One of the easiest and least expensive ways to restore broken or discoloured teeth to full beauty and function is with cosmetic tooth bonding. Cosmetic Tooth Bonding is the application of a tooth-coloured resin material (composite) using adhesives. The composite is bonded to the surfaces of teeth that show when you smile, for minimally invasive smile makeovers. In the dental world these are called direct composite veneers but generally known as cosmetic tooth bonding.
We can use Cosmetic Tooth Bonding to fix the following dental issues:
· changing the shape of teeth
· improving the appearance of discoloured teeth
· closing spaces between teeth
· make teeth look longer
· repair decayed teeth
· build up the worn-down edges of teeth.
· repair chipped or cracked teeth
· protect a portion of the tooth's root that has been exposed when gums recede / erode / ’abfraction’ leasions
Cosmetic Tooth Bonding uses tooth-coloured materials to replace missing tooth structure or hide aesthetically unappealing minor defects in a tooth like discolouration, chips, shape differences, cracks, spacing and uneven spaces. Composite resins come in a variety of tooth colours.
Cosmetic tooth bonding can make teeth look truly lifelike. Because it does not involve dental laboratory work, tooth bonding can usually be accomplished in a single visit to the dental office. Very often it can be done without drilling of the tooth.
Cosmetic tooth bonding is typically used for aesthetic purposes to improve the appearance of discoloured or chipped teeth. It is also used to close spaces between teeth, to make teeth look longer or to change the shape or colour of teeth. It can be used to fill-up the tooth's root surface that has been exposed when gums recede, to fill-in eroded surfaces or do smile makeovers.
Your Smile Makeover
Tell the dentist what you don’t like about the colour, size, shape and spacing of your teeth.
Dental Cosmetic Bonding Procedure
First, the surface of the tooth to be bonded will be cleaned so it is plaque-free. The surface will then need to be ‘etched’ with an acidic gel that opens up tiny pores in the surface. After the etching gel is rinsed off, the liquid composite resin is applied, filling these tiny pores to create a strong micro-mechanical bond. A special curing light is used to harden this bonding material. Once the first layer is cured, a layer of composite in a well-matched shade is placed on the surface and light cured. Layers can continue to be built up until the restoration has the necessary thickness. The composite material is then shaped using a dental drill to give it just the right form. Once the tooth not only looks great and fits in with your bite, it will receive a final polishing.
Dental bonding takes little to no preparation, and the use of anesthesia is often not necessary unless the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth. Your dentist will match the shade of your existing teeth to select a composite resin colour that will closely match the colour of your tooth.
Advantages and disadvantages of Cosmetic Tooth Bonding
The great thing about Cosmetic Tooth Bonding is that this procedure is one of the least expensive of cosmetic dentistry procedures. It can usually be done in one short office visit unless many teeth are involved. Another advantage to Cosmetic Tooth Bonding is that compared to veneers and crowns made by the lab, it requires little to no or very minute amounts of removal of tooth enamel. Most procedures involving dental bonding do not require anaesthesia. It doesn’t involve a laboratory so it can often be done in a single visit. However the material used in Cosmetic Tooth Bonding is not as strong as your real teeth, and is not as strong as other restorations such as crowns, veneers, made of porcelain. It is also not as stain resistant as porcelain. At the same time if you look after the bonded teeth well they can last a long time. Cosmetic Tooth Bonding can be used in many areas and is very versatile. Also the price of Cosmetic Tooth Bonding per tooth is typically about 8 times less expensive than having a crown or veneer placed.
Cosmetic Tooth Bonding consultation
A consultation with your dentist will determine what dental problems can be solved with bonding. Your dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth that may involve x-rays and an evaluation of your teeth and gums. During your consultation, your dentist will discuss if you are a candidate for the cosmetic problems that bonding can resolve.
Caring for Bonded Teeth
Bonded teeth should be brushed and flossed daily, and professionally cleaned at the dental practice minimally twice a year. The most important thing to keep in mind about caring for your bonded teeth is that composite can absorb stain, just as natural teeth can. Therefore, you will want to avoid staining foods / drinks / tobacco products to the extent possible. Also, while composite can darken, it cannot be lightened. So if you are thinking about having your teeth whitened, it should be done before your tooth is bonded so that a composite shade can be selected to match the lighter colour of your whitened teeth. If you whiten your teeth after Cosmetic Tooth Bonding, the bonded tooth will not change colour. Finally, try not to bite your nails or use your teeth as tools or in other ways that could put excessive force on the bonding material and chip it. If the tooth feels differently than when you had your procedure, you may have chipped the bond. Consult your dentist if this happens.With proper care, a bonded tooth should stay beautiful for 3 to 10 years.
Cost of Cosmetic Tooth Bonding
Costs of dental bonding vary depending on your specific dental conditions, amount of teeth that need cosmetic repair, additional procedures performed in conjunction, and the dentist performing the operation. On average a dental bonding can cost between £250 per tooth. Check with your dental insurance provider to see if you are eligible for coverage.
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