Is Dental Bonding Right for You?
Cosmetic dentists often use dental bonding to improve the appearance of their patients' teeth. Bonding involves placing a sticky resin material on the tooth to help shape it. You likely won't need to undergo anesthesia, but your dentist may offer nitrous oxide if you're particularly anxious about undergoing the procedure. The bonding process is relatively quick, taking 30 to 60 minutes per tooth, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Bonding resin can last up to 10 years.
How Do I Know If Dental Bonding Will Give Me the Smile I Want?
Dental bonding certainly isn't right for every situation, and only your dentist can help you make a final decision on the best method to improve your smile. If you're thinking about getting cosmetic work done, however, you can make a quick self-assessment so you'll know what to ask your dentist at your next appointment.
- Are your teeth discolored? Dentists can match the resin used in the bonding process to the color you want to achieve, so it's a great option if you have a tooth or two that are discolored and don't match the rest of your smile.
- Do you have gaps in your teeth? Bonding can fill in small gaps to make your smile more uniform.
- Do you have a damaged tooth due to a chip or crack? Dentists can use bonding material to reshape teeth to their previous size and shape (or even better) if you've chipped a tooth.
- Do you have size discrepancies between your teeth? If you have a few teeth that don't match the others because they're smaller or shorter, bonding can even out your teeth, making them look straighter and proportionate.
Who Should Look at Other Options?
Some people require other methods of repairing and reshaping teeth, such as crowns or porcelain veneers. Here are some things to consider:
- Do you have multiple teeth that need work? Bonding generally works best for people who have just a few minor imperfections. If you're looking for a total smile makeover, your dentist will likely recommend crowns or veneers. Even though these options are more costly than bonding, they're better for most people who require a lot of work.
- Which teeth need to be reshaped? Bonding resin isn't as strong as a crown or veneer, so it's usually not the best choice for teeth that take a lot of pressure from biting down and chewing, such as the molars.
If you have further questions or would like to set up an appointment for bonding, get in touch with a dentist in your area like Richard M Holmes DMD PA.