Dental bonding is a cosmetic treatment performed by placing a tooth colored composite material onto the tooth. This material can be built up and altered to the patient’s desired shape and color to create natural looking results.
Bonding is completed in one visit and can be used to treat chipped and broken teeth. Dental bonding can also be used to lengthen short teeth, close spaces between teeth, cover discolored teeth and fix imperfections on the tooth’s surface. A consultation with one of our expert dentists will determine if the patient is a good candidate for this procedure. The advantage of bonding is that it is an affordable and conservative way to restore a tooth – or teeth! With the doctor’s expertise and experience, they can achieve amazing same day results with dental bonding!
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About Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is a procedure to improve the appearance of the teeth. The dental procedure utilizes a tooth-colored resin that is applied to the teeth in order to restore and enhance a patient’s smile.
The resin consists of a durable plastic material that is hardened and affixed to the tooth with a specialized light. It is called dental bonding because the light chemically “bonds” the resin with the tooth.
While the resin used in dental bonding is not as strong as the patient’s actual teeth, it is a good solution for minor cosmetic concerns. Contact Old Town Smiles today to request a consultation and get started!
Dental bonding is an attractive procedure for many patients because it is a relatively quick and straightforward procedure. It can usually be performed in less than an hour and in one office visit. Furthermore, in this procedure, little tooth enamel will be removed and majority of the time does not require anesthesia. This means that the patient will be free to return to their normal routine following dental bonding. It also means that it is more affordable than some other restorative procedures.
Good candidates for dental bonding may be patients who are experiencing one or more of the following issues.
- Decayed teeth: For decayed teeth, composite resins can be used to fill in cavities.
- Chipped or cracked teeth: Resin can be formed to repair the shape of the tooth or smooth over cracks.
- Discolored teeth: The dentist will use a shade guide in order to determine the proper color of the resin to correct the coloring of the teeth.
- Gaps between teeth: Resin can be applied to the sides of teeth in order to make them wider and close up gaps.
- Irregularly shaped or short teeth: Similar to closing gaps between teeth, resin can be added to short teeth to make them longer or to reshape them and make them more proportional.
- Exposed teeth roots: The resin can serve as protection for roots that have been exposed due to gum recession.
Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental option for both men, women, adults, and children alike. In children, when the permanent tooth grows in and the primary tooth falls out, the bonded resin will fall out with the primary tooth. However, dental bonding is not as strong as other restorative procedures, including crowns, veneers, or implants. Our dentists typically reserve dental bonding for patients with minor cosmetic issues. Also, the tooth must be sufficiently sturdy in order to support dental bonding for the long-term.
In order to be considered for dental bonding, patients should schedule a consultation with one of our top Alexandria, VA cosmetic dentists, Dr. Kitchen or Dr. Ahmed.
Dental Bonding vs Amalgam Fillers
When a tooth is decayed, our doctors can utilize composite resin (a form of dental bonding) to fill in cavities. The alternative to composite resin is amalgam metallic alloy.
Amalgam metallic alloy is a combination of copper, silver, tin, and elemental mercury, which results in a silvery appearance. It has been used for over 100 years in order to fill in cavities. However, the main drawback about amalgam fillers is that they are not good at filling in smaller cavities. There is a minimum size requirement so that the filler can hold properly. Furthermore, since the amalgam filler is silver, it is very noticeable when the patient opens their mouth. The metallic alloy can also tarnish the tooth over time, leading to a gradual darkening. Amalgam fillers can last up to 20 or more years.
Composite resins have been safely used for approximately the past 40 years to fill in cavities.
They are good at filling in smaller cavities and can adapt to any shape necessary. Furthermore, the filling is chosen using our shade guide to match the color of the patient’s tooth. When they open their mouth, nobody will know that they had a cavity! Plus, the composite resin will not stain the tooth over time, unlike amalgam fillers. However, composite resin is softer than amalgam fillers and will therefore wear down more quickly. They generally last about ten years.
Despite the fact that composite resin does not last as long as amalgam fillers, Dr. Kitchen and Dr. Ahmed recommend composite resin over amalgam fillers in order to fill in cavities. Composite resin is more versatile and will leave patients with a more beautiful smile that they can enjoy for years.
Using a shade guide, the dentist will determine the correct color resin to match the patient’s smile.
Dental bonding typically does not require anesthesia. However, if the tooth is decayed, needs its shape to be altered, or the chip is near a nerve, then anesthesia may be employed for patient comfort.
In order to bond the resin, the dentist will first roughen the surface of the teeth and apply a conditioning liquid. Next, they will apply the tooth colored resin to the tooth and mold it to the desired shape. Then, the resin will be hardened using a bright specialized light. Finally, the resin will be polished to match the appearance of the rest of the tooth. The entire procedure typically takes less than an hour.
Dental bonding should be maintained similar to how patients should be taking care of their teeth already. They should be sure to brush their teeth and rinse with antiseptic mouthwash at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. They should also be sure to schedule regular checkups with their dentist every 4-6 months.
Dental bonding is not as sturdy or strong as some other restorative treatments we offer. For this reason, it is important to avoid bad habits that could cause the bonding to chip, including chewing on fingernails, pens, or ice, or using the bonded teeth as an opener. If the bonded tooth does chip, then it is important to contact the dentist right away.
So long as the patient takes proper care of their bonded teeth, then they may be able to enjoy results for up to ten years.
For more extensive cosmetic issues, Dr. Kitchen and Dr. Ahmed may recommend an alternative procedure. The most common alternatives to dental bonding include crowns and veneers.
Dental crowns are used to restore the function and appearance of discolored, damaged, or misshapen teeth. A crown is essentially a cap that is put on a damaged tooth, but the cap will look identical to the patient’s other healthy teeth. It is usually employed when a patient’s tooth is fractured, dead, misshapen, or discolored.
Porcelain veneers are formed porcelain shells that can be bonded to the front of teeth. Veneers can be utilized to correct the appearance of a variety of concerns, including chipped, misshapen, discolored, crooked, or spaced teeth. The porcelain veneers are permanently bonded to the teeth, providing long-lasting results. However, it usually requires a multi-step procedure, where the patient will first be outfitted with temporary veneers and then they will later come back to receive their permanent veneers.
Patients interested in dental bonding should begin by requesting a consultation with Dr. Kitchen or Dr. Ahmed in Alexandria, VA. During the consultation, our doctors will discuss with the patient their cosmetic and functional concerns and why they are interested in dental bonding. The doctor will also conduct an examination of the patient’s mouth and then use her expertise to recommend whether or not the patient would benefit from dental bonding. If the patient requires more extensive restoration, then the doctor may recommend an alternative procedure, such as crowns or veneers.
During the consultation, our doctors will also be able to provide the patient with a price quote. However, the cost will vary from person to person, so it is important that the doctor looks at the patient’s teeth personally prior to providing a quote. In some cases, dental insurance may help cover the costs of dental bonding. Get started by contacting Old Town Smiles in Alexandria, VA and requesting a consultation. Dr. Kitchen and Dr. Ahmed look forward to helping both new and existing patients achieve a smile they love to show off.