Composite bonding has really grown in popularity as a cosmetic dental treatment in the last few years and is considered an ideal and less expensive solution than crowns or veneers for people with chips, gaps between the teeth, staining and discoloration, slight crookedness and misshapen teeth.
Bonding is used in dentistry to describe permanently attaching dental materials to your teeth using dental adhesives and a high intensity curing light.
What is Composite Bonding?
Our dentists use tooth-coloured composites (white or natural-looking materials) to fill cavities, repair chips or cracks, close gaps between your teeth and build up the worn-down edges of teeth. Your Oxford dentist places the materials in or on the teeth where needed.
Why should I choose Composite Bonding?
Composite materials can be directly applied and sculpted to the surfaces of teeth that show most prominently when you smile so we recommend composite bonding for minimally invasive smile makeovers. While dentists call them direct composite veneers, many people just refer to them generically as “bonding.”
Although direct composite veneers typically require minimal preparations, no mold-taking and no temporaries, the artistic skill and precision of your Summertown Dental & Implants dentist will determine the exact manner in which your direct composite veneers are created.
What happens at my first Composite Bonding appointment?
We’ll need to conduct a thorough examination and evaluation of your teeth and gums. This includes taking and reviewing X-rays of your teeth. During your first consultation, your dentist will discuss the clinical and cosmetic problems that direct composite bonding can resolve, such as cavities, chips, cracks, fractures, gaps and spaces between teeth, and tooth discoloration. However, if you have teeth that are extensively damaged or your Oxford dentist feels other dental issues may affect the success and longevity of composite bonding treatment, other options may be presented to you, such as crowns or veneers.
Pre-treatment teeth whitening may be suggested in order to better match the colour of the composite restoration to your natural teeth. If whitening is needed we may wait anywhere from 14 to 21 days before placing your direct composite restorations to ensure a proper and durable bond to your natural tooth structure.
In instances where bonding materials will be used to lengthen or change the shape of your teeth and alter the appearance of your smile, we may take impressions of your teeth before treatment to create a preview model of what your new smile will look like. If you agree with the proposed changes, we may then use this model as a guide or template when placing the direct composite on your teeth.
How long does Composite Bonding take?
Because direct composite bonding involves the precise placement of restorative material by your Summertown Dental & Implants dentist, the direct composite bonding procedure usually is completed in only one dental visit. More complicated or extensive treatments may require additional visits. However, there is usually no need for temporaries or waiting days or weeks for laboratory restorations.
What is Adhesive Bonding?
Adhesive bonding refers to attaching a restoration to a tooth using a bonding agent or adhesive and a high intensity curing light. This method is typically used for metal-free crowns, porcelain veneers, bridges, inlays/onlays and fillings.
What does Cosmetic Bonding involve?
Whether your treatment plan calls for direct composite restorations or adhesively bonded restorations, dentists start the process by using a rubber dam to isolate the teeth, to prevent interference from moisture. Depending on the extent of the treatment, anaesthetic injections may be required.
Is Cosmetic Bonding painful?
Your dentist will apply a gentle phosphoric acid solution to the surface of the natural tooth, which won’t hurt. Similar to how roughing up a surface with sandpaper can help paint adhere to it better, acid etching of the tooth surface strengthens the bond of the composite and the adhesive. After 15 seconds the phosphoric acid is removed, and a liquid bonding agent is applied.
For a direct composite restoration:
- Your dentist will place a putty-like composite resin in stages on the natural surface of your tooth, then shape and sculpt it.
- A high intensity curing light will be used to harden that layer of composite, and the previous step will be repeated, then cured, until the filling or direct composite veneer has reached its final shape.
- Your dentist also will create an appropriate finish to ensure that the bonded resin does not dislodge or cause tooth sensitivity and feels and looks smooth.
For a restoration from a laboratory:
- Your dentist will place the appropriate adhesive into the restoration, seat the restoration on the tooth and light-cure it using a high intensity curing light for the appropriate amount of time.
It is not uncommon for a bonded tooth – particularly one that has been filled or on which a crown or inlay/onlay has been placed – to feel sensitive after treatment. This minor sensitivity is often short-lived, but if it persists, see your dentist.
Before & after gallery
How long does Composite Bonding last?
Composite bonding restorations offer our patients a healthy and beautiful smile that should last for many years. It’s important to follow our recommendations for proper oral hygiene and avoid habits that could damage your restorations.
Brush at least twice a day, floss once a day and schedule regular visits to your dentist and hygienist for routine examinations and cleanings.
Avoid biting your fingernails and chewing on pens, ice or other hard objects as this can lead to chipping of the composite bonding materials. We also recommend contacting the practice if you notice any sharp edges on the bonded tooth or teeth, or if the tooth feels differently when you bite down.
How much does Composite Bonding cost?
The procedure often accompanies other dental work but is considered a less expensive cosmetic dental treatment then veneers and crowns. We recommend you contact the practice today to arrange an initial consultation where we can give you an accurate cost for composite bonding.