When it comes to enhancing your smile, you have several options to choose from today. One, in particular, is dental bonding, which involves a simple and quick procedure that can mask stains and even repair certain damage to the outer layers of your teeth. With proper care, this dental bonding can last for years and help you maintain a smile you love to share with confidence.
What is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is a simple cosmetic procedure, utilizing a tooth-colored resin material to brighten up and even out your smile. It is minimally invasive and conveniently completed in just one dental office visit.
While often chosen to cover tooth discoloration, it is also a solution for a variety of dental issues, including to close gaps between teeth, alter the size, shape, length, or color of teeth, and conceal slight cracks and chips.
Dental bonding doesn’t require the removal of tooth enamel like other options do, and should it not be the right solution for you later on, it is entirely reversible.
The dental bonding procedure involves the following steps:
1. With the help of a shade guide, you and your dentist will choose the resin that most closely matches the color of your natural teeth.
2. Your dentist will prepare the surface of the tooth (or teeth) by roughening it slightly and applying a liquid conditioner.
3. Application of the putty-like material comes next. Your dentist will artfully smooth and mold the resin to shape your tooth in the best way possible to enhance your smile.
4. To bond the material to the tooth’s surface, your dentist will use a curing light.
5. Once the composite resin material hardens under the curing light, your dentist will inspect the results, make any last-minute adjustments, and give the tooth a polish.
How Long Does Dental Bonding Last?
While not as strong and durable as your natural teeth enamel, dental bonding is still a good option for most patients. Considering that it is a quick procedure that is entirely reversible, there is little risk in selecting it as a way to enhance your overall smile. Yet, it will need replacing at regular intervals.
Dental bonding can usually last anywhere between three and ten years. The exact timeframe for each patient will depend on several factors, however, and these include the following.
- The particular type of composite material
- Amount of bonding material required
- Location of dental bonding application
- The number of teeth involved
- Starting health and strength of selected teeth for application of bonding material (In most cases, your dentist will address any problematic issues, such as gum disease or lost fillings, prior to application of the bonding material.)
- Individual oral health hygiene and habits
At some point, the bonding may need touching up or replaced altogether. The most common reasons for this include:
- Staining, particularly when it is the front teeth that receive bonding
- Continual grinding of teeth which can wear the dental bonding material down or result in chips or breakage.
- Personal habits, such as fingernail biting
- Eating sticky or hard foods on a continual basis
In addition to discoloration, you may experience signs that your dental bonding needs replacing. For example, the corners of the bonding begin to lift, or you feel sharpness in the area. Another sign is that you notice your bite feels slightly off or different, potentially indicating that the bonding is becoming loose.
If any of these occur, or you think they might be, schedule an appointment with your dentist to determine what next steps you need to take to maintain your smile and oral health.
Steps to Increase the Longevity of Dental Bonding
Steps you can take to increase the longevity of dental bonding include:
- Maintain good oral hygiene, gently brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing like you do to care for your natural teeth.
- Schedule regular dental cleanings and exams.
- Resist biting down on hard substances, such as candy, nuts, and ice, with your bonded teeth.
- Avoid fingernail biting and chewing on pens or pencils.
- Stop using your teeth to open packages or bottles.
- Consider limiting your intake of staining beverages such as tea and coffee.
- Limit tobacco products as much as possible to avoid stains.
While dental bondings will need replacing at some point, you can do your best to increase the time between replacement procedures.
Contact South Dayton Smiles to Learn More About Dental Bonding Today
Sharing your smile not only radiates your appearance but also lends a boost to your self-confidence. To find out if dental bonding is a good option for you to help enhance your smile, or to determine if any previous bondings need replacing, contact our professional team here at South Dayton Smiles. Call (937) 446-6781 to schedule an appointment, or use our convenient online contact form today.