Your teeth are naturally strong, and most of them will help you chew, smile, and even rip tape with your teeth (don’t do that) for most of your life. Why are they so durable? Because your enamel is one of the strongest parts of your body.
Chipping a tooth, however, is easier than you think – and it doesn’t require a punch in the face or an unforunate t-ball accident to achieve. You can crack a tooth on a glass bottle, water fountain, ice cubes, or during childbirth. It’s even easier to chip a tooth if you struggle with tooth decay, bruxism, or deal with abnormal amounts of acid that eat away at your enamel.
Teeth bonding can help repair chipped teeth and prevent them from further damage. Is it the right move for you? Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Tooth Bonding?
Tooth bonding (dental bonding) is a cosmetic dental procedure that repairs a chipped, cracked, or otherwise broken tooth. It also helps with discolored teeth, gaps between the teeth, and even lengthening a tooth hat’s shorter than the rest.
The “bond” is a composite resin the takes over where your tooth broke to make it look as good as new.
Unlike a crown (used for fillings), the composite color will be similar to the color of the tooth, so it continues to look natural.
Why choose tooth bonding, even for a small chip?
Many people are most concerned with their smile, but fixing chips and cracks is also vital for your oral health in general. It helps you chew properly and prevents further damage that could even threaten the health of the surrounding teeth.
Who Does Teeth Bonding Work Best For?
Tooth bonding is best for teeth that suffered minor injuries and aren’t severely decayed.
If you lost a tooth (or most of a tooth) or the tooth is severely damaged, you may favor a dental implant over bonding. Dental implants replace the tooth and root entirely with an implant and a porcelain crown.
Additionally, tooth bonding is best for people who are already happy with the color of their teeth. If you have always wanted to whiten your teeth, you need to do it before you ask your dentist for teeth bonding. Your dentist chooses a bond similar to the color of your natural teeth, and if you whiten your teeth later, then your natural enamel will get lighter, but your bond won’t change color. We explain in more detail below.
What’s Involved in Teeth Bonding?
Teeth bonding is an in-and-out procedure that doesn’t even require anesthesia unless you also need a filling or the dentist needs to dramatically change the shape of your tooth. You may also get anesthesia if you chipped the tooth near your nerve, as the work could bump it and be painful.
The first stage involves choosing a composite resin color that’s as close as possible to the color of your tooth. Your dentist will use a chart to make sure their choice is correct.
Then, the dentist prepares to bond the composite resin to your existing tooth. They start by creating a rough surface and applying a bonding agent. The rough surface makes it easier for the liquid and the composite to stick.
Your dentist then adds the composite resin to the area and then molds it to repair the damage.
Everything then drives with a UV light.
It’s okay if you don’t think it’s perfect the first time around. Your dentist can shape the tooth further even after the resin is dry.
What Are the Risks Involved?
Dental bonding is a safe, simple outpatient procedure. There are no adverse risks involved.
Unlike veneers, the dentist (generally) doesn’t grind down your tooth, so if you damage the composite resin, you can get it fixed without worrying about what your strange tooth looks like. Composite resin also chips and breaks less frequently compared to veneers and crowns.
How to Take Care of Your Bonded Tooth
Nothing is as strong as your natural teeth and enamel, including the composite resin.
So, while your bond repairs the tooth, you still need to take good care of it.
You should avoid doing things like chewing on ice cubes or pens. Hard foods and candies (in excess) can also cause damage to your bond. However, these aren’t good for your natural teeth either, so it’s best to avoid them generally, especially with a history of chipping or breaking teeth.
It’s also important to note that resin doesn’t resist long-term stains as well as your enamel. You’re more likely to experience long-term discoloration if you drink lots of coffee and red wine or if you smoke.
Unfortunately, you can’t whiten composite resin. So, if you stain your bond, then you might be stuck with it unless you replace it or choose to go the veneer route.
You can get your teeth whitened with a bond. Whitening gels won’t harm the composite resin, but you will see a disparity in color as your tooth’s appearance changes, but your bond stays the same.
However, your dentist may be able to offer a very thin bond on your front teeth, depending on the manufacturer of your bonding material.
The bottom line: whitening can be unpredictable, and it’s better to whiten first and bond second, especially if you want a bond on one of your front teeth. Otherwise, you could end up wanting to replace the bond altogether.
Are You Ready to Perfect Your Smile?
Our teeth are incredibly strong, but they’re not indestructible. Teeth bonding is a method of fixing cracks, chips, and even gaps between your teeth. It’s painless, long-lasting, and you can get it done in one appointment.
The process works best for healthy teeth that suffered minor damage or trauma. You should also be generally happy with the color of your teeth before getting your bond. Talk to your dentist about teeth whitening in preparation for your bond, if that’s something you always wanted to do.
Are you ready to perfect your smile? Get in touch to learn more about our cosmetic dentistry services in West Lakeview, Chicago.