Dental bonding can be both a restorative and a cosmetic procedure. If one of your teeth contains too much decay for a normal filling, for example, Dr. Andrew Nguyen will recommend the dental bonding process. Patients also choose bonding for cosmetic reasons such as concealing a larger than usual gap between two teeth or to change the shape of a tooth that doesn’t match the other teeth.
Here are some other reasons Dr. Nguyen may recommend dental bonding:
- Change the appearance of a tooth so it looks longer
- Protection for exposed tooth roots when gums recede
- Repair a crack or chip in a tooth
- Replacement for old fillings, typically those made from silver amalgam material
- Treatment for discolored teeth that have not responded well to professional teeth whitening or for patients who prefer to try it as a first line of treatment
Regardless of why you’re considering dental bonding, the first step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nguyen at Blue Wave Smiles.
The Dental Bonding Process in Detail
To start the dental bonding process, Dr. Nguyen uses a shade chart to choose the most appropriate type of composite resin. This term describes durable plastic material that matches the shade of your teeth as closely as possible. You will have the opportunity to view and approve the composite resin’s shade as well.
Next, Dr. Nguyen roughens your tooth’s surface and applies a conditioning liquid to it. This is necessary to make sure the bonding stays affixed to the tooth. Once he’s certain the conditioning liquid is covering the tooth adequately, he moves on to mold and apply the resin to the desired tooth shape and smooth it out. Resin is the tooth-colored putty. Rather than wait for it to harden naturally, Dr. Nguyen uses a curing light that causes the resin to bond to the tooth. This is where the term dental bonding originates.
Dr. Nguyen also needs to trim and shape the bonding material to prevent any of it from hanging off your tooth. He then polishes the tooth to get it to match the shade of your other teeth. The entire dental bonding procedure takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes to complete. It normally only requires one appointment.
Benefits of Choosing Dental Bonding
Cost is often a concern for patients who request bonding as a cosmetic procedure since most dental insurance companies only cover what they deem necessary treatment. It costs less that veneers and crowns, both of which also require at least two office visits. Another advantage to consider is that bonding usually requires the dentist to remove less tooth enamel than other cosmetic and restorative dental procedures.
Perhaps most importantly, people who have had dental bonding performed report a big increase in confidence. They can smile naturally without concern that others will see their stained, misshapen, or cracked tooth. Having an attractive smile is not just a social concern, however. People in many professions, particularly those with significant public contact, benefit from improved aesthetics as well.
Dental Bonding Can Be Most Appropriate for Small Cosmetic Changes
If you’re concerned about staining with the bonded tooth, you should know that it doesn’t resist stains quite as well as veneers or crowns. You might also find that you need to repeat the dental bonding process sooner than you would with other cosmetic enhancements. The typical timeframe is three to ten years. This is one reason why many dentists recommend it for minor changes to appearance. Even so, patients appreciate this option because it saves them money and offers immediate results for their cosmetic concern or tooth decay.
Follow Good Oral Hygiene Practices and Avoid Risky Habits
As with all other dental restorations or cosmetic enhancements, it’s important to brush your teeth vigorously a minimum of two times per day, floss at least once a day, and visit Blue Wave Smiles every six months for an exam and professional cleaning. Another thing you can to do increase the longevity of the bonding material is to avoid habits that put too much pressure on it like biting your fingernails, opening bags or bottles with your teeth, and chewing on pens, ice cubes, and hard food items.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Nguyen to Learn More
If you’re looking to improve the appearance of your smile, we understand that dental bonding is just one of many options available to you. We invite you to contact Blue Wave Smiles located in San Clemente, California, to reserve your time to meet with the doctor today. After examining your tooth and mouth, he will let you know if dental bonding is the best option for you to pursue. You’re also free to ask questions about other cosmetic dentistry procedures you may be considering.