Dental bonding is a non-invasive way to deal with a variety of dental issues. It is quite popular in cosmetic dentistry, and it can be used to fix problems such as stained and discolored teeth, broken and chipped teeth, cavities and gaps between teeth.
During the process, the dentist applies a tooth-colored composite to one or more teeth that need to be repaired. An etching solution is typically used on the teeth being restored prior to the application of the composite — it roughens the tooth's surface, making it easier for the resin to stick to it.
Some of the issues that are fixed with dental bonding can also be repaired with veneers or crowns. Either of these provides a more permanent solution, but they are also pricier options than having a tooth restored with composite resin.
Getting the most out of dental bonding
Repairs made with composite resins will not last anywhere as long as a crown or veneers, but they can last up to 10 years if the patient practices good oral hygiene. The location of the tooth repaired also affects the longevity of bonding. Repairs made on front teeth tend to last longer than those made on molars that continuously have to deal with incredible forces.
Habits like teeth grinding can also shorten the lifespan of repairs made with composite resin.
A tooth that has been restored with dental bonding will not be as durable as a real one. Avoiding habits that can damage teeth becomes even more critical after composite bonding. Patients should:
- Avoid biting on hard things like fingernails and ice
- Avoid opening packages with their teeth
- Practice good oral hygiene
- Eat healthily
- Avoid items that can stain teeth like red wine, coffee, tea and tobacco products. Composite resins are more prone to staining than real teeth
How long a tooth that has been repaired with bonding lasts is entirely up to the patient. Those who follow the tips listed above should be able to get over 10 years out of the repairs.
Alternatives to dental bonding
There are a couple of alternatives to dental bonding: veneers and dental crowns.
These thin, tooth-shaped covers are cemented to the front of a tooth. They serve to hide any imperfections on the tooth it is covering. Veneers are used to deal with many of the same issues composites are used for, and they are a more invasive treatment than tooth bonding. However, they can last up to 10 years longer than composites.
A dental crown provides even more protection than veneers. Also known as a cap, a crown covers the entire tooth, keeping it safe from all the irritants in the mouth. A crown restores the look of a damaged tooth and its function. It is also the longest-lasting solution as it can last over 25 years when properly maintained.
Get the treatment you need
Dealing with an oral problem that requires composite bonding or one of its alternatives? Contact our Peabody office today to explore your options.
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