Composite bonding offers a simple method of restoring your smile to its original beauty and even improving upon nature. Your dentist can actually enhance your smile with bonding ( a form of cosmetic dentistry) for a wide variety of restorative applications.
What is composite bonding?
Composite bonding is one of the most conservative, versatile and affordable ways to esthetically restore a multitude of dental cases. Your dentist uses this natural-looking, synthetic material to:
- Restore cavities in front and back teeth
- Replace old and unattractive "silver fillings"
- Repair root abrasion (on roots exposed by gum recession or notched by years of aggressive brushing). Covering these areas help prevent cavities and improves their appearance.
- Close diastemas (spaces between the teeth)
- Restore chipped or fractured teeth
- Improve or change the color of permanently stained or discolored teeth
- Reshape crooked or misshapen teeth
Cosmetic bonding replaces silver fillings.
Cosmetic bonding closes unsightly spaces between teeth and restores chipped and fractured front teeth.
How is composite bonding done?
Decay (if present) is removed and a protective coating placed inside the tooth. Then the tooth is etched with a mild acidic solution. This roughens the enamel surface and allows the bonding material to adhere. A shade of filling material is chosen that matches your natural tooth. This tooth-colored bonding resin is shaped to match the contour of your natural tooth. Sometimes the dentist uses a special light to help the material harden. The surface of the composite is then trimmed and polished to achieve a natural luster and appearance.
What are the advantages of composite bonding?
- Appearance - The most obvious advantage is esthetics. Available in a variety of colors and special shades, composite bonding can be made to look as natural and pleasing as your own tooth.
- Strength - Composite bonding, although not as strong as "silver fillings," produces a filling that supports a tooth, making it less likely to break. Unlike "silver filling," that depend on undercuts to hold them in place, composite bonding adheres to the tooth itself.
- Tooth conservation - In composite bonding only a small amount of natural tooth structure, if any, is removed.
- Reduced anesthesia required - Bonding usually does not require anesthesia unless decay is present. Your teeth can be restored with little or no discomfort.
- Reduced time - Composite bonding is fast. The results are immediate. It can usually be completed in one appointment.
- Economic - By performing bonding (which is less expensive than full crowns or veneers) you save on dental bills over the long term.
Cosmetic bonding esthetically improves inherently discolored teeth and tetracycline stains.
How long will composite bonding last?
It's true that composite bonding fillings wear faster than "silver fillings," especially on chewing surfaces of back teeth. Although not as strong as crowns or veneers, with proper care a bonded restoration may last five years or more before requiring touch up or replacement. Your dentist will monitor this during your routine checkups.
What should I expect?
Because the material used in bonding is more brittle than your natural teeth, it can chip. Avoid biting fingernails, hair clips, ice, carrots, peanut brittle and other hard items. Bonded areas are also more prone to staining than your natural teeth, so it is important to take good care of your restored teeth at home. Avoid ingestion of staining substances such as tobacco, coffee, and tea. With good home care and regular professional cleanings, your composite bonded fillings can remain beautiful and natural looking for a lifetime.
If there is something about your smile you would like to improve, please do not hesitate to ask us. With today's advances in cosmetic dentistry, you can enhance your smile with cosmetic bonding, and at a fee you can afford. Remember, your smile is often the first thing people notice about you and the last thing they forget.