Dental bonding treatments are designed to fill cavities, repair chips and cracks in your teeth, and also close up gaps between teeth to give you a more attractive smile. Many dentists use composite materials for this process because the treatment can be performed in just a single dental visit and does not require a laboratory mold or restoration. Here’s a close look at how the composite bonding process works, and whether you may be a good candidate for the procedure:
How Direct Composite Bonding Works
Dental composite is made with particles of silicon dioxide or quartz to form a tough, durable synthetic resin. The composite is designed to match your teeth and is often used to repair a broken tooth or fill in cracks. Unlike porcelain veneers that are made in a laboratory, direct composite bonding is performed during one treatment session at the dentist’s office. The cosmetic dentist is able to create an artificial tooth ‘cover’ using layers of composite, and secures this in place with a special adhesive and bonding process.
The Composite Bonding Process
The first step in the bonding process is to isolate the teeth using a rubber dam. The dentists can then administer a mild phosphoric acid solution to the surface of the tooth and etch the surface of the tooth so that the composite materials can stick better. A liquid bonding agent can then be applied directly onto the teeth.
During the composite bonding process, the dentist will place a composite resin compound onto the natural surface of the tooth to sculpt and shape it into the desired shape and size. The putty-like composite can be shaped and manipulated within seconds, and is then hardened with a high-intensity light. The dentist will continue applying layers of the bonding treatment onto the tooth until the desired shape is achieved. The process is finished with another layer of bonded resin and a finishing solution to keep the new tooth or set of teeth in place.
Since teeth bonding techniques are not required training for general dentists, most people need to see a cosmetic dentist who has several years of experience in teeth bonding.
What to Expect with the Composite Bonding Process
Composite tooth bonding materials are made with highly durable compounds, and most people can maintain their new teeth for at least ten or fifteen years after the procedure. If you drink coffee, smoke cigarettes or drink red wine on a regular basis, you may notice some staining at the margins of the tooth. However, these can be fixed with some basic touch-up work or resurfacing techniques. Composite tooth bonding is also durable enough to withstand day-to-day stresses of ordinary mouth functions, so you don’t have to worry about the resin chipping or cracking from eating and other activities.
If you think you may be a good candidate for the composite bonding treatment, get in touch with a cosmetic dentist in your area. He or she will be able to conduct a thorough oral evaluation to makes sure you are a good candidate for the procedure, and go over the pros and cons of the tooth bonding procedure.