Composite bonding is a very inexpensive procedure that can make huge changes in your smile in as little as one appointment. The doctors at Family Dental Care of Bellevue bond the composite material onto your teeth to make the changes necessary to enhance your smile. The composite material itself is made up of very small pieces of glass in a resin matrix. It comes in many different shades, allowing the doctors to create a beautiful, natural looking result. The two front teeth of the patient below were fractured off and restored with bonded composite.
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What Conditions Can Composite Bonding Treat?
Composite bonding can be used to treat many different dental conditions, from cavities to chipped teeth. The composite material fills in gaps, covers discolorations, and can even change the overall shape of a tooth. It is useful in many applications because of the nature of the bonding material. It is a flexible, putty-like resin that is easy to shape and refine, yet dries to a strong, hard finish with the use of UV light or dental lasers.
How Is Composite Bonding Performed?
Unless you are having a cavity filled, preparation is surprisingly minimal, and anesthesia is not needed. First, Dr. Galloway or Dr. Song will choose the shade that best matches your teeth or, in the case of cosmetic bonding, the new shade you want to obtain. Next, your tooth will be roughened, followed by a thorough coating with a conditioning liquid that helps the bonding material adhere.
When your tooth is ready, one of the doctors at Family Dental Care of Bellevue will apply the bonding resin. It is carefully shaped and molded, and then hardened with an ultraviolet light or a laser. After the resin hardens, final trimming and shaping is done. The last step is to polish the bonding material to match the sheen on the rest of the tooth.
In most cases, composite bonding takes less than an hour from start to finish. If your tooth is badly decayed or you need composite bonding on several teeth, it could take longer. In some cases, treatment might need to be spread over a few appointments to ensure the best results. Dr. Galloway or Dr. Song will advise you of the total length of treatment before beginning.
Differences Between Composite Bonding and Veneers
Porcelain veneers are the best-known solution for imperfect teeth. They are durable, extremely natural-looking, and resistant to staining. However, they cannot be repaired. They must be fabricated in an off-site dental lab, making it impossible to accomplish the treatment in a single appointment. The doctors at Family Dental Care of Bellevue will review both options with you, enabling you to make an informed decision.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Composite Bonding
Composite bonding has quite a few advantages, but it is not the best choice for everyone. Below are the major advantages and disadvantages of composite bonding:
- Cost: The price of composite bonding is lower than that of either porcelain veneers or other restorations such as crowns.
- Time Commitment: Composite bonding can be performed in a single visit, usually in less than one hour. If you don’t have a lot of time to spend with us, composite bonding is an excellent choice.
- Preservation of Tooth Enamel: Composite bonding requires only minimal tooth preparation. When compared to other options such as crowns and porcelain veneers, it maintains significantly more of your tooth’s natural protective enamel.
- Repairs: While damaged porcelain veneers must be replaced, it is often possible to fix damaged composite bonding. Depending on the nature of the damage, Dr. Galloway or Dr. Galloway may be able to polish out surface stains or add new bonding material to fix a chip or crack.
- Breakage: While porcelain veneers can last for years if you are careful to avoid chewing ice or breaking hard nuts with them, composite bonding resin is not as strong as your natural teeth. You must be very careful to avoid chipping the resin through such common habits as biting your fingernails or chewing on pens.
- Natural Lifespan: Even when they are well cared for, composite bonds often fail within 15 years. This is shorter than the average lifespan for crowns or porcelain veneers, although replacement is easy and relatively inexpensive.
- Staining: Composite bonding is more prone to staining than porcelain veneers. During the first 48 hours, avoid coffee, smoking, red wine, and other stain producers. After that, brush your teeth as soon as possible after consuming foods that are likely to stain.
Which type of restoration to choose is a highly personal matter. The doctors at Family Dental Care of Bellevue will spend the time that you need reviewing your options and helping you make the best informed choice for you.
At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.