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Dental Bonding (also referred to as Adhesive Dentistry) is the process whereby your dentist or cosmetic dentist rebuilds, reshapes, and/or covers tooth defects using tooth-colored materials (composite resins).

Chipping a tooth is one of the most common dental emergencies  that patients and dentists face. Luckily, with modern materials and techniques, it is a situation that is can very easily and quickly be fixed. If the chipped or missing area of tooth is less than about 1/3rd of the tooth surface, dental bonding can be utilized as an option to replace the missing tooth structure with a matching tooth colored material. In situations like this, the dentist can restore your tooth in as little as 45 minutes, sometimes, with no need for local anesthesia. If the chipping covers more than 1/2 of the tooth surface, dental bonding is not generally, a good long term answer. The dentist may instead, recommend a traditional crown PFM (Porcelain fused to a metal framework crown) ,an all porcelain crown or a porcelain veneer.

What is Dental Bonding?

Dental Bonding is a procedure used in cosmetic dentistry to restore a tooth after it has discolored, decayed, broken or chipped. The cosmetic dentist will use a tooth colored material called a dental composite to rebuild the tooth to its former shape,color, and size.

Steps Involved in Dental Bonding

-Preparation. Very little preparation is needed for dental bonding, especially in the case of a chipped tooth. Anesthesia is usually not even needed unless the dental bonding is needed to restore a deeply damaged or traumatized tooth, a fracture close to the nerve, a sensitive tooth, or a tooth damaged by a tooth cavity. Your dentist will need to roughen up the surface and clean the edges to prepare the area to accept the dental bonding. Your dentist will also select a color match for the composite resin they will use. This is generally done by matching to your existing tooth structure.

-The Actual Dental Bonding Process. As mentioned earlier the surface of the tooth will be roughened and an acid etch (phosphoric acid), will be applied to the tooth. The etch removes surface debris and  opens up tiny tubules to bond to. Next, a primer is applied to wet the surface and allow the adhesive  to flow into those tubules. Third, the adhesive bonding agent is applied, this  allows for the material to adhesively bond to the remaining tooth structure. The tooth-colored composite resin is then applied to the effected area, molded, and smoothed to the desired shape. A special light is then used to harden or cure the material. Once the material is hardened, your dentist will need to do more shaping and polish it to match the sheen of the rest of the tooth surface. One of the most important parts of the entire process is in the final shaping and polishing. It is important to blend the composite resin properly to get a result that looks and feels like your natural tooth structure. Once the dentist is happy with the result, they will check your bite. By checking your bite the dentist ensures that your teeth are all biting evenly and not hitting the new restoration first when biting and chewing. The correct bite will allow the bonding a better chance to last.

The entire process should take anywhere between 30-60 minutes depending on size of chip. If done properly, dental bonding should not be noticeable to anyone. It should match your existing tooth structure perfectly.

Dental Bonding - Marielaina Perrone DDS

Dental Bonding – Chipped Front Tooth

Advantages of Dental Bonding

-Dental bonding is probably one of the most fulfilling cosmetic dentistry procedures to perform.

-Dental bonding can be completed in office in one short visit. As opposed to a porcelain crown or porcelain veneer which take 1-2 hours . Crowns and veneers take multiple visits to complete and need a dental laboratory to custom fabricate the porcelain crown or porcelain veneer.

-Local Anesthesia is usually not needed unless there is trauma or tooth decay involved.

Disadvantages of Dental Bonding

-Dental bonding can stain over time

-Dental Bonding can break down over time. It is not as strong as an all porcelain crown or even a porcelain veneer.

-Dental Bonding can chip just like a natural tooth. Precautions need to be taken when eating and chewing.

Dental Bonding - Marielaina Perrone DDS

Dental Bonding – Replacing older Metal Restorations

 

Dental bonding is an effective and cost effective way to repair and reshape damaged teeth. If you think you may need dental bonding, your dentist can let you know if this procedure is a good option for you.

Have you ever caught yourself staring at the perfect smiles seen on TV, in the movies, and in magazines . . . the smiles of  Hollywood actors and actresses, and models? Have you ever wondered, “How did they get that perfect, white smile? Odds are, those celebrities were not born with pearly white smiles. These smiles were likely designed and created just for them with the help of a cosmetic dentist. The good news? Anyone can enjoy the perfect Hollywood smile, with the assistance of a cosmetic dentist and porcelain veneers.

Porcelain veneers (also referred to as porcelain laminates) are super thin, custom fabricated shells of tooth colored porcelain designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your smile’s overall aesthetic appearance. These shells are adhesively bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, width, and/or length. Versatile and very strong, porcelain veneers are used in a variety of ways to transform your smile, from complete smile makeovers to repairing a chipped tooth.

Porcelain veneers are custom made from a high quality dental porcelain that has similar light reflecting properties as our natural teeth. Porcelain veneers are excellent at resisting stains and they mimic our natural teeth’s light reflecting properties. They are the cosmetic dentist’s greatest tool for elevating a normal smile to a Hollywood smile.

Porcelain Veneers arecosmetic dentist regularly used to fix the following issues:

-Teeth that are stained or discolored. Teeth can become stained or discolored from root canal treatment, from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride, or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored over time.

-Teeth that are worn down from use or grinding of teeth.

-Teeth that are broken or chipped.

-Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped. Porcelain veneers are sometimes referred to as “Instant Orthodontics”.

-Teeth with gaps or spaces between them. Porcelain Veneers are able to cosmetically close those spaces.

Making the decision to have porcelain veneers is the first step. The entire process usually takes 3-4 visits, one for a consultation and two to make and apply the porcelain veneers. There is sometimes an added appointment following the consultation where the dentist will show the patient a mock up model. This model will be of your teeth where the dentist has waxed onto those teeth what the porcelain veneers will look like on your smile. It is a great visual reference for you to decide the course of treatment for you. This can also be done via software on a computer. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the treatment described in the following paragraphs.

Consultation/Diagnosis and Treatment Planning. This first step involves your aCosmetic Dentistctive input. Explain to your dentist what you want in the final result. During this appointment, your cosmetic dentist will examine your teeth to make sure porcelain veneers are appropriate for you and explain to you what the procedure involves and some of its drawbacks. They may take X-rays and possibly make impressions of your teeth as study models. These models will be used by the dentist to do a mock up of the final result. The dentist will prepare the teeth on the model and sculpt wax over them to give you a visual representation of the final product. This is an important step.

Preparing the Teeth for Porcelain Veneers. A dentist must remove  about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the porcelain veneers to be added back to the tooth.  Before beginning, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which in turn constructs your custom porcelain veneer. It takes about 1-2 weeks for the laboratory technicians to complete the process. Temporary veneers are placed using a resin material until the final veneers are ready.

Dental Bonding. Before the porcelain veneers are permanently bonded to your tooth, the dentist will check for fit and color by temporarily placing it onporcelain veneers the tooth. If they fit properly and the color shade is correct the dentist will go on to prepare your tooth, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched (this is a process whereby your tooth surface is roughened up chemically at the microscopic level).  A special adhesive is applied to the porcelain veneers and the veneer or veneers are methodically placed on your tooth. When the they are in the right position, your dentist will apply a special light to the porcelain veneers. This activates chemicals in the adhesive, causing it to cure. The final steps involve removing any excess adhesive, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the porcelain veneers as needed. Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks. This is to ensure you are happy with the final result as well as checking the gum tissue surrounding the new porcelain veneers.

There are some disadvantages to porcelain veneers:

-The procedure is not reversible.

-Porcelain Veneers are not repairable. If they break, a new one will need to be custom  fabricated in the laboratory.

-The color cannot be changed once the porcelain veneers are in place. So both dentist and patient must be sure they are happy with color prior to final placement of the porcelain veneers. It does happen on occasion that the color is not what is desired from the laboratory and they are sent back to be remade. It is of the utmost importance for the patient to be ahppy and satisfied with the final result.

-Porcelain veneers can fall off or chip. The material is very strong but patients who grind their teeth, bite their nails or chew on pencils will be more susceptible to this occurring.

-The teeth under the porcelain veneers are still susceptible to tooth decay. Patients need to be made aware of maintaining proper oral hygiene.

Porcelain veneers can be brushed, and flossed just like your own teeth. You should not even know they are in your mouth as they are bonded to your natural tooth sstructure.

Imagine. In just a few short visits, you can have an amazing Hollywood smile . . . a smile that has been custom designed just for you. A smile that is straighter and whiter than you could have imagined. You’ll be looking younger and feeling more confident. And it’s all possible with your cosmetic dentist and porcelain veneers.