When a tooth brakes, what should you do? We recommend contacting your dentist office in Baltimore right away. You should repair a damaged tooth as soon as possible. Fortunately, we have a unique cosmetic procedure that can fix a tooth in a single visit. Esthetic contouring and dental bonding is a technique that alters the shape of worn or chipped teeth. Bonding teeth is most effective in cases where damage is not significant. A dentist can use dental bonding for procedures that cover small chips or cracks in teeth, attach bridges, cover spaces between teeth, or even replace missing teeth.
Our dentist can use tooth bonding to:
- Restore worn-down teeth
- Repair broken, chipped, and cracked teeth
- Improve the appearance of stained, discolored or yellow teeth
- Correct misshapen or crooked teeth
- Close spaces between teeth
- Protect teeth from decay as a cavity filling
Our teeth consist of enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body. Despite protecting our teeth from harmful bacteria and damage, your enamel is not impervious to damage. Teeth can develop chips, cracks, or break due to weak enamel or injury.
When this occurs, you need restorative dental services to repair your tooth enamel. You can avoid issues such as tooth decay, enamel loss, and dental infections by addressing tooth damage sooner rather than later.
Do You Need Dental Bonding Or A Crown?
Our teeth consist of different layers. The outermost is a protective layer of enamel. Below that, the majority of the tooth’s structure consists of dentin. Dentin surrounds the pulp, and protects the sensitive nerve center of the tooth. When a tooth becomes damaged, bacteria can bypass the enamel, reaching the dentin to cause decay. However, if the decay reaches the pulp an infection may form, which can endanger the health and stability of the tooth.
If you have a cavity, then our dentist may recommend dental bonding. If you have an old filling that has fallen out or has decayed, then you may need a crown instead of dental bonding. A dental crown is more expensive than dental bonding, but it lasts much longer and provides better protection for your teeth against future cavities or decay.
Dental Bonding vs. Tooth Crown
Dental bonding can repair a chipped tooth in a single visit. The dentist will apply a composite resin material, the same as in our metal-free fillings, to restore the missing tooth structure. Our dentist will apply the material in many layers and sculpt it as the resin cures under UV light. The bonding procedure can also close gaps between teeth, or mask permanent stains.
If the damage is severe, then bonding may not be enough. However, we can prepare the tooth, take detailed impressions, and provide a dental crown. The crown fits over the visible portion of the tooth. Using CAD/CAM technology, we can complete the treatment in a single visit. The new crown will look like your real tooth because we use porcelain to make it.
Fixing Teeth with Tooth Bonding
Multiple factors can lead to damaged teeth. Common causes include biting down on a particularly hard piece of food, a sports injury, or the teeth becoming weakened by tooth decay. Repairing teeth is essential to avoid infections. Without repair, a chipped tooth may develop decay and eventually a dental infection.
We suggest talking to our team as soon as possible and scheduling a visit. We can then repair the tooth with bonding or another restorative treatment option.
Generally complete from start to finish in a single visit, tooth bonding can fix many broken teeth issues. For minor chips on the tooth, we may place a composite resin. Our dentist will first clean and etch the tooth before placing the material. Then, he will cure the material using a special light. While it cures, our dentist will mold it to a desired shape. Next, our dentist will thoroughly polish the tooth for a seamless look. You can use the tooth as soon as you leave the office.
If damage to your tooth is more significant, or you want a permanent result, Dr. Lazer may recommend a porcelain veneer or a dental crown. Dr. Lazer may recommend a dental crown to repair a severely broken tooth or fractured tooth. Using CEREC software and tools, we can actually create and place one in a single visit as well.
While the results are highly aesthetic and natural-looking, tooth bonding is not a permanent treatment and may require frequent touch-ups or replacement.
Tooth Bonding FAQs
What is tooth bonding most used for?
Dental bonding is best for repairing chipped teeth and closing the gap between front teeth. This cosmetic dental service is ideal for young patients looking for a less permanent option. Bonding on the front teeth can last about 4 to 8 years. Dental bonding is typically more cost-effective than other cosmetic treatments.
Is tooth bonding permanent?
No. Although dental bonding requires less tooth enamel removal than porcelain veneers, it is not a permanent treatment. Dental bonding allows patients to revisit their dental issue at a later date when they are ready for a permanent restoration.
Does dental bonding ruin your teeth?
No. Biocompatible materials make dental bonding safe and free of harmful chemicals. The material itself will protect your teeth from minor chips and cracks. Our dentist can easily repair and replace bonding as well.
How long does teeth bonding last?
Tooth bonding typically lasts between 5-10 years. You can extend a bonds lifespan with touch-ups, good oral care, and a proper diet. The lifespan of bonds may also vary from person to person depending on their placement and the patient’s personal hygiene routine.
Can my dentist touch-up dental bonding?
Yes, your dentist can touch-up dental bonding. Most bonds will require a touch up after 3 years in order to help them function longer. We can color-match and re-bond to ensure that it is secure.
How long does it take dental bonding to set?
In general, bonds cure very quickly. The bond itself takes about 30 minutes to set, and fully cures after about two hours. Your saliva will help it cure after you leave our office.
How soon after bonding can I eat?
Dental bonding allows you to eat and drink right away because the resin completely cures during the procedure. After the dental bonding treatment, you may experience some tooth sensitivity to heat and cold, but this is normal until your tooth fully adjusts to the bond.