Do you have small chips in your teeth? What about slight misalignment or discoloration? You are not alone: even patients with healthy teeth and gums can become dissatisfied with cosmetic aspects of their smile.
Dental bonding uses a malleable, tooth-colored substance known as composite resin to restore mild tooth damage. It is often recommended as a cost-effective alternative to porcelain veneers. At our Kansas City, MO, practice, Dr. John Goodman has over 20 years of experience improving patient’s smiles with treatments in cosmetic dentistry, including dental bonding.
Understanding Dental Bonding
Composite resin is a versatile, high-quality, tooth-colored material used in both restorative and cosmetic procedures. For example, when a tooth has a cavity or has suffered mild trauma, dental bonding can replace the damaged or lost enamel. In fact, many patients even choose to have their old metal amalgam fillings replaced with composite ones. As a cosmetic treatment, bonding can conceal minor chips and cracks or change the width, length, or shape of a tooth for a more uniform and balanced appearance.
Dental bonding is an effective and affordable option for refining your smile.
Am I a Candidate?
As a noninvasive cosmetic procedure, dental bonding is available to almost any patient who is interested. However, it is important to note that other serious dental issues, such as extensive decay or periodontal disease, should be treated prior to the bonding process. If you smoke, we also highly recommend stopping before pursuing dental bonding, as tobacco products can stain the composite resin material.
Dental bonding is often performed in conjunction with other cosmetic treatments. If you are considering professional teeth whitening, we recommend undergoing that treatment first so that we can color-match the composite resin material to your new smile.
Results from Actual Patient
Dental Bonding: The Treatment Process
Our team can typically apply and shape dental bonding to a single tooth in under an hour. The process is broken down into several steps:
- Initial consultation: During a visit with Dr. Goodman, he will listen to your unique cosmetic goals, determine your candidacy for dental bonding, and, if it is appropriate, schedule an appointment.
- Shade selection: Before the procedure begins, the doctor will select a custom composite shade so the bonding will match the surrounding teeth.
- Placement of strips: To keep the dental materials from affecting adjacent teeth, the doctor will place ultra-thin strips between the teeth.
- Etching: In order for the composite material to bond properly, the doctor must etch or roughen the enamel to create a foothold for the material to attach to. To do this, he will apply a mild acidic solution to the tooth for a few seconds before rinsing it off.
- Bonding: Next, Dr. Goodman will apply the specialized bonding material to the tooth with a fine applicator brush.
- Shaping: Dr. Goodman will meticulously shape the composite, adding more material where necessary to refine the results.
- Curing: When the proper amount of composite has been added, the doctor can harden the material with a special curing light.
- Final adjustments: Finally, Dr. Goodman can shape, smooth out, and polish the tooth to create a natural-looking shine.
Although the bonding may feel strange for the first few days, patients can return to their normal routine immediately after their appointment.
Touch Up Your Smile
Dental bonding is an effective and affordable option for refining your smile. To learn more about this treatment, and other procedures in cosmetic dentistry, contact us online or call us at (816) 842-8585.