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When Would Bonding Be the Best Choice?

When Would Bonding Be the Best Choice?

If you have minor dental imperfections, such as chipped, cracked, or discolored teeth, you have a range of cosmetic restoration options to turn your smile from glum to great. These include dental veneerscrownsteeth whitening, and dental bonding. Of the bunch, bonding is both the cheapest and the least time-consuming, making it a popular choice.

Dr. Sheldon Kupferman and the staff at Riverdale Dental Arts offer cosmetic dentistry options to our patients in the Bronx, New York, area, including dental bonding. As many patients aren’t familiar with bonding, we’ve put together this quick guide to help inform your treatment decision.

When is dental bonding the best choice?

Also known as tooth bonding, dental bonding uses composite resin applied to a tooth’s surface to repair a flaw. It’s quick, and it’s one of the least expensive dental restoration treatments.

Dental bonding addresses a variety of minor tooth problems, though it’s most often used to repair a chip or mask discoloration. It can also be used to change a tooth’s shape, making it appear longer to match surrounding teeth, or to close large gaps between teeth where plaque often builds up. 

Dr. Kupferman may even use dental bonding to repair small areas of decay within a tooth, and, in some cases, he uses it to protect a tooth root exposed by receding gums.

The bonding process

Dental bonding takes about 30-60 minutes per tooth to complete. If you have several teeth that need fixing, you may need more than one appointment to complete the work.

Dr. Kupferman first uses a shade guide to match the resin to the surrounding teeth's natural color. Next, he roughens the tooth’s surface a bit and puts on a light coat of a conditioning liquid. These steps ensure the bonding material sticks to the tooth more easily.

Then, he applies the putty-like resin to the affected tooth, molding it until it’s the proper shape. He uses an ultraviolet light to “cure” or harden the material. Once the resin has set, he finalizes the shape and polishes the bonded resin so it matches the rest of your teeth.

What to expect after the bonding process

Dental bonding is a quick and easy restoration option, but it’s no substitute for your natural tooth. The composite resin isn’t as strong as your tooth enamel. It’s not even as strong as a crown, veneer, or filling. That means you need to take some precautions, or the resin can separate from the tooth. Don’t use that tooth to bite down on hard food or candy, and never crunch down on ice, even with your natural teeth, or you may cause a chip or crack.

The resin also doesn’t resist stains as much as other dental materials. If you smoke or even drink a lot of tea or coffee, you can discolor the new coating, especially during the first 48 hours after treatment. Rinsing your mouth after eating or drinking, brushing after meals, and periodically getting a teeth whitening treatment may help.

Properly cared for, dental bonding usually lasts from 3-10 years before you need a touch-up. Treating your bonded teeth with the same care as your natural teeth can help extend the bonding’s life: floss once a day, brush twice a day, use antimicrobial and fluoride rinses, and come in for semi-annual professional cleanings.

If you have minor tooth imperfections and are looking for a quick and affordable way to fix them, dental bonding may be for you. Call Riverdale Dental Arts at 718-548-1148 to schedule an appointment, or book online with us today.

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