“Bonding” is a term used to describe several different types of repair or restoration of a tooth or multiple teeth with tooth-colored filling material. This material is called composite resin and usually referred to as just composite. We call it bonding because the composite material adheres, or bonds, to the natural tooth structure.
With composite, we are able to create the most conservative, cosmetic restoration of certain defects. Bonding does not require the removal of large amounts of tooth structure. Most composite bonding requires only a little surface roughening or reshaping of the enamel.
We use composite bonding to repair chipped front teeth, close small gaps between teeth, and completely cover (or veneer) the front of a tooth for cosmetic reasons. Whatever the reason for composite bonding, there are some important factors you need to consider before proceeding.
- Desired Color
As stated earlier, the composite filling material is tooth-colored. Composite resins are available in a wide variety of colors, so we are able to match the color of your tooth perfectly.
One of the most important things to consider before having composite bonded to your teeth is your desired tooth color. If your teeth are already the color you wish, no other consideration is necessary.
However, if you think there is the slightest chance that you may want to whiten your teeth in the future, do not proceed with composite bonding!
Composite will not whiten. If you had bonding done on a front tooth and then whitened your teeth, you would be very disappointed. The bonding would stay the same original color while the tooth structure around it became whiter. It would no longer match perfectly, and the bonding would stand out in a darker color.
If you want to whiten your teeth, do it before having any cosmetic dental work performed.
Once you have reached your desired tooth color, after a 2-week waiting period, then you may proceed with bonding. The 2-week waiting period is necessary because chemicals in the whitening process can interfere with the bond between composite and tooth enamel. Your dentist will match the new, brighter color of your teeth with the bonding material.
- Desired Shape
With composite bonding, your dentist is able to recreate the natural shape of your tooth beautifully. Our goal is that you and your dentist are the only people aware of any dental work on these teeth.
But what if you do not like the natural shape of your teeth?
If you wish to have a new shape, rotation or alignment of a specific tooth, composite bonding may not be able to accomplish your goals. You must discuss your specific desires with your dentist before proceeding.
Bonding may still be able to accomplish your goals in these cases.
The desired shape of your teeth is an important consideration to note before moving forward with bonding for this reason: Changing the shape of a tooth often requires more pre-operative planning and more removal of tooth structure.
Bruxism is the scientific term for clenching and/or grinding of the teeth. It is a very common problem among American adults. It involves squeezing the jaw muscles with extremely strong forces. The teeth absorb these strong forces.
During bruxism, it is possible to crack, chip, or break a healthy, natural tooth. It is then very easy to crack, chip, or break composite material bonded onto the tooth.
If you know that you clench or grind your teeth, please alert your dentist and commit to wearing protective nightguard while you sleep. This will protect the composite bonding from damaging bite forces.
If you do not know whether you clench or grind your teeth, ask your dentist. Usually, there are signs to tell the dentist that you have this habit. Then they can advise you how to protect your new composite bonding.
- Parafunctional Habits
The definition of a parafunctional habit is the use of something outside of its intended function in a habitual manner. For the teeth, this means using them for something besides chewing and speaking.
Most parafunctional habits with the teeth involve using your teeth to open or tear something. Hairstylists often use their teeth to hold and open bobby pins. Fishermen sometimes use their teeth to cut fishing line. These are parafunctional habits.
Once you have had composite bonding performed, parafunctional habits must stop. If not, you are very likely to chip or break the composite material. This would require another dental appointment to restore the damage.
Are You Interested in Composite Bonding?
Do you have chipped front teeth?
Do you have a gap between teeth that you dislike?
Are there discolorations on your teeth that you would like to cover?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, composite bonding may be the right treatment option for you!
Call today to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled doctors. They will evaluate your concerns and discuss the various options available to help you meet your cosmetic goals.