Your teeth are arguably the most useful external organ you possess. They help to break down food into digestible mush, and they also make your smile brighter. And while teeth may be strong, they do need to be cared for regularly to maintain both their looks and function.
However, no matter how much you care for your teeth, they’re still not impervious to damage. Accidents can happen, such as getting into a fight or hitting the pavement that can chip your bone-hard enamel. Fortunately, teeth bonding is a miraculous smile-saving procedure.
What Is Teeth Bonding?
Teeth bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure that involves adhesion or bonding to the natural substances of the teeth, enamel, and dentin. It’s used to fix all kinds of physical damages to teeth such as chipping, cavities, or other dental procedures.
A tooth-colored resin material is applied to the damaged area to fill it in and is then hardened with a special light. The objective is to restore the tooth to its original shape and functional capacity.
The material used to fill in teeth is a putty-like, durable plastic that can be molded and permanently gains the hardness of teeth under a bright blue laser. It doesn’t dissolve from the digestive juices and matches the hardness of your regular teeth, so it can function like your natural teeth.
Why Should You Get Teeth Bonding?
Teeth bonding is the ideal solution to fixing minor teeth damage that doesn’t involve decay. Sometimes, if the damage is too great, dentists recommend simply removing the old tooth from its root and replacing it with a new one.
So why get teeth bonding? Well, for one, it’s a smaller, cheaper surgical procedure than replacing your tooth. It helps prevent further damage to your enamel. More importantly, it helps you use your teeth to chew normally again. Dentists pick a color that matches the existing color of your teeth, so it doesn’t show either.
Are There Any Risks of Teeth Bonding?
Teeth bonding is generally very safe. However, there are a few potential risks and complications that may arise during the procedure or recovery although they are quite uncommon. They include:
#1. Anesthetic complications such as an allergic reaction or ruptured blood vessel.
#2. Loss of bonding material.
#3. Tooth infection.
#4. Tooth injury.
#5. Mouth injury.
#6. Damage to the tooth due to mechanical forces.
#7. Pain if your teeth are soft due to calcium deficiency.
Teeth Bonding Procedure
You will sit back on a reclining chair with a clear shield over your eyes and sometimes a bite block to prop your mouth open. The dentists will most likely use a water jet and suction to clean your mouth and teeth before the bonding begins.
If your bonding process involves filling in a cavity, you may be given anesthesia via an injection into your gums. Before the injection, your dentist might use a topical anesthetic to reduce the sting from the injection.
But if you’re just fixing a chipped tooth, you won’t be needing any anesthesia. The procedure begins as soon as your mouth has been cleaned.
The Bonding Process
To prepare for the next step, your dentist may use a drill to smooth out any rough edges from your chipped tooth and clear the tartar. A gel solution will be applied to the area where the bonding material is to be added to help it stick to the tooth. Your dentists will then apply the bonding material in layers to restore the shape of the tooth, and it may need some molding.
The next step is to harden the bonding material using a blue light. Once it’s been hardened, it may need some polishing to remove sharp or rough edges that could hurt your tongue.
Finally, to test your new teeth, your dentist might give you something to bite on and create an impression on your teeth. It’s a quick and virtually painless procedure.
Time Taken to Complete the Process
Dental bonding can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour for one tooth depending on the extent of the damage. If more than one tooth needs to be repaired, it may take longer.
How Does It Work?
The composite resin used to fill in the tooth is almost but not quite as strong as your natural teeth. That’s why it’s only recommended for correcting minor injuries and is usually used to restore the structure of the teeth to create a better smile.
The new material is a bit softer but can easily handle chewing most tough foods like apples, breadsticks, and meat. It’s also durable so it lasts long. However, under serious pressure, it can break off before your natural teeth would.
Cost Of Teeth Bonding
According to Everyday Health, the average cost of teeth bonding in the United States can range from $300 to $600 for one tooth. Although most types of insurance plans that cover dental also include teeth bonding.
How Long Does Teeth Bonding Last?
Teeth bonding lasts at least 3 and up to 10 years without needing to be fixed or replaced.
Pros and Cons of Teeth Bonding
#1. Preemptively deters infection that can result from a broken or chipped tooth.
#2. Restores your smile and looks natural.
#3. The bonding material used is non-invasive, which means you’ll hardly feel like something’s been added to your mouth. It fits and feels very natural.
#4. It’s easier to care for teeth that use bonding material because it’s stain-resistant.
#5. Anesthesia makes the procedure painless even for sensitive teeth.
#1. The composite resin does wear down in the long term and will last a decade at the most.
#2. The resulting tooth is not as strong as other methods used to restore teeth, such as dental fillings, crowns, or veneers.
Bonded Teeth Care
Because your bonded teeth are not as strong as your natural teeth, you need to brush and floss regularly to eliminate acid-creating bacteria and prevent gum disease.
You will also need to watch what you eat and your chewing or biting habits a bit more carefully to avoid chipping the bonded tooth.
If you run your tongue along the tooth and can feel some sharpness around the edges, set up an appointment with your dentist to fix it as promptly as you can.