to your teeth.
  • The bonding material can chip, so try to avoid biting or chewing on hard objects. Be careful when eating hard foods such as bones, nuts or hard candy. Avoid chewing ice, biting thread or opening packages with your teeth.

If a chip or a fracture does occur, consult your dentist. If necessary, the veneer can usually be renewed without difficulty.

Raleigh Implant and Family Dentistry provides expert care for your dental health needs.  If you believe you’re a candidate for tooth bonding, Dr. Melcher or Dr. Rodriguez will discuss the procedure with you and make sure you’re given proper care guidelines so that you can maintain your beautiful smile for a lifetime. Ready to get started?  Contact us today at (919) 782 – 0548 for an appointment.