We're all familiar with the term bonding in that it's the adhesion of two materials together. In dentistry this typically has to do with how your teeth, enamel, and dentin all bond together. At Riverstone Family Dentistry we understand this can be somewhat complicated, so there are a few things we'd like to share with you about this topic.
What Dental Bonding Is
Tooth bonding is the process in which adhesives are used to apply a tooth-colored resin material to your teeth. A high intensity, blue curing light or laser is then used to bond everything to your tooth. Once hardened, we will trim, shape, and polish the new bond, so it matches the rest of the teeth in your mouth. This entire process usually takes 30-60 minutes (per tooth) and leaves you with new and improved teeth that are no longer discolored or chipped teeth will be.
It's important to remember that while this is a permanent process, there are times when you'll need to have the bonding touched up or replaced. Typically, the bond won't fall off or break through.
What Dental Bonding is Used For
Since dental bonding agents are noninvasive, they won't damage your teeth as crowns and veneers would. They also don't require as much enamel to be removed from your healthy teeth. As such, this is a great way to fix gaps in your teeth - in a similar fashion to veneers and Lumineers. This is because bonding with a tooth-colored composite resin works similarly to how filling in a small chipped piece of enamel would work.
These two processes are simply done in different parts of your mouth. While fillings work great in the back of your mouth where they aren't visibly seen, bonding works better in the front of your mouth where it'd be more visible.
What You Should and Shouldn't Expect From Dental Bonding
The average dental bonding on your front teeth will last 4-8 years. However, if you want to make it last longer, you can take some simple steps to help it do so. For instance, you may want to avoid directly biting into anything with those teeth, so you don't compromise the bonding's structural soundness. This is important because your bite, along with your eating and chewing habits, can have a real impact on your bonding.
Another important note about food has to do with staining. Since bonding is nonporous, you can't whiten it. This means that if you stain it, you'll have to make an appointment with us to have it polished off.
Fortunately, none of this will hurt because the area of your tooth we work on has little to no sensitivity. As such, most patients won't require any anesthesia for the procedure.
Knowledge leads to power, especially when it comes to taking care of your health. Now that you have some knowledge about the bonding process, if you still have questions we'd like to invite you to call us at Riverstone Family Dentistry at (360) 326-1443. We'd love to have the opportunity to sit down and answer all your questions.