Dental Bonding in Spokane Valley
Bonding is a quick and straightforward method to improve the overall appearance of a tooth and create a more aesthetically pleasing smile. Bonding involves placing a composite resin material onto a tooth to improve its size, shape or spacing. Bonding is typically used to make teeth appear longer or bigger, or to conceal a small space in between two teeth. Bonding can also be used to repair teeth that are slightly decayed, chipped, cracked, fractured or discolored.
Unlike traditional fillings, bonding material can be placed on various surface areas of the teeth, from chipped edges to smooth surfaces. Most of the time, patients elect to have bonding if only one or two teeth have chips, are spaced widely apart or have an enamel discrepancy. (In cases of substantial decay, severe fractures or widespread discoloration, another restorative dental solution is typically employed.)
A bonding treatment takes just a short time to complete, and can be combined with most dental visits when scheduled in advance. The composite material is applied to the teeth, shaped and polished to achieve the ideal tooth appearance.
Benefits of Dental Bonding
Patients love enhancing their smiles with dental bonding because:
- Bonding is cost-effective.
- The treatment can be easily completed in a single dental appointment.
- Bonding is completely customized to the patient’s unique needs.
- Treatment is not painful and requires no special aftercare.
- Bonded teeth can be brushed and flossed like normal teeth.
- No tooth structure needs to be removed to prepare the bonded tooth, so bonding is considered reversible.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Bonding?
Good candidates for dental bonding are individuals who are self-conscious of their smiles because of superficial flaws in the teeth. Bonding is a conservative solution to fix problems such as:
- chipped teeth
- small cracks in the teeth
- uneven tooth edges
- worn teeth
- stubborn tooth stains
- abnormally shaped teeth
- disproportionately short teeth
- small spaces between the teeth
- exposed tooth roots (i.e., areas where the gums have receded, or pulled away, from the teeth
Bonding is not right for everyone. Patients with very large gaps in between their teeth, badly broken or cracked teeth or severe tooth spacing/alignment problems may need alternative dental treatment to correct the problem. Dr. Love works closely with every patient to determine the treatment right for his or her dental needs. If bonding is not right for a patient, he can recommend other options.
Dental bonding can be completed in a single dental appointment, saving patients valuable time. To begin, Dr. Love cleans the affected tooth and applies a special solution to the tooth to lightly etch it; this creates a stronger bond between the tooth and bonding material. He picks out the composite resin material to closely match the patient’s tooth color. Dr. Love applies small amounts of the composite resin to the tooth in layers, meticulously shaping and sculpting it to achieve the desired appearance. He hardens each layer with a special curing light. Once Dr. Love is finished, he polishes the entire tooth for a perfect result.
Bonded teeth do not require any special aftercare or upkeep. After the bonding appointment, they might be slightly sensitive, but this is only temporary. Bonded teeth should be brushed and flossed daily to prevent dental health problems, and checked by a dentist during routine appointments. Bonded teeth are strong but should not bite down into ice or hard foods like shells or bones. Patients who know they grind or clench their teeth at night should explore their options for a custom-fitted night guard to protect their teeth.
FAQs About Dental Bonding
Does dental bonding hurt?
Bonding treatment is not painful and usually does not require anesthesia.
Will the bonding material match my tooth?
Dr. Love carefully selects the shade of the bonding material to match the surrounding natural tooth structure.
How long does bonding take?
Bonding can be completed in a single dental appointment. Multiple visits to the dentist are not necessary.
Who is not a good candidate for dental bonding?
Bonding is not suitable for patients who have significant dental damage, such as badly cracked or broken teeth. A crown may be a better option for those circumstances.
What are the alternatives to dental bonding?
Porcelain veneers are an alternative to dental bonding. These thin pieces of porcelain are placed over the front surface of the tooth to cover up dental flaws such as discoloration, chips or cracks, and to create a more gorgeous smile. One notable difference between veneers and bonding is that a small amount of tooth structure must be removed prior to the placement of veneers, so the procedure is considered irreversible. Also, veneers are more expensive than bonding and take longer to place.
How can I prepare for bonding?
Patients do not need to do anything special to prepare for bonding treatment other than brush and floss daily. If they have questions leading up to treatment, Dr. Love and his team are always available.
Are there any risks to dental bonding?
With dental bonding, there are no major risks. There is the possibility that the bonding material can chip or separate; to minimize this risk, patients are advised not to bite down on hard food or candy, chew on pen caps or use their teeth to open bottles or pen caps.
The bonding material is also susceptible to discoloration from smoking or the consumption of beverages like coffee, tea or wine.
How much does bonding cost?
The cost of dental bonding varies based on the extent of treatment, the number of teeth that need to be bonded and the provider. For more specific pricing details, contact Dr. Love’s practice today.
Does insurance cover the cost of dental bonding?
It depends on the insurance provider and the case. Some insurance companies consider dental bonding a cosmetic treatment (i.e., elective) and do not provide reimbursement for it.