Dental bonding and composite veneers
Dental bonding, also known as composite bonding, has been used in dentistry for many years. It is an excellent way to repair cracked, chipped and discoloured teeth, or replace silver amalgam fillings. Dental bonding can also be used to close gaps and reshape misaligned teeth, providing a straighter, more uniform smile. Bonding is the application of a composite resin which bonds to the tooth to fill or cover the existing tooth.
Dental bonding is one of the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. Unlike porcelain veneers and crowns, which are customised tooth coverings that must be manufactured in a lab, bonding usually can be done in one visit.
Uses of dental bonding
Dental bonding is an option that can be considered:
- to repair decayed teeth (composite fillings are used to fill cavities)
- to repair chipped or cracked teeth
- to improve the appearance of discoloured teeth
- to close spaces between teeth
- to make teeth look longer
- to change the shape of teeth
- as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings
- to protect a portion of the tooth’s root that has been exposed when gums recede.
Disadvantages of dental bonding
Although the bonding material used in dental bonding is somewhat stain resistant, it does not resist stains as well as crowns. Another disadvantage is that the bonding materials do not last as long nor are they as strong as other restorative procedures, such as crowns and veneers. Additionally, bonding materials can more easily chip and break off the tooth.
Because of some of the limitations of dental bonding, it is best suited for small cosmetic changes, temporary correction of cosmetic defects, and correction of teeth in areas of very low bite pressure.
Because bonding material can chip, it is important to avoid such habits as biting fingernails; chewing on pens, ice, or other hard food objects; or using your bonded teeth as an opener. If you do notice any sharp edges on a bonded tooth or if your tooth feels odd when you bite down, call us.
How long does dental bonding last?
The lifespan of bonding materials for the teeth depends on how much bonding was done and your oral habits. Typically, however, bonding material lasts 3–5 years before needing to be touched up or replaced.
Bonded teeth do not require special care. Simply follow good oral hygiene practices. Brush teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and see us for regular professional check-ups and cleanings.
A nighttime appliance (splint) should be worn to help protect your teeth.
A composite veneer is a dental restoration added to the front of your tooth to reshape or correct discolouration, misalignment, chips or cracks. Unlike porcelain veneers, which are a single-crafted veneer that is bonded to your tooth, composite veneers are added to the tooth in layers. Each layer is hardened with light before the next is applied. When the final shape and colour is achieved, the veneers are polished to give a natural look.
Composite veneers can achieve a great result, as seen above. They are less expensive than porcelain veneers or crowns, and can be applied in one visit. Contact us to find out if composite veneers will work for you.
If composite veneers aren’t suitable, consider other options: