The Cosmetic Dental Bonding Procedure
Science says that smiling makes us feel better. We don’t really know why or how this emotional phenomenon works, exactly, although it’s been proposed that muscles and movements involved with smiling trigger brain activities associated with happiness.
If unattractive teeth keep you from smiling, you’re unnecessarily missing out on happiness. Performed in our Philadelphia dental office, the relatively simple cosmetic procedure, dental bonding, can correct chips, stains, gaps between teeth, and misshapen or slightly crooked teeth. Bonding may be your key to smiling, and your key to more happiness!
What Is Dental Bonding?
As one of the least expensive and quickest cosmetic dentistry procedures, dental bonding involves applying a custom-shaded, tooth-colored composite resin to a tooth, to add more structure. Once hardened, bonding resin is shaped to look like a natural part of the affected tooth. We use the same composite resin for bodings as we use for white, tooth-colored dental fillings. In some cases, bonding is combined with tooth reshaping, or contouring, for the most attractive results.
If we determine that cosmetic bonding will correct your smile imperfections, the procedure can most likely be completed in a single visit.
At the appointment, Dr. Bruce Wilderman will apply a gentle phosphoric acid to texture the surface of teeth that will receive bonding. The acid etches enamel, which will help the composite resin permanently adhere. He will then apply the resin to your tooth, either in the area that requires more tooth structure or as a thin veneer over the entire tooth’s surface, if you opted for bonding as a teeth whitening procedure.
The bonded teeth will be subjected to a soft light that will harden, or cure, the resin. Afterward, Dr. Wilderman will polish and sculpt your bonded teeth so that they look completely natural. He will also check your occlusion to ensure that upper and lower teeth fit together properly, when your mouth is closed. At this point, the dentist can make necessary adjustments before you leave the office.
Dental bonding, unlike crowns or porcelain veneers (thin, tooth-shaped fabrications that cover the front of a tooth), tends to discolor with time. To improve the procedure’s longevity, avoid smoking and drinking coffee, tea, and red wine for up to 48 hours after bonding is placed.
If you’ve considered teeth whitening, be sure to tell the dentist. Whitening should occur prior to bonding, because the composite resin will be shaded to match the color of your natural tooth enamel. If you whiten your teeth after bonding, your natural tooth enamel will lighten, but the bonding material won’t.
Who Benefits from Dental Bonding?
The best candidates have minor imperfections, such as:
- A chipped tooth
- A discolored tooth
- A tooth with a silver filling from a cavity
- Imperfections in tooth shape
- Imperfections in tooth alignment
- Gap(s) between teeth
Visit our Patients Results page to view before-and-after pictures of dental bonding. This particular process, since it requires sculpting, is as much art as it is science.
Maintain Your Smile
After dental bonding, keep your smile beautiful by following these guidelines:
- Cut back on your consumption of coffee, tea, and red wine to avoid staining.
- Stop all tobacco use.
- Avoid biting your nails, hard candy, or other hard, inedible items, such as pens or pen caps.
- Call the Artistic Expressions Dentistry office if your tongue finds any sharp edges or your bite feels uncomfortable when your upper and lower teeth come together.
Find Out More
Dr. Bruce Wilderman of Artistic Expressions Dentistry is a skilled cosmetic dentist who helps restore smiles and boost confidence. To learn if dental bonding will improve your smile, contact our dental office today for a smile consultation.