The biggest secret about cosmetic dentistry is that you can begin a complete makeover with the least expensive and most versatile of all procedures: dental bonding.
It doesn’t get the publicity that veneers have, which are popular with celebrities, nor does it earn the respect that dental implants have, which are the closest dental technology to real teeth and can last almost forever. But humble dental bonding has an amazing range of uses and can often be done in a single visit.
If you’ve been hesitant about showing a full smile because of imperfections out of your control or which emerged because you didn’t brush and floss thoroughly, bonding may be one of the best cosmetic dentistry options to restore your confidence.
Stained teeth are very common because almost everyone is drinking lots of coffee, tea, or red wine, all of which can discolor them (especially if you don’t brush right after consumption). And other beverages and foods can darken teeth, like colas, blueberries, tomatoes, and beets. Smoking (anything) also yellows them, as does plain old aging. Over-the-counter whitening products are usually not very effective in removing discoloration. But dental bonding can simply cover all this in a shade matched to your natural teeth (or better, if you commit to a regular professional whitening).
Bonding is resistant to stains, but not entirely impervious, however, so when you eat or strong anything of strong color, try to brush as soon as possible afterwards (especially in the first 48 hours after bonding has been done).
Dental bonding material is a composite resin similar to putty that can be shaped and colored. It takes 30-60 minutes per tooth to apply. In addition to stains, it can cover chips, cracks, excessive space between teeth, make small ones appear longer, and transform misshapen teeth into identical matches to normal neighbors.
If your dental cavities are large, bonding can be used to cover them better than normal fillings, but without making them so obvious when you open your mouth.
If the tops of your teeth have been damaged because of grinding them at night or if your bite or dental habits have exposed the tops of roots, dental bonding can repair and protect.
But bonding isn’t as strong as the two protective layers of each tooth, so you want to avoid damaging it by such habits as chewing ice and hard candy or food. Dental bonding can look great for 3-10 years, depending how well you take care of and protect your teeth. Be sure to continue to brush and floss properly, use a dentist-grade mouth rinse, and have our hygienist do a professional cleaning twice a year.