Cosmetic Bonding | Repairing Teeth with Composite

Cosmetic Bonding

This patient has a long lasting directly bonded composite veneer on her left front tooth.

Cosmetic Bonding Can Address Minor Aesthetic Imperfections

Cosmetic bonding is a procedure in which a tooth colored composite resin material is applied to teeth. This treatment can effectively conceal flaws for a more uniform appearance.

Is your smile negatively impacted by chips, hairline fractures, discoloration, or other minor cosmetic imperfections?  Do you have cavities that need filling or old silver fillings replaced?

How Bonding Works

Bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure where white composite material is chemically attached or bonded to a tooth. To perform the procedure, your dentist chooses a shade of composite resin that matches the color of your natural teeth. Next, the dentist applies the material to the affected teeth. The bonding material adheres to the surface of the tooth. It is molded and shaped  around the existing structure to achieve the desired size and shape. The material is hardened or cured with a special ultraviolet light. Lastly, final adjustments are made, and the teeth are polished to a natural looking shine.

Uses of Cosmetic Bonding

Dental bonding offers a wide range of advantages. For example, this treatment:

  • Bonding is a procedures that is more affordable than other smile enhancement alternatives
  • Can close spaces or gaps between teeth that open or become exposed when gums recede
  • Reshapes crooked or misaligned teeth much like a teeth veneers would
  • Repairs damaged or eroded enamel, worn, broken, or a chipped tooth
  • Covers a permanently stained or discolored tooth
  • Is a comparable alternative to dental veneers and is ideal for young patients who aren’t old enough for permanent porcelain restorations. Often, there is a tough decision whether to use porcelain veneers or cosmetic bonding.

Making Veneers of Composite Filling Material

Composite is a versatile material that comes in many shades, and levels of translucency. An artistic dentist can employ these various types of composite in layers. Each composite resin color is laid down as it is found in a natural tooth to create a lifelike replica. This advanced technique is typically less expensive compared to other cosmetic treatments. For this reason, composite veneers may be an excellent alternative solution for individuals considering porcelain veneers.

Composite Fillings | White Fillings

Composite resin can also be used to fix a cavity. In fact, bonded fillings have mostly replaced silver fillings as the standard treatment for filling a cavity. This highly aesthetic option requires no outside lab procedure, and is built directly onto the tooth surface by Dr. Fondriest. Best of all, treatment can be completed in just one visit.

Are There Disadvantages?

Cosmetic bonding is an excellent choice for many patients. However, this treatment may not be recommended for everyone. There are a few disadvantages. For example, dental bonding:

Is not stain resistant

Unlike porcelain restorations, composite resin can become discolored over time. Certain substances, such as tea, red wine, coffee, and tobacco can stain the bonding material. If you are a smoker, you may wish to pursue other treatment options.

Is less durable

Bonding can last several years before it needs to be repaired as long as you practice good oral hygiene. Bonding material can chip, stain, or wear down over time. This is especially true if you suffer from bruxism or routinely chew on hard candy or ice.

Requires more artistic talent

Any dentist can repair a tooth, but an artistic touch is required to achieve optimal aesthetic results. It takes time, artistic talent, and a deep understanding of the materials to properly layer a composite restoration. If you are considering dental bonding, be sure to choose an experienced artistic dentist, like Dr. Fondriest.

May cause tooth sensitivity

Some degree of tooth sensitivity is likely after cosmetic bonding. However, this side effect is typically short lived.

Maintenance of Bonded Teeth

Because cosmetic bonding can stain or chip, care is required to keep your teeth looking great for years to come. Here are a few helpful maintenance tips:

  • Reduce your intake of coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco products.
  • Because composite resin can chip easily, it is important to avoid dangerous habits. As a general rule, you should never use your teeth as tools to open packages or tear off clothing tags.
  • It is common for the edges to stain after 4-7 years. This means that part of the composite has chipped off. A simple visit can remedy the problem.
  • To prevent or minimize stains, brush your teeth often and have them cleaned regularly by a dental hygienist.

How long will tooth bonding last?

Cosmetic bonding is about one third as strong as a real tooth. This material is not a good choice when used on the molar teeth, which bear the brunt of biting forces. This is especially true with patients who grind or clench their teeth.

Cosmetic bonding is not as strong as porcelain when used to reshape teeth, and therefore will not last as long. Under normal circumstances, dental bonding usually lasts seven to 10 years with proper care. Old bonding is frequently replaced with porcelain veneers. Dental insurance usually pays a small amount.

Learn More about Cosmetic Bonding or Composite veneers

When looking for an accomplished doctor to do your composite veneers, consider one who teaches on the subject and has written many articles on restorative dentistry. Would you like to learn more about the advantages of cosmetic bonding to enhance your smile and oral health? Schedule a consultation at our Chicago, IL practice. We serve the Chicago metro area. Contact us by calling 847-234-0517.