Composite resin bonding can be a fast, minimally invasive and inexpensive option for the beautiful smile you're looking for. But knowing what makes you a good candidate can help you determine if it's the right investment for you.
What Is Composite Bonding?
Composite bonding is a cosmetic technique wherein a type of dental material – in this case, composite resin – is shaped and molded on your teeth to give the appearance of straighter, whiter smile. It can be used as a cosmetic solution to chipped teeth, gapped teeth and staining in both teeth and fillings. Unlike porcelain veneer placement, which can take more than two visits, composite resin bonding can be completed in one appointment.
The cost for bonding depends on your dental provider and insurance plan. Although many dental insurance plans do not cover cosmetic bonding, it's good practice to ask whether they will cover a portion – especially if it's part of a medically necessary procedure, which some insurers acknowledge.
Whom Is Composite Bonding Right For?
Composite resin bonding isn't for everyone. If your smile is crooked as the result of an over- or underbite, this treatment won't serve to correct it. Instead, speak with your dentist to determine if more in-depth work is needed like adjusting your bite or any complex chips or gaps in your teeth. Bonding is primarily for those who seek a cosmetic solution for teeth that are otherwise healthy.
What Can You Expect During Your Visit?
Composite bonding is a safe and effective technique that was developed more than 50 years ago, and has been widely available for over three decades. The fillings and processes today are very efficient, making it easier for both you and your dentist.
The treatment itself often starts with the removal of some surface enamel, allowing the dentist to best shape the composite resin to your tooth, followed by the application of the bonding agent. Your dentist will then add the composite resin, cure it with a special light and finish by polishing your teeth. Because the process involves a high level of technique for a natural mold and shape, it's best to work with a dentist who has experience and specialty in this area.
What Aftercare Is Needed?
With normal care, today's composite material is durable enough to last without regular attention; you won't need to seek out your dentist for special visits and upkeep. Nonetheless, make sure to keep your regular dental checkup and daily oral care a priority. Mouthwashes, for instance, can improve gum strength for those who find their gum line tougher to maintain after bonding treatment. You should also avoid biting down on particularly hard foods, or ice, to prevent cracking.
If you're interested in achieving a brighter smile, composite resin bonding is a great option. Be sure to take care of your other oral necessities, first, to ensure your natural smile is healthy inside and out.