One of the most common complaints about visiting the dentist is the amount of time and repeat visits that are required in order to maintain your smile. As such, dentists are constantly looking for ways to improve the efficiency of their treatments. One such method is cosmetic bonding - a technique dentists use to give you the smile you deserve.
What Exactly Does Cosmetic Bonding Involve?
The process of cosmetic bonding typically involves applying a flexible, adhesive material over a broken tooth. This bonding material is then left to harden for a short period, after which the bond becomes immediately effective.
Cosmetic bonds can be used either to repair teeth or give them an aesthetic makeover. While the material is intended to protect against further damage, there are a number of finishes that can be applied to improve the cosmetics of your teeth.
When Would You Require Cosmetic Bonding?
If you're looking to improve the aesthetics of your teeth, cosmetic bonding can be a great option where the tooth has become discolored. While it is important that you treat the discoloration directly with a clean and polish, cosmetic bonds can help take the "bad" look away.
If you have suffered a knock that has cracked one of your front teeth, cosmetic bonding can be a great way to blend the tooth into the rest of the mouth. Typically, damaged teeth that expose the internal structure of the tooth are black and unsightly. Having your dentist install a cosmetic bond can disguise this problem while also protecting the area from further damage.
Finally, cosmetic bonds can also be used to fill any small cavities you may have. Similar to the above processes, the bonding material can be used to plug the gaps left over from tooth decay.
Is Cosmetic Bonding an Extensive Procedure?
The short answer to this is no, absolutely not. Many patients have the false belief that cosmetic dental treatment involves extensive procedures that rebuild their smile. However, this is far from the truth.
In the majority of cases, cosmetic bonding only requires one trip to the clinic – and you don't even need anesthetic! During your visit, the dentist will apply the bonding material as a flexible resin. This resin will cover the damaged or stained area completely in order to give your teeth a natural look. The resin will then be hardened under a curing light to form a strong protective layer on your teeth.
Once the resin hardens, you are good to go! In most cases, you won't require any check-ups in order to "top up" the bond. However, it's important that you watch what you are eating immediately following the procedure in order to avoid unnecessary damage.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
As with any procedure, there are a couple of minor drawbacks. Firstly, cosmetic bonds aren't as stain resistant as dental crowns. Dental crowns are typically made of a harder material that suffers from very little discoloration. While resins are also good at staying clean, the softer material means they will require more regular polishing.
Additionally, cosmetic bonds have a shorter lifespan than other restorative procedures. Veneers, crowns, and traditional amalgam fillings all last longer than cosmetic bonds; however, these procedures are far more extensive. Cosmetic bonds will require more regular and thorough upkeep, so if you are worried about this then ask your dentist about how you should care for your bond.
If you are looking for an extremely quick and pain-free way to improve your smile, cosmetic bonding can be a great choice. As with any procedure though, it's important you discuss the pros and cons in detail with your dentist. Your dentist will have carried out many restorative procedures, and as such will be able to make a recommendation on which one is best for your specific needs. Go to websites like the one linked to in this sentence to learn more about cosmetic bonding.