Dental Bonding

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Dental Bonding: aka Composite Bonding, Composite Resin Dental Bonding, Restorative Dentistry Composite Resin Dental Bonding


What is it?


Dental bonding is a cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry procedure used to replace broken or damaged teeth and to restore a healthy smile.  Dental composite bonding is typically achieved using a composite resin that allows the dental expert to gently shape and sculpt the teeth into a work of art. A dentist can use composite resin to repair chipped and broken teeth or to fill in gaps in the teeth and improve the size of teeth while improving the color of teeth.


Working with composite resin is much like working with molding or dental clay. The dentist is basically forming a new tooth with white molding material that he or she will use to create a new “tooth” between missing teeth, so your mouth retains as much of its natural shape, color and luster as possible.


Composite resin bonding is nothing more than a filling the dentist applies to the back and the front of the teeth to fill in gaps much like an ordinary amalgam cavity or silver filling does. Between these teeth the dentist will place an ordinary false tooth which the composite will hold in place. Many times no one will be able to tell the difference if the dentist is very skilled in his or her art.


Among the benefits of dental bonding include:


  • § Filling in gaps between the teeth
  • § Lightening existing stains on teeth
  • § Brightening your smile
  • § Correcting crooked teeth without braces
  • § Covering up natural flaws
  • § Placing a natural-looking polish on teeth


The Operation


During the dental bonding procedure a restorative or cosmetic dentist will apply an etching solution to the teeth. The highly skilled dentist works to create small nicks on the tooth’s surface to create a rougher palate on which the composite resin will bond to the teeth. Then the dentist will apply the composite dental resin to the tooth and use high-intensity light to cure the resin.


This will bond the layer of resin to the tooth. After this another layer of resin may then be applied to the tooth to harden. Typically several layers are placed on the tooth until the material is sculpted in a way that evens out the appearance of the teeth.


When the dentist finishes, the teeth are polished and completed. Often this is all the aftercare that is necessary from this time one for several years. If the patient takes good care of the teeth and is careful to abstain from using staining products the teeth are likely to hold up to much in the way of wear and tear.


Alternatives to Surgery


Dental bonding is a safe and effective alternative to many dental surgeries. It costs less than traditional dental implantation surgery and helps improve the look of any smile. Dental bonding does not require any type of general anesthesia. Most patients are more than pleased with the results. Many layers of composite are necessary to create a finished look so the procedure can take some time, usually from one to two hours.


If you plan to consult with a dentist about this procedure make sure they are skilled in the use of dental bonding techniques. An unskilled dentist may be familiar with the process but product a less than desirable outcome. On the other hand in the hands of an expert dental bonding can be placed on the teeth in a matter than makes artificial teeth and bonding look just like natural teeth!


Before the Operation


Little preparation aside from good dental hygiene and preparing the teeth’s surface (which the dentist or hygienist will do) is necessary prior to dental bonding procedures unless the dentist or staff advice otherwise. Good candidate for dental bonding surgery and people with teeth that have small gaps in them and individuals with small cracks or chips in their teeth. Some patients with discolored or uneven teeth and those with gum recession or tooth decay may also be eligible for bonding.


After the Operation- In the Hospital


Prepare to have someone drive your home from your procedure as you may be feeling nauseous and still under the influence of some medications from surgery.


After the Operation- At Home


You will likely remain numb or feel some tingling in your face or mouth around the area where the numbing anesthetic was injected. This will where of in the one or two hours following the procedure.



Possible Complications


The composite material used for dental bonding does become porous, so with time it can stain and it can chip or come loose. This means it may need repair. You should keep this in mind when calculating costs. If you do not eat many foods that stain the teeth this may not be a concern, but if you do you may want to bring this up with your dentist when considering your options. A porcelain replacement may be a better solution for you in the long term especially when considering the costs associated with replacing teeth.


Some people find composite fillings do not last as long as amalgam fillings. Composite fillings may last from 7 to 10 years if they are cared for well.


General Advice


Composite dental bonding is a good option for individuals that want to fix small gaps between their teeth or improve the overall appearance of their teeth. This quick procedure is a good option for individuals that have a few teeth in need of repair. Dentists can use a composite filling and remove only the decay in the tooth instead of removing the entire tooth to make way for a silver filling. Composite fillings are much less likely to crack in the tooth as well. Composite will bond to the tooth directly and can match the color of teeth so they are a good choice for individuals that require cosmetic changes to the teeth.



Estimated Costs for Composite Tooth Veneers


Country Cost per tooth
USA $300-600
Brazil $100
Costa Rica $100
South Africa $190
Thailand $60

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