Do you have just one or two teeth that stand out from the crowd? Maybe they are undersized or deeply stained. Maybe they are chipped near the edge. Though you may just have a couple of teeth with cosmetic issues, they can impact the entire look of your smile. Many patients are unaware that there is a simple, affordable cosmetic treatment that can correct these issues, and it can be completed in just one dental appointment! What is it? Dental bonding.
Cosmetic dental bonding is a simple way to improve the look of your smile. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, we typically use dental bonding to close spaces in teeth, replace worn enamel, re-shape crooked or misaligned teeth, repair broken teeth, and cover stains that tooth whitening treatments cannot remove. While dental bonding works well and looks great, you must take care of your bonded teeth to maintain a flawless smile for years to come. Below, learn more about dental bonding and how you can maintain its appearance for years to come!
Dental bonding is a cosmetic application to improve the look of teeth, but the very same material can also be used in the treatment of cavities. Composite fillings are composed of the same composite resin material Dr. Fondriest uses to cover cosmetic flaws in teeth. This is because this material is extremely versatile and can be shaded and shaped to fit any tooth.
Treatment: What to Expect
The procedure for receiving dental bonding is non-invasive and takes just one appointment. Most patients can expect the following steps during their dental bonding treatment:
- Fondriest will prep the tooth by buffing the outer layer of enamel to provide a tactile surface on which the bonding can attach.
- Next, Dr. Fondriest will perform a shade analysis to determine the exact color of your natural tooth enamel. He can then shade the composite resin material (which resembles a putty-like substance at this stage) to create a seamless look.
- Fondriest will shape the correct amount of resin before applying it to the tooth. Then, a dental curing light is used to instantly harden the resin onto the tooth.
- Final adjustments ensure the bonding looks extremely natural. Before you leave, Dr. Fondriest will polish the bonding to a glossy finish, mimicking the rest of your natural teeth’s enamel.
Useful Maintenance Tips
The durability of dental bonding is relative to how well you take care of your bonded teeth. Bonding typically lasts anywhere from 3-7 years, depending on post-operative care. Unlike porcelain veneers, dental bonding does stain and can chip easily. The following is a list of ways you can preserve the bonding on your teeth.
- Bonding lasts longer when it is clean. That means the good oral hygiene habits you practice to prevent cavities can also help preserve your bonded teeth. You should brush at least twice daily and floss once a day. You should also avoid starchy foods and sweets as much as possible, as these disrupt your mouth’s natural pH levels and lead to increased production of oral bacteria found in plaque.
- Professional maintenance helps keep bonding shiny and new, but an ordinary dental hygienist may not possess the skills and training to clean teeth properly, while simultaneously preserving bonded teeth. Regular professional dental cleaning techniques can change the texture of your bonded teeth. Special polishing pastes are required to restore shine. Common tooth-cleaning products like pastes with pumice, ultrasonic scaling devices, and air-polishing tools can damage your bonded teeth.
- Certain kinds of toothpaste are harsh and can dull bonding. They also increase the chances your bonded teeth will stain. Use toothpaste intended for bonded teeth. Rembrandt toothpaste is available in stores and is safe for bonded teeth.
- Hard-bristled toothbrushes are also bad for bonded teeth (and delicate gum tissue, too!). Use soft-bristled brushes to avoid damage, and always brush with a gentle touch; bent and flattened toothbrush bristles are a sign that you are putting too much force behind your brush.
- Use common sense. If you feel any snags or rough spots on your teeth, let us know, and we can smooth those areas before they become a problem. Dental bonding is as easy to repair as it is to place. Do not put off a visit to our Lake Forest practice – it is often a quick fix!
- Avoid biting directly onto hard, chewy, or tough foods with the bonded tooth. Over time, this direct force could weaken and break the bonding (which is not as strong as porcelain). Instead, cut up foods and try biting on the opposite side of your mouth.
- Alcoholic beverages cause bonding to deteriorate at a faster rate than normal. While occasional alcohol use is not a problem, heavy drinking will damage the resilience of your bonding. You should also avoid coffee, tea, and smoking because they can stain bonded teeth. If you do enjoy a coffee or tea beverage, try to use a straw to keep the richly-colored drinks off of the bonded tooth as much as possible.
If you are considering dental bonding, call for a second opinion
If you are ready to get rid of the small cosmetic flaws that leave you embarrassed to smile, contact our Lake Forest practice. Dr. Fondriest can perform an examination, discuss your smile goals and budget, and help you determine the treatment that will best suit your needs.
If you have further questions about how to maintain your cosmetic dental work, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fondriest, please call our Lake Forest dentist office at (847) 234-0517. You can also reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.