As much as you'd love to give your smile a makeover, the cost of some procedures might be too much of an obstacle. However, cosmetic dentistry offers many options beyond porcelain dental crowns and veneers, allowing you to achieve results while sticking to a budget. In fact, one of the simplest ways to overhaul your smile involves a bond.
Do you have any tooth-colored fillings in your teeth? These fillings are made of a composite dental resin mixed by a dentist to match the precise color of your teeth. This allows the resin to blend into the surface of your tooth, and it's absolutely seamless. This tooth-colored composite resin has additional uses too.
To bond a tooth is to give it a new outer shell, utilizing the same basic principle as more intensive cosmetic dental procedures (such as crowns and veneers). It's quick, simple, comparatively inexpensive, and the results are instant. How are teeth bonded?
It's generally only visible teeth that will be bonded, and these are your anterior teeth—those most visible when you smile or speak. Firstly, these teeth will be professionally cleaned. They'll then be etched with a mildly acidic solution, creating the ideal surface for the bonding agent.
A cosmetic dentist applies an ultra-thin coat of tooth-colored resin to each relevant tooth. You have some choice over this color since bonding a tooth can also whiten it. Just remember that the rest of your teeth may need to be whitened to match, which can be advised if the contrast is obvious.
While still pliable, the bonding material can be shaped as needed, helping to create a smooth surface. Your dentist then uses a special light that cures, or dries, the bonded surfaces of your teeth. If needed, the hardened surfaces can then be polished. Your teeth have now been made over, and it didn't even take especially long. Surely it can't be this easy?
It really is that easy—provided you take good care of your bonded teeth. The resin is somewhat porous, so it can become discolored if you're not cautious. Smoking will quickly stain your resin, and certain beverages (especially tea, coffee, red wine, some sodas, and fruit juices) will also stain bonded teeth. Rinsing out your mouth after consuming these drinks will offset the worst of any discoloration, or better yet—start drinking through a straw (allowing these liquids to largely bypass your teeth). In any event, like any dental restoration, bonding will eventually need to be replaced.
Dental bonding is both visually effective and cost-effective. You'll wonder what took you so long.