Composite bonding, sometimes known as “resin bonding”, is a process wherein a highly lifelike material is attached to your teeth to make them look whiter and healthier. You can think of it as a “softer” alternative to veneers, which are expensive – and which cannot be removed once you’ve got them. Here’s how bonding works.
How Bonding Happens
To begin with, you need a dentist to evaluate your needs. If you simply want healthy-looking teeth, a routine professional teeth whitening may be everything you need. Alternatively, if your teeth are damaged to the point where their integrity is seriously compromised, you may be better off getting a veneer or crown.
In most cases, though, a dentist will take a look at whatever problem you have before anything else. If the issue is fairly small – like a filled cavity that looks bad, or a tooth that lost its color due to medication – he or she will suggest composite bonding.
If you agree, your dentist may remove a tiny layer of enamel to make space for the resin. Once that’s done, they will attach an appropriate layer of the material to “replace” the missing enamel. Afterwards, they will “cure” the material, solidifying it with a special light. At this point they will polish (and sometimes color) your bond, completing the entire process.
Is Composite Bonding Right For You?
Composite bonding is an appropriate way to dress up a filled-in cavity; replace missing enamel quickly; give color or shape back to a chipped or discolored tooth.
It is not, however, a replacement for “hard” materials like the ones found in veneers, crowns, inlays, onlays and bridges. It is not a smart way to fix a tooth that’s already missing a significant amount of natural tissue – at least not unless it’s combined with filling material.
Most importantly, composite bonding is optimally used for up to 5 teeth. If you want to get more done, consider veneers instead. When you get them in volume, the price difference becomes insignificant – and getting hard veneers ensures a uniform look and shape to your teeth.
Finally, composite bonding cannot correct an overbite, underbite or teeth that aren’t spaced properly. You need orthodontic care for that, and bonding simply won’t give you the results you’re looking for.
Is Aftercare Needed?
The name “resin” often makes folks think of pliable, soft materials – but composite bonding creates durable, tough teeth. They’re not as long-lasting as your natural enamel, but they’re not too far off.
At the same time, it’s important to follow a few basic aftercare tips if you want your teeth to look (and feel) their best. Specifically, be careful with composite bonding applied to biting surfaces. Biting can lead to bonding materials deteriorating over time.
Also, consider using tooth whitening toothpaste in the first days after your procedure. This will make sure dark food particles don’t “stick” to your newly minted resin, and keep it white and natural-looking for a long time afterwards.
To find out more about composite bonding, and whether it’s right for you, simply call us at (781) 277-3120. We look forward to helping you make the right decision!