Dental Bonding

Dental Bonding

bonding-01When patients who want cosmetic dentistry done think about potential procedures, they often lean toward the complex, toward the veneers and crowns that often get the most hype. However, as Dr. Allen Gotora from Stellar Dental explains, complex doesn’t necessarily mean better. Sometimes a simpler but less invasive procedure like dental bonding can fix the problem just as well. Dr. Golora provides dental bonding services to patients in Maryland.

What is dental bonding? What is the procedure like?

Dental bonding is one of the most basic forms of cosmetic dentistry, but is no less effective than some of its more complex neighbors like veneers and crowns. For one thing, the dental bonding procedure is remarkably similar to that of veneers. It involves the application of a very thin layer of a substance that both covers up and protects the tooth.

However, unlike veneers, dental bonding doesn’t involve any filing down of the tooth at all. Because the thin layer resin used in bonding takes up far less space than the porcelain material of veneers, it can be applied without affecting the tooth externally at all. This minimally invasive technique means that the tooth can remain unaltered and as healthy as possible and can be even more beneficial if you happen to be nervous around dental tools.

The leadup to the dental bonding procedure requires only the preparation of the resin itself. Your dentist will carefully dye the resin to match the shade of your teeth exactly, so the result shouldn’t stand out or be noticeable to an outside observer at all. If you have particularly sensitive teeth, your dentist may also apply a local anesthesia to keep you comfortable during the application of the resin, but this extra step is unnecessary for the majority of patients.

After preparing the resin, your dentist will proceed with the actual application of that resin. The paste will be carefully painted over the tooth until it covers the surface smoothly. An ultraviolet light will be shone over this paste, causing it to harden and chemically bond to the surfaces of the tooth. This step is what makes dental bonding a permanent procedure. The paste physically joins to the teeth, so you don’t need to worry about the resin falling off over time.

Finally, the dentist will carefully trim and shape the resin to make sure the result is as seamless and tooth-like as possible. Some polishing may also be required to make the tooth look exactly like its neighbors, but after these minor alterations, the procedure is completely finished. If dental bonding sounds simple, it’s because it is. It typically doesn’t take more than 30 minutes to an hour to complete the procedure with startlingly amazing results.

What can the dental bonding procedure fix?

So, in what situations will dental bonding be prescribed? You might be surprised by the range. Bonding can be used to fix a number of cosmetic issues, including (but not limited to):

  • Discoloration: Teeth whitening procedures are obviously the first place you’d look if you ever want to fix the discolorations in a tooth, but sometimes those procedures alone aren’t enough, or whitening would be ineffective. In cases of extreme tooth discoloration, dental bonding is sometimes prescribed again to cover up the worst of the staining that whitening solutions cannot fix.
  • Chips and cracks: For severe damage to a tooth (like large chips and fractures that go straight through a tooth), you’ll likely want stronger restorative procedures, but for the minor chips and cracks that dentists see most often, dental bonding is sufficient to hide the worst of the damage and protect the tooth. While not the strongest dental material, the resin used in dental bonding can successfully seal off a tooth and prevent future damage from occurring and is actually the same resin used for white fillings.
  • Gaps between teeth: Most of the time, when people want to fix a gap between their teeth, they visit an orthodontist, but that might not actually be necessary. Dental bonding can be used to close gaps between the teeth at a far cheaper cost than most orthodontia (though it cannot fix more serious malocclusions). Visiting your dentist is the best way to find out whether your specific case can benefit from bonding.
  • Tooth decay: Did you know that composite cavity fillings are really just another type of dental bonding? Technically, cavity fillings are just another type of dental bonding procedure — the composite resin is just that versatile.

If you’re experiencing any of these cosmetic issues, you should visit a dentist to see whether dental bonding is right for you! Contact Dr. Allen Gotora from Stellar Dental in Maryland for more information. Just call (301) 754-1900 or visit the website http://stellardentalllc.com/ to set up an appointment today!