Restoring the Natural Beauty of Your Smile
Your smile doesn’t need to be perfect to be beautiful. In many cases, it’s your smile’s subtle imperfections that make it unique and beautiful. Despite this, issues like dental injuries can harm your teeth. When this happens, cosmetic dentistry can help you restore your smile so that you can get back to grinning automatically—without worrying about how your teeth look. If you’ve started researching methods to repair your teeth and a “dentist near me” who can perform the procedure for you, tooth bonding has likely come up in your search. But what is tooth bonding and what makes it an effective treatment for repairing teeth? More importantly, is it a good fit for you? To help you answer these questions, we’ve put together the basics of tooth bonding.
What is tooth bonding?
Tooth bonding uses a tooth-colored resin that can be molded into the desired shape and tinted to match the color of your natural teeth. This ability allows it to solve a wide range of dental issues, including repairing chipped or cracked teeth, changing their shape, lengthening them, restoring teeth that have suffered from minor decay, or covering permanent stains. While it can be used to make more noticeable changes to your smile, tooth bonding can also simply be used to restore the appearance of an injured tooth. This gives you back your old smile, with all of the uniquely beautiful qualities that make it yours. Additionally, if your teeth have suffered an injury such as a crack, tooth bonding can provide tooth pain relief.
Why tooth bonding?
When you’ve suffered a dental injury like a cracked or chipped tooth, bonding isn’t just about restoring the appearance of your smile—it’s necessary for your oral health. Chips in your tooth have less protective enamel and are often rough, providing an easier surface for bacteria to stick to. Similarly, cracks can go deep in your enamel, making it easier for bacteria to make it to the pulp of your tooth. This can quickly lead to severe cavities that will require more involved treatment. Tooth bonding seals off the damaged part of your tooth, providing an extra layer of protection against decay-causing bacteria and protecting your teeth against further injury.
Additionally, tooth bonding is a quick, easy procedure that takes a single visit to our office and rarely requires anesthetics. Despite how simple the treatment is, tooth bonding looks incredibly natural. The resin matches the gloss of natural teeth and Dr. Staley will adjust its shade to match your existing teeth, so no one will know it’s there!
What are the risks of tooth bonding?
The treatment itself doesn’t carry any risks, but the resin used in tooth bonding isn’t as durable or stain-resistant as your natural teeth or as the material used in restorations like dental veneers or dental crowns. As a result, they can break or chip if you use them to bite down on hard objects, like ice or pencils. These aren’t good habits for your teeth, either, and you may want to work to break the habit before getting bonding in order to protect the restoration. Bonding can also stain over time from habits like smoking, drinking a lot of coffee, or neglecting your oral hygiene. Cutting back on—or even eliminating—these habits can reduce this staining over time. If your bonding is chipped or stained, Dr. Staley can perform another quick, simple procedure to touch it up.
How should I prepare for my appointment?
Since tooth bonding is a very simple procedure, you don’t need to do much to prepare for your appointment. It will be completely painless, but we understand if you still feel anxious leading up to the procedure. If you’re struggling with dental anxiety, do your best to avoid caffeine—it can make you more anxious—and let us know how we can make the experience more positive for you.
What is the process like?
Dr. Staley begins the placement process by matching the resin against the shade of your natural teeth. Then he uses a special liquid to roughen the surface of your tooth slightly so that the resin can bond to it more securely and applies the resin. He molds it into shape, smooths it out, and uses a specialized light to cure it before putting on the finishing touches by shaping and polishing it. From start to finish, the entire process generally takes somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour. The only time you’ll need anesthetic for the procedure is if you’re using it to fill a cavity; you’ll need anesthetics for the portion of the procedure where Dr. Staley fills the cavity before applying the resin to your tooth.
How do I care for my tooth bonding?
The best way you can care for your tooth bonding is to practice great oral hygiene. Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, floss once a day, and use mouthwash once or twice a day according to the label’s directions. You should also schedule a regular appointment with Dr. Staley every six months so that he can catch any dental issues early. Additionally, you can reduce the risk of damage or staining to the resin by breaking a few habits. Crunching into hard candy, biting your nails, smoking, or eating a lot of food and drinks that cause stains are all habits you can eliminate or cut back on to extend the life of your restoration. Generally, tooth bonding lasts between three and 10 years before it needs to be replaced. The better you take care of it, the longer your bonding is likely to last.
How much does it cost?
The cost of tooth bonding depends on a number of factors, including the extent of the bonding needed and whether or not your dental insurance will cover the treatment. If you’re getting tooth bonding to repair a filling, crack, or chip in your tooth, your insurance is much more likely to cover part or all of the cost. No matter how much your insurance covers, however, tooth bonding is a more budget-friendly treatment than getting a veneer or crown. This makes it a great option for many people.
Although it’s a simple and inexpensive procedure, tooth bonding pulls its weight. It improves the health of your teeth while restoring their appearance, giving you newfound confidence in the way your smile looks and feels. If you’d like to learn more about how tooth bonding can help you from a dentist in Boise, ID, feel free to call our office and schedule a consultation with Dr. Staley at any time.