Every year, an estimated 4.5% of the world’s population suffers from dental trauma. That includes physical trauma to the teeth, such as chips, cracks, and breakages.
Unfortunately, even a small crack in a tooth can eventually result in tooth loss. In fact, in the US, cracked teeth are the third-leading cause of tooth loss.
That’s why it’s important to see your dentist as soon as you notice any of these signs of damages to your teeth. You have several treatment options, one of which is dental bonding.
The question now is, what exactly does this tooth “bonding” entail? How does it work and which dental problems can it help address?
We’ll get to the bottom of all these questions below, so be sure to keep reading!
What is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is also sometimes called “adhesive dentistry”. It’s the process of bonding a resin material to the tooth.
The material itself, made of durable composite resin (plastic), is tooth-colored. It quickly and easily “adheres” to the teeth, which is also why it’s more affordable than crowns or veneers.
Why Would You Need It?
Any damage to the teeth can contribute to decay, while decay can also make teeth more prone to damage. A chipped tooth, for instance, can collect more food debris and plaque deposits. The uneven surface of the damaged tooth is also harder to clean.
Over time, all these can lead to more bad bacteria in your mouth building up on the chipped tooth.
Also, a chip or a crack on a tooth removes part of its enamel, which is the outermost layer that protects the teeth. This then exposes the more sensitive inner parts of the teeth. Without the enamel, bacteria can easily infect the inner area of the teeth.
The longer this goes on, the weaker the affected tooth becomes. The weaker it gets, the higher its risks for even more chips and cracks. As such, if you don’t get the damage corrected right away, you’ll end up losing that teeth.
Dental bonding can help fix these chips and cracks. The bonding agent fills the gap left by the damaged portion of your teeth. In this way, it does more than just fix chipped or cracked teeth — it can also prevent decay and even more damage.
Aside from fixing chips and cracks, bonding can also help correct microdontia. Microdontia is the term for teeth that appear smaller than normal. About 1.5% to 2% of the population has this condition.
Dental bonding can also close small gaps between teeth and help ease discoloration. Shaping your teeth so that they look uniform is also achievable through bonding.
All these benefits of dental bonding have made it one of the most common dental procedures in the US. In fact, it’s the second-most performed dental cosmetic procedure in the US.
How Does It Compare to Dental Crowns and Veneers?
Dental crowns and veneers, like bonding, are also dental restorative procedures. Dentists use them to treat almost the same conditions as tooth bonding.
Dental crowns and veneers, however, are usually for bigger damages. That’s because they cover a bigger portion of the teeth.
Dental crowns, for instance, are “caps” that cover an entire tooth. Veneers, on the other hand, cover the front surface of a tooth. Whereas dental bonding fills much smaller areas of a tooth.
This is why tooth bonding procedures cost much less than either crowns or veneers. Bonding also requires less preparation, so the entire process takes an hour or less.
What Should You Expect During the Process of Dental Bonding?
Bonding does require surface preparation, but not to the same extent as crowns or veneers. Your dentist only needs to abrade the area where the bonding material will need to adhere to.
As such, bonding helps save much of the existing tooth structure. In most cases, there’s also no need for any kind of anesthesia.
The dentist will then apply a conditioning liquid to make the material bond better to the tooth. After this, the tooth-colored resin goes straight over or into the treatment area. Your dentist then molds, smoothens out, and removes any excess resin.
From here, the dentist directs a beam of ultraviolet or laser light onto the treated tooth. This light helps stabilize and harden the bonding material.
Once the resin is hard, it then goes through final trimming, shaping, and polishing. This way, it looks much like it’s always been a part of your natural tooth.
Does Bonded Teeth Need Any Special Care?
Another great thing about tooth bonding is that it doesn’t require any special care. You could go on with your usual dental hygiene habits — flossing and brushing at least twice a day. Don’t forget to visit your dentist twice a year too.
However, if you haven’t been following the two-minute brushing habit, now’s the best time to. Compared to brushing for only 45 seconds, a full two minutes can get rid of 26% more plaque.
It’s also a good idea to be more careful about what you eat, especially when using the bonded tooth. Bonding resin, although durable, isn’t as strong as your natural teeth. So, it’s best to avoid chewing on ice and candies.
Consider Tooth Bonding for Minor Tooth Cracks and Chips
There you have it, your ultimate guide on dental bonding, its benefits, and why you should consider it. Now that you also know how it differs from crowns and veneers, you can make a better choice between these three. What’s important is to get those damages fixed ASAP so you can avoid further degradation.