Dental Bonding is a term you may not be familiar with. It is a procedure in cosmetic dentistry that can help fix damaged enamel in your teeth. Enamel can be damaged in a number of ways, including cracks, chips or gum disease.
Dental bonding is a relatively easy and safe procedure. The process is quick, and the result is usually a beautiful complement to your natural smile. If you have specific questions about the procedure, it is a great idea to speak with your dentist and see if this procedure is for you. Read on for conditions where you might need dental bonding.
The following is a short list of conditions that can be treated with bonding:
- To alter or change the shape of your tooth
- An alternative to amalgam fillings
- To change the color or “whiten” teeth
- To lengthen a tooth that is too short
- To repair cavities or tooth decay
- To repair cracked or chipped teeth
- To remove gaps between teeth
- To protect an exposed tooth root
So, what do I need to know before the procedure?
Bonding is fairly straightforward and probably will not cause you any pain during the process. The only time you might need anesthesia (pain medication) is when you are using dental bonding to fill a cavity or tooth decay. This is because the dentist will probably be using a drill to change the shape of the cavity itself.
During the procedure
The resin used for dental bonding can be multiple different colors, and usually, your dentist will select a color that is close to your natural tooth color. The exception might be if you are using bonding for a color change procedure.
First, the surface of the tooth is “roughened” and a liquid is applied to condition the tooth. A small amount of resin is then applied, which starts as a putty-like texture before it hardens. At this stage, it is molded and smoothed to the desired shape.
The final step happens when the tooth has hardened. It will be trimmed, shaped and polished.
The entire process of dental bonding usually takes somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes.
After the procedure
Bonds do not require special care. Treat them like you would treat your normal teeth; in fact, you may not even notice they are there!
It is important to follow good and regular dental hygiene practices, as dental bonds are not more resistant to cavities or damage than your normal teeth. Brush twice a day and floss twice a day, and if you choose, use an antiseptic mouthwash.
A dental bond can last up to 10 years before it needs to be replaced. This can often be longer if you are taking good care of your teeth in general. Ensure that you are visiting the dentist at least once a year and preferably twice a year. Regular visits will allow your dentist to determine if your dental bonds need to be touched up or repaired.
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