After damage to a tooth, your dentist may apply a filling to protect the enamel from further infection. However, you may still have small chips or cracks that you'll want to fill out with dental bonding.
Besides improving aesthetics, you can also improve functions with dental bonding. For instance, your tooth has natural contours and curvatures called lingual and facial surfaces. These curvatures provide natural pathways for food while you eat. If a tooth is chipped or flattened, then eating could be painful since chewed food could be pushed towards the gums and below the gumline.
If you've never had dental bonding done before, here's the basic procedure so you know what to expect.
If the tooth damages are fairly uneven or sharp, your dentist can do some enamel trimming. While this may sound like a lot of enamel will be removed, your dentist will actually just use a burr to smooth down the edges.
Applying Etching Acid
The purpose of etching acid is twofold: to make sure the bonding agent has a gritted surface to adhere to, and so the smear layer can be removed. The smear layer is debris, such as enamel debris and saliva, that still remains on the tooth. The etching acid can remove this smear layer so it doesn't get trapped underneath the dental bond.
Adhering the Dental Bond and Composite
Your dentist will apply a bonding agent—a glue-like material—and then he or she will place a dental composite, the material that should match your tooth. Your dentist will use a shade guide to make sure the composite resin is mixed properly to match your natural teeth. A dentist will often use a shade guide in natural lighting to make sure that the hue, brightness, and color intensity match.
Making Final Touch-Ups
Your dentist will use a curing light to harden the bonding agent and composite. The curing light will also help to shorten the procedure's length. Your dentist may then make some adjustments with a burr before polishing the composite's final shape. The polish will help the composite look shiny and maintain translucency like your natural teeth.
Your dentist will give you instructions on how to take good care of the bonding material. For instance, if you have a dental bond on an incisor, you may not be able to tear hard foods, like beef jerky, since this can break the bond.
Lastly, although many cosmetic procedures are paid out of pocket, dental bonding is one of the most affordable procedures out there. It's also a painless and quick procedure. Contact a cosmetic dentist like George Kourakin in your area for more information.