Even the smallest imperfections can have a negative impact on your smile. If you suffer from discoloration, chips, or similar flaws in your teeth, our Albuquerque dental practice can help.
However, not every problem needs a complex solution. For minor cosmetic or restorative touch-ups, a dental bonding procedure can produce beautiful results. Here are some common applications for dental bonding, and how you can benefit from this simple treatment.
What Is Dental Bonding?
In a dental bonding procedure, a cosmetic dentist will apply thin layers of composite resin over a tooth. Using a special curing light, the dentist will harden the resin over the tooth, layer by layer. Composite resin is effective at adhering to tissue, and often blends in extremely well with the tooth’s surrounding color. As a result, it will form a lasting bond with your tooth in a discreet and natural way.
Dental Bonding for Discoloration
Teeth can acquire stains from numerous sources over the years. Most often, food and drink can leave surface stains on teeth, darkening them or turning them yellow. In many instances, widespread discoloration can be treated through a whitening procedure, such as those offered by our practice.
However, not all stains are fixed through whitening. Intrinsic stains, or deep stains, are buried underneath a tooth’s enamel, resulting in discoloration that is easier to hide than remove. The following factors commonly contribute to intrinsic stains:
- Certain medications
- Trauma resulting in blood within a tooth
- Damaged dentin or pulp
- Fluoride overexposure in young teeth
- Yellowed dentin, due to age
Each of these problems may be masked through a dental bonding procedure. By applying a tooth-colored composite resin, your dentist can paint over these stains, brightening your smile for years to come.
Dental Bonding for Chips or Cracks
As one of the most popular substances for dental fillings, composite resin is an effective way to build upon the structure of your teeth. Once hardened and shaped, it can mimic the strength and appearance of your tooth’s surface, making it an excellent material for replacing small chips.
Similarly, teeth with cracks or erosion can be filled with a bonding procedure. With the application of resin, a tooth can be restored to its natural shape, strength, and surface.
Dental Bonding for Misshapen Teeth
If you have a tooth that appears smaller or poorly formed, it can detract from the rest of your smile. With bonding, that tooth can be reinforced and built up with resin, giving it a fuller shape and size. Even a crooked tooth may be corrected in this way. Similarly, gaps in teeth may benefit from dental bonding, as resin may be applied to the sides of teeth, closing spaces between them.
Dental Bonding vs. Porcelain Veneers
Although many of the above problems can also be corrected through porcelain veneers, not every patient is best suited for the same treatment. Consider the differences between these two techniques:
- Dental bonding: Because composite resin is more opaque than porcelain, it is better at concealing darker stains. It can also be applied in a small area, hiding flaws without affecting the rest of the tooth. Ultimately, dental bonding is ideal for correcting small flaws with minimal impact on your teeth.
- Porcelain veneers: Porcelain is a superior aesthetic choice, able to match a tooth’s appearance to near perfection. However, it requires a thin layer of enamel to be removed, as it will become the tooth’s permanent front surface. Veneers are also more expensive and require a longer procedure. They are best reserved for more dramatic imperfections that cannot be subtly fixed through bonding.
How Can Dental Bonding Benefit You?
With a dental bonding procedure, you can solve a variety of problems that would otherwise detract from your smile. To see if this procedure is right for you, or to inquire about our other cosmetic and restorative treatments, consult with Dr. Byron W. Wall. Contact our office to ask a question or set up an appointment.