Fixing Gaps Between Teeth with Dental Bonding
If you have a gap between your teeth that you would like to fix, you are not alone – many adults (up to 25%, according to some studies) have a gap in the most visible part of their smile: between their front teeth. While some contributing factors in tooth gaps may require orthodontic treatment to resolve the underlying issue, such as crooked or crowded teeth, dental bonding is an effective cosmetic treatment for those cases that don’t require orthodontic treatment.
What is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is the process of adhering a malleable, tooth-colored composite resin to the teeth using a simple process of etching, adhesion, forming, and hardening. It is frequently a simple one-visit process, as it would be in the case of fixing a single tooth gap.
To remedy a gap in your teeth with a dental bonding process, your dentist will lightly etch the tooth that the composite will be applied to, add a conditioning liquid or gel to the etched surface of the tooth, and then finally add composite resin. This is a highly malleable, moldable material that your dentist will be able to shape exactly as she or he desires to close the gap between your teeth. When it is just right, she or he will use an ultraviolet light or laser to harden the material, then give it a polish to look and feel great in your mouth.
Is Dental Bonding a Good Option for Me?
While dental bonding is a practical and cost-effective remedy for a problem like a cosmetic tooth gap, it may not be for everyone. First, you must determine, via a consultation with your dentist, that the gap in your teeth is indeed cosmetic and not something that requires orthodontic intervention. There are, however, a couple other things to take into account in considering the durability and wear of dental bonding.
The composite resin used in dental bonding is a strong material that can be matched almost perfectly to the exact shade of your teeth. However, this material is not as strong as your natural enamel, which means that it can chip and break more easily than your regular teeth. If you are someone who regularly bites their nails or chew on pens, for example, you might be prone to chips and breaks in dental bonding. In these cases, porcelain veneers might be a more durable option to consider.
Porcelain veneers might also be a better option if you regularly consume products that have a high propensity for staining and you are worried about stains forming on the composite material. The resin used in dental bonding does stain more quickly than both porcelain and your other teeth, so this is something to take into consideration as you choose between your options. This can be at least partially kept at bay with good oral hygiene and the daily use of a tooth whitening toothpaste, of course.
If you’re having trouble deciding whether or not dental bonding might be a good option for you, keep in mind that your dentist is an excellent source of information and advice. Give your dental office a call today to set up an appointment, where you can discuss the many options at your disposal for fixing a tooth gap or some such other concern.