This quick guide is all about the composite bonding procedure.
Note: we also wrote a guide on composite veneers
What is Composite Bonding?
Composite bonding is the process where a dental composite or a composite resin material is applied to teeth to make them look more aesthetic.
Here’s what Wikipedia says: “Bonding is a process in which an enamel-like dental composite material is applied to a tooth’s surface, sculpted into shape, hardened and then polished”Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmetic_dentistry#Bonding
Here’s what dental bonding can do for somebody’s smile:
What is Composite Boding used for?
Cosmetic dental procedures such as tooth bonding can be used to fix cracked, chipped, or discoloured teeth, to give you the confidence to flash your pearly whites and enhance your smile.
Why consider Composite Boding?
Composite bonding is quite a cost-effective solution considering it’s significantly less expensive than other cosmetic dental procedures like veneers and crowns. The tooth bonding process is also much simpler, and it typically does not require anaesthesia (unless a cavity has to be filled) or multiple visits to your dentist.
How Does the Teeth Bonding Process Work?
The first thing a dentist normally does is use a shade guide to determine the composite resin colour that best matches the colour of your natural teeth. A rubber dam is then used to isolate the teeth and prevent interference from moisture.
Next, the dentist will roughen the surface of the tooth and apply a gentle liquid phosphoric acid solution, which won’t hurt. Just as roughing up a surface first with sandpaper helps the paint adhere better, the liquid allows the bonding agent to stick to the tooth better, and strengthens the bond. The phosphoric acid is removed after 15 seconds, and a liquid bonding agent is applied.
Your dentist will then apply the composite resin over the liquid, mould and shape the tooth, and then harden the material using UV light. Whenever necessary, your dentist can shape the tooth further even after the resin material has hardened.
How is Tooth Bonding Different from Composite Veneers?
Composite bonding is different from composite veneers mainly because it’s used to fix smaller problems that affect just a few or just one tooth. Another difference is that the bonding procedure is carried out by a dental hygiene therapist under the prescription of a dentist. This means that a dentist will have to look at your bite and how your teeth meet to ensure the bonding is appropriate, and have the hygiene therapist carry out the work.
Alternatively, your dentist can perform the bonding process on their own, though hygiene therapists are very well qualified to perform these procedures and can give out some of the best results.
Why Teeth Bonding?
Tooth bonding can easily fix an imperfection or defect within a tooth. Some people use composite bonding to repair a cracked, decayed, or discoloured tooth. The procedure can also close small gaps between teeth, or even increase the size of a tooth that’s shorter than the rest.
The Composite Bonding Procedure
The procedure is relatively fast, and it doesn’t require any downtime. If you don’t require anaesthesia during the procedure, then you can continue with the normal daily routine after the procedure is complete.
On average, the procedure takes anywhere between 30 minutes to 60 minutes, though some appointments might run longer based on the extent of the procedure.
Advantages of Teeth Bonding
Composite teeth bonding is an effective fix for many dental problems. One great thing about it is that it’s generally a quick appointment, and you only need to visit your dentist or dental hygiene therapist once to have the procedure completed. As a one visit treatment, it saves you money and time. This is unlike similar procedures like porcelain veneer, which require a number of appointments and up to three weeks to fully complete.
Another benefit is that bonding doesn’t affect the underlying tooth. In fact, it’s one of the least invasive ways of getting your teeth restored. The composite material (usually Renamel or 3M) is moulded onto the tooth, and there’s no need to file or drill your existing teeth. Keep in mind that drilling teeth, no matter how talented your dentist is, will always increase the risk of damaging your healthy teeth, which could lead to you needing a root canal or an implant treatment in the future.
Risks of Teeth Bonding
Overall, dental bonding doesn’t carry any major risks. However, the composite resin used for this procedure is not as strong as your natural, healthy teeth. As such, it’s possible for the material to chip away of separate from the real tooth. However, breaking or chipping doesn’t occur as often as with a filling, veneer, or a crown.
A bonded tooth might also chip if you chew on pencils and pens, eat ice, bite down hard candy or food, or bite on your fingernails. The resin is also not as resistant to stains as other dental materials, and you might get some discolouration if you take a lot of coffee, tea, or smoke.
How Long will the Dental Bonding Last?
The durability of dental bonding largely depends on the location on the tooth. If the composite bonding is applied on the very edge of the tooth, it most likely won’t last long depending on the biting forces it’s exposed to and the kind of foods you bite into. Hard, crunchy, or chewy food will weaken the bonding much quicker than soft foods.
Generally, if you have bonding on your front teeth, it’s advisable to avoid biting into food directly, especially if the food can compromise the structural integrity of the dental bonding. A tooth bonding can last anywhere between 4 and 8 years depending on the location and the patients biting, eating, and chewing habits.
How to Care for Bonded Teeth
Composite bonded teeth don’t require special or different care. Brush and floss as you would normal teeth. However, don’t forget that dental bonding can and will probably stain over time, and the potential for staining will be much greater for people who consume a lot of coffee, cola, red wine, tea, and tobacco products.
Need Composite Bonding in Liverpool and Southport?
We offer composite bonding in all our dental clinics in both Liverpool and Southport. We also offer a wide range of cosmetic dentistry services and affordable plans, including 0% finance.
To find out if composite bonding are right for you, visit our dental clinics in Liverpool or Southport or book a free consultation. Contact us here.