Cosmetic Bonding | Composite Fillings

Composite 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 involves the application of a tooth-colored composite resin material. 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

The treatment is called bonding because the white composite material chemically bonds to the tooth. To perform the procedure, Dr. Fondriest chooses a shade of composite resin that matches the color of your natural teeth. Next, he applies the material to the affected teeth, molding and shaping it around the existing structure to achieve the desired size and shape. Lastly, the material is hardened with a special curing light, 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:

  • Is more affordable than other smile enhancement alternatives
  • Can close spaces or gaps between teeth
  • Repairs worn, broken, chipped, damaged enamel
  • Re-shapes crooked or misaligned teeth much like a porcelain veneer would
  • Covers permanently stained or discolored teeth
  • Is a comparable alternative to dental veneers and is ideal for young patients who aren’t old enough for permanent porcelain restorations

Making Veneers of Composite Filling Material

Composite is a versatile material that comes in many shades, levels of translucency, and viscosities. An artistic dentist can employ these various types of composite in layers to create lifelike replicas of natural teeth. This advanced technique is typically less expensive compared to other cosmetic treatments. For this reason, composite bonding may be an excellent alternative solution for individuals considering porcelain veneers.

Composite Fillings | White Fillings

Composite resin can also be used to restore teeth. In fact, bonded fillings have mostly replaced silver fillings as the standard treatment for cavity repair. 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 and detract from your overall appearance. If you are a smoker, you may wish to pursue other treatment options.
  • Is less durable: True, bonding can last several years before it needs to be repaired, as long as you practice good oral hygiene. However, bonding material can chip, stain, or wear down over time – especially 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 Dental Bonding

Because composite bonding is more likely to stain or chip, specialized 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.
  • Call our office if you suddenly feel rough edges. This could mean 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?

Composite bonding is about one third as strong as a real tooth. Although composite resin is used frequently to repair natural tooth chips, 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. Composite 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.

Learn More about Cosmetic Bonding at Lake Forest Dental Arts

When looking for an accomplished doctor to do your bonding, consider one who teaches on the subject and has written many articles on restorative dentistry. Want to learn more about cosmetic bonding to enhance your smile? Schedule a consultation at our Chicago, IL practice. We serve individuals and families in the Chicago metro area, including the North Shore and Northwest suburbs. Contact us by calling 847-234-0517.