There’s no doubt that an attractive smile can make a great first impression. Dental flaws and imperfections can take away from your overall look and have a negative impact on more than just your physical appearance. Fortunately, the incredible advances in cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry have provided numerous options for patients who want to improve or restore their smiles.
Until recently, many cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry options were expensive, time consuming, and inconvenient. With the development of cosmetic dental bonding, patients now have a quick, affordable, and effective option for addressing a wide variety of concerns. Experienced dentists Dr. Spiker Davis and Dr. Matt Guerre and the team at Cosmetic Dental Associates in Houston, TX, are proud to offer the most advanced level of cosmetic dental bonding. To determine if dental bonding may be right for you, it is important to have an understanding of the procedure and the results you can expect.
What is cosmetic dental bonding?
Dental bonding is a highly effective method used to conceal minor to moderate imperfections in a patient’s smile. Unlike traditional restorations that are manufactured to fit over a tooth, such as crowns and veneers, cosmetic bonding uses a composite resin that is placed on top of the tooth and shaped and molded on site. This relatively simple treatment is a great option for patients looking to correct dental issues including:
- Cracked teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Teeth that are stained or discolored
- Uneven tooth length
- Small gaps between teeth
During the procedure, which can typically be performed in just one visit, the dentist will assess the health of the tooth or teeth to determine if the patient is a good candidate for bonding. To begin the process, the affected tooth will be prepared by roughening the surface and applying a liquid bonding agent, which helps the resin adhere to the tooth. Dr. Davis or Dr. Guerre will select the appropriate shade of composite resin to match your natural teeth and apply it to the affected area. The resin will be molded, shaped, and adjusted to produce a natural and appealing final result. Once you and your dentist are happy with the look and feel of the tooth, the resin will be cured using a special light. Even after it has hardened, additional adjustments can still be made if needed.
How is dental bonding different from crowns and veneers?
One of the most significant differences between traditional dental restorations and cosmetic dental bonding is that bonding does not require any healthy tooth structure to be removed. When a patient has veneers or crowns placed, it is necessary for the dentist to remove some of the enamel and tooth structure to accommodate the new restoration. With dental bonding, this is not needed.
Another advantage of dental bonding versus other restorative methods is the length of treatment time. Cosmetic dental bonding is often done in just one office visit. Depending on the number of teeth being treated and the complexity of the case, the appointment can take anywhere from 1 – 3 hours and generally does not require anesthesia or numbing.
It should be noted is that the composite resin used in dental bonding is not as strong as your natural teeth. For this reason, patients who undergo cosmetic dental bonding may experience subsequent cracking, chipping, or loss of the resin, which may require a revision or replacement. However, bonded teeth generally crack or break less often than veneers and crowns. The knowledgeable team at Cosmetic Dental Associates can help guide you through the process of deciding what cosmetic or restorative dental treatment may best meet your needs.
How long does dental bonding last?
While it is a more affordable and convenient option for addressing and correcting minor dental flaws, the results of cosmetic bonding may not last as long as those achieved through other treatment methods. The composite resin used in bonding is somewhat more prone to staining than other restorative materials, so patients that drink coffee or smoke may experience future discoloration. However, when cared for properly, patients can enjoy their newly bonded smile for many years to come. Steps you can take to ensure long-lasting results include:
- Limit coffee and tea drinking
- Refrain from smoking
- Avoid chewing ice and other hard items
- Practice good daily oral hygiene
- Keep your regular routine dentist appointments
Am I a good candidate for cosmetic dental bonding?
With the wide array of concerns that can be addressed with composite bonding, most patients can be considered good candidates for the procedure. The first step in determining if dental bonding may be effective is to have an experienced dentist assess your current oral and dental health. Dr. Spiker Davis and Dr. Matt Guerre at Cosmetic Dental Associates are committed to providing an exceptional level of patient care and will evaluate your dental status during an initial appointment. If any issues are found, such as decay, infection, or disease, Dr. Davis or Dr. Guerre will treat these issues before moving on to the bonding process.
If you think cosmetic dental bonding and contouring may be right for you, call Cosmetic Dental Associates in Houston, TX, to schedule a consultation today. Learn more about how you can achieve the smile transformation of your dreams.