If you are someone who has crooked teeth or feel less than confident about your smile, this can definitely put a damper on things when you’d otherwise be grinning. Fortunately, with today’s advances in dental technology, including cosmetic bonding, it means there is no reason to stop smiling. Not only does it build up confidence in those who undertake cosmetic dental bonding, but there are other benefits as well. Let’s have a look at these benefits along with aftercare tips to ensure that smile is kept in place.
What is cosmetic bonding?
This is a procedure whereby the dentist applies a natural tooth coloured resin to the teeth to repair chipped or cracked areas. An LED light is used to harden the resin so that it looks and feels like the original tooth but aesthetically a lot better than before. It is not a new concept, although it has come a long way – since the ancient Egyptians used to hammer seashells into their gums!
By the mid 20th century, a white tooth filling was invented by Michael Buonocore, which was the forerunning of cosmetic bonding. Teeth were subject to an acid etch method that increased the bond between the tooth and the dental filling. Thirty years later, in the 1980’s, this form of cosmetic dentistry really began to take off to the treatment today that gives a number of benefits over crowns or veneers and is the best choice for patients with minor flaws on their teeth.
What are the benefits?
One of the biggest benefits is cost effectiveness when compared with veneers or crowns, for example. Getting a cracked tooth fixed before it can break is ensuring that the patient does not have to pay out for a more expensive treatment such as an implant or a crown. This form of treatment is also often recognised under dental insurance plans, and as more and more people understand the benefits of healthy teeth and gums, dentists factor in the affordability of such repairs.
- Maintains existing enamel
Another key benefit is that the integrity of existing enamel is maintained. The enamel on teeth is not something that is constantly being replenished unlike hair and nails, so it is imperative this protective material is not taken for granted. There are no harsh or abrasive cleaning materials used that can damage the existing surface, prior to cosmetic dental bonding the tooth is cleaned and the composite resin then applied. The dentist will shape the resin so that it blends in effortlessly with the surrounding teeth and enamel remains safe.
This form of treatment can also be undertaken in one appointment which saves time and money when fitting in treatments around work and family life. When compared to the appointments required for crowns or veneers, this is a real bonus especially for the busy individual. It also does not need to take place at another dental premise, as it is easily undertaken at the existing dental practice and does not require the need for orthodontics.
- Safe, low-risk procedure
It is a very safe method of cosmetic bonding. Teeth are not subjected to the fillings that in the past caused concern about materials entering into the blood stream via gums and nerve endings. The materials that are used in dental bonding are biocompatible with the body, so no harmful chemicals or substances are involved. Even old silver fillings and amalgam can be replaced with the material used in dental bonding.
- Produces a natural smile
Finally, the main benefit is that once treated the bonding material used can make the teeth look a lot better and give back that natural smile. The dentist will match the composite material used with the existing enamel so that it matches and does not stand out as an obvious repair. The gaps between teeth can be filled making them look aligned and beautifully straight without the need for braces or other orthodontic treatments. They look and feel like natural teeth should.
As with any form of cosmetic dentistry, it is important to maintain a good aftercare routine, so the teeth look as good as the day the treatment was carried out. Fortunately, this does not require any specialist equipment or care, but in order to keep the teeth bonded, there are routine practices that need to be undertaken.
- Practice oral hygiene
The first most important point is to ensure good oral hygiene (this is important whether or not teeth have been bonded). Brushing teeth after meals and at least twice a day will go a long way to keeping the mouth and gums healthy. If the toothpaste contains fluoride, this will also help protect teeth as it reduces the risk of decay and helps harden teeth. Likewise, rinsing out with a mouthwash and flossing or cleaning between teeth with an interdental toothbrush will help as well.
- Reduce consumption of certain drinks
Next, ensure that consumption of drinks that erode teeth due to the acid contained in them, is limited. Fruit juices or alcohol contains sugars and acids that soften the enamel on teeth causing cavities to form and promoting tooth decay. Coffee and tea will also stain the teeth and cordials and soft fizzy drinks are not beneficial in large quantities. Sugar in the diet should be managed as well, not only because of the health benefits (reduces risk of diabetes and obesity) but also because sugar encourages plaque to form between the teeth, which leads to dental cavities.
- Make regular trips to your dentist
Finally, ensure that regular visits to the dentist is maintained so they can pick up on any other signs of problems with the mouth and teeth. Once that smile is in place, it is up to you to do everything you can to keep it that way but whenever in doubt, the professionals are here to help.