If your teeth have been chipped because of an accident or if you are unhappy with the shape of your teeth because they are too small or leave a gap in your smile, cosmetic bonding — also called dental bonding or direct bonding — is a quick and inexpensive solution. In one visit, we can reshape a tooth or teeth to give them an attractive shape. When polished, cosmetic bonding looks like your tooth enamel and is hard to distinguish from your natural teeth.
If you want to learn whether cosmetic bonding in Corpus Christi can help you repair or improve your smile, please call (361) 851-8274 or email the Corpus Christi Center for Cosmetic Dentistry today for an appointment.
What Cosmetic Bonding Can Do for You
Cosmetic bonding is a procedure that can be used to reshape your teeth. Teeth can be built up, repaired, and altered so they are more attractive. The most common applications for cosmetic bonding are:
- Chipped teeth
- Gapped smiles
- Small teeth (like peg laterals or retained baby teeth)
- Poorly shaped teeth
It can be used in any situation where reshaping your tooth will result in a more attractive appearance. For example, with chipped teeth, the cosmetic bonding material is shaped to match the part of the tooth that was lost, creating a more pleasing appearance.
How Cosmetic Bonding Works
Cosmetic bonding is performed using the same resin composite material that is used in tooth-colored fillings.
First, your teeth are roughened slightly to improve the attachment between the bonding and your tooth. Then the bonding—which starts as a soft putty—is applied to the tooth and shaped to match the desired appearance. It is then hardened using a curing light that causes the plastic to harden. Depending on the amount of reshaping and buildup necessary, it will probably take multiple layers to achieve the desired result.
When the desired shape is achieved, the bonding is polished to give an appearance more like your natural tooth luster.
Benefits and Limits of Cosmetic Bonding
Cosmetic bonding is a popular procedure because it offers many benefits, such as:
- Attractive results
- Can be completed in one visit
- Inexpensive option
Because of its speed and ease, cosmetic bonding is often used as an emergency cosmetic dentistry solution, allowing you to get a chipped tooth repaired right away so no one needs to know you damaged a tooth. The low cost makes it easy to commit to getting this procedure done today. Then you can take time to decide if you want to stick with bonding, or if you want to upgrade to veneers.
However, this procedure has several limitations that you need to keep in mind, such as:
- Results may not last as long as other options
- Results may not be as attractive
- Not strong enough for some situations
The composite resin can be very durable when it’s a filling. Surrounded by natural tooth material, it can last decades. But in cosmetic bonding, we’re often putting the material in situations where it’s being forced to sit on the edge of a tooth and stand up to bite forces, which can damage it quickly. The material can also lose its polish and take on a duller luster than natural tooth. This isn’t noticeable as a filling, but when it’s used as a repair for chipped teeth in the front of the mouth, it can be problematic.
If you are looking for the longest-lasting, most attractive, and strongest option for chipped teeth or gapped tooth repair, you should consider porcelain veneer or dental crowns. If you would like to talk to a Corpus Christi cosmetic dentist about whether cosmetic bonding is best for you, please contact the Corpus Christi Center for Cosmetic Dentistry today.