Repairing teeth by way of cosmetic dental bonding promotes airs of confidence in patients who, prior to treatment, might have covered their mouths when they smiled because they felt too embarrassed to reveal their damaged teeth. This suggests that dental bonding works so well at renewing tooth flaws that hiding chips, cracks, stains, or other dental distortions could become actions of the past. Once treatment is complete, hiding unworthy smiles could transform into displaying bright pearly whites just for the sake of showing off. Just the same, however, as is the case with many physically rejuvenating procedures, cosmetic dental bonding has its own set of pros and cons patients should consider prior to undergoing the procedure.
Cosmetic dental bonding is a process wherein dentists perform repairs by permanently sticking or bonding tooth-imitation materials to teeth, thus the phrase “dental bonding”. Once attached to teeth, dentists use cements and curing lights to harden the materials. This technique may be performed by using “composite” bonding or “veneer” bonding as explained at Colgate.com .
Composite bonding involves mixing silicon dioxide, quartz, or similar elements together to form dental putty – the composite bonding material also called resin. At the onset of the composite bonding procedure, dentists perform slight tooth reductions. Minor tooth reductions enable dentists to create space for the resin. Creating space prevents teeth from appearing too large once the resin is attached. Dentists encourage resin to stick to teeth by applying an etching solution that roughens tooth surfaces. In short, dentists prep teeth, apply fabricated tooth forming resin, and then cure the materials to the teeth with special curing lights.
In the case of veneer bonding, dentists may reduce the tooth size at the start just as with composite bonding. Patients can choose porcelain veneers or they can opt for composite veneers, made with regular composite bonding materials. When patients opt for veneer bonding, dentists must take impressions of the patients’ teeth and send them to a laboratory that specializes in making dental veneers. Just as with composite bonding, veneer bonding calls for dentists to roughen up teeth a bit in order to encourage adhering solutions to perform better. They may apply adhering solutions over tooth enamel as well as on materials they attach to teeth prior to pressing the veneers against the tooth surface.
Resin based bonding materials come in an array of shades that aid dentists in matching product to tooth color. Porcelain bonding materials are derived from translucent ceramic materials that allow them to imitate natural tooth appearance.
According to the American Dental Association, dentists use these basic dental bonding techniques to correct dental problems when teeth are stained, broken, cracked, or chipped. Dentists may also use the procedure to decrease gaps, or spaces, between teeth in efforts to bring incisors, canines, and bicuspids closer together. Moreover, dentists sometimes use bonding to fill minor cavities.
With this information at hand, examining the pros and cons to consider before undergoing cosmetic dental bonding becomes easier. Reasons for choosing one technique over the other may range from the need for natural looking teeth to concerns of wear and tear as well as replacement and affordability. Thus, pros and cons laid out here intend to compare the different types of procedures to help simplify the choices.
Pros for choosing either method
Patients do not need to submit to anesthesia when submitting to dental bonding except in cases where tooth fillings are involved.
Dental bonding materials do not contain mercury such as may be found in silver amalgams.
Appearance is natural when compared to silver or gold tooth repairing solutions.
Cons for choosing either method
Veneers require two office visits in order to allow time for labs to fabricate tooth coverings from dental impressions.
Veneers require dentists to remove more tooth enamel than composite bonding entails.
Composite resin materials are not as resistant to stains as crowns and various types of fillings.
Pros of composite bonding (putty)
Composite bonding takes only one office visit, when compared to veneer bonding, in cases where several teeth are not involved. Dentists do not need to remove as much tooth enamel as may be removed when applying veneers.
Cons of composite bonding
Composite bonding materials lack the strength of and do not last as long as veneers, fillings, or crowns. In addition, composite bonding can lead to tooth breakage if the hardened resin chips.
Pros of veneer bonding (shell)
Veneer bonding materials are stronger and last longer than composite bonding materials.
Cons of veneer bonding
Veneers usually require two office visits in order to allow time for shells to be constructed from tooth impressions. Some veneers may stain.
Here is a separate look at pros and cons for choosing porcelain veneers or composite veneers.
Porcelain veneer pros
Porcelain veneer color-matching blends better with natural teeth than composite veneers. Porcelain veneers tend to last as much as fifteen years, which is longer than composites. In addition, porcelain veneers resist staining from coffee, tea, cigarettes, and spices better than composites.
Porcelain veneer cons
Porcelain veneers tend to cost more than composite veneers as well as resin bonding tooth-correcting materials. Porcelain veneers are not expected to break; however, if they do they are irreparable and thus must be paid for all over again.
Composite veneer pros
Composite veneers are less expensive than porcelain veneers. Composite veneers are not as strong as porcelain, however, they are easier to repair or replace than porcelain.
Composite veneer cons
Composite veneers do not last as long as porcelain veneers plus they may not match natural teeth as well as porcelain veneers.
Cosmetic dental bonding could be the best way to go to improve smiles by hiding stains and repairing teeth. Bonding may not be the best solution for everyone, however, thus each patient considering the process should discuss their particular case with their dentist.