When you come to McDonald Family Dentistry for bonding in Urbandale, IA, you’ll only have to sit through a single-visit procedure—it gives you a quick, inexpensive solution for a more attractive smile. Bonding creates a smile that appears more symmetrical and space-free, masks the most stubborn stains and discolorations, and is ideal for repairing slight chips or misaligned teeth.
Bonding may not be as long lasting as porcelain veneers or crowns, but, with proper care, it can prove to be quite durable.
Dr. Chris McDonald can quickly and skillfully repair minor dental flaws like chips or spaces with a simple dental procedure known as bonding. Bonding involves applying and shaping a custom-colored resin to imperfect teeth and hardening it with a special light. Our patients love dental bonding because it does not require a lot of time spent in the dental chair, and it instantly creates a more beautiful smile.
What Can Dental Bonding Treat?
The resin bonding material is similar to that used to fill some cavities — only instead of repairing a decayed tooth, it hides small aesthetic imperfections.
Dr. McDonald commonly uses dental bonding to cover up small tooth chips, cracks or stains. He can use the bonding material to lengthen an abnormally short tooth, widen a narrow tooth or camouflage uneven tooth edges. Dr. McDonald can even use the bonding material to reduce or hide gaps or spaces in between the teeth.
Dr. McDonald does not use dental bonding to make major corrections to damaged or decayed teeth. The bonding process is not a suitable fix for big tooth cracks or fractures, or serious spacing or alignment problems. Other cosmetic or restorative dentistry solutions like veneers, crowns or orthodontics may be more appropriate in those cases.
How Bonding Treatment Works
Bonding can usually be completed in a single appointment. The affected tooth is numbed so that there is no pain or discomfort during treatment.
First, Dr. McDonald uses a shade guide to select the appropriate color of the composite resin material so it blends in with your surrounding tooth structure and adjacent teeth. Dr. McDonald lightly etches the affected tooth and covers it with a bonding solution to help the composite resin material better adhere to the tooth. He paints the bonding material onto your tooth in thin layers, shaping and sculpting it as he works. Dr. McDonald hardens the bonding material with a special light. Once the material has hardened, he can make any last-minute tweaks that are needed. Finally, Dr. McDonald polishes the bonded tooth so it looks translucent, like a natural tooth. When he is finished, you should not be able to tell the difference between the bonding material and your natural tooth structure.
Care and Maintenance after Dental Bonding
You should brush and floss your bonded tooth normally, and have your teeth checked regularly by Dr. McDonald and our team.
The bonding material is strong but it can stain, chip or break under certain circumstances over time. Protect your bonding from damage by not chewing on ice, shells or other hard objects or using your teeth to open bottles or packages. If you notice the bonding has chipped, cracked or become stained, it will require replacement.
With the proper care and precautions, the results of dental bonding can last for several years.
Dental Bonding FAQs
How does dental bonding differ from porcelain veneers?
Bonding and veneers can accomplish some of the same objectives, but they are very different treatments. Bonding uses a moldable resin material to cover up flaws and reshape teeth, while veneers are thin porcelain pieces that affix to the front of the teeth to cover up imperfections.
Veneers require the natural tooth to be permanently reshaped. A small amount of tooth enamel must be removed to accommodate the veneer; after this, the tooth must always be covered with some type of restoration (whether a veneer or crown).
Bonding adds to the natural tooth enamel without removing any tooth structure, making it a reversible option. If desired, the resin material can be removed to restore the tooth to the way it looked prior to bonding.
Does the dental bonding process hurt?
Bonding is not painful. Dr. McDonald and our team work hard to make the process as comfortable as possible. If you are worried about pain or extreme tooth sensitivity, please bring up your concerns to us so we can thoroughly address them.
How long must I wait to eat after bonding treatment?
You can eat immediately after bonding treatment. Your teeth may be mildly sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, so avoid ice cream, ice water or very hot dishes. This sensitivity should subside within a day.
Also, for a few days you should avoid consuming beverages or foods that could stain your newly bonded teeth (this includes coffee, tea, red wine, dark berries and tomato sauce).
Will other people be able to tell that I’ve had dental bonding done?
No. As long as you trust your treatment to a skilled, experienced dentist, no one will be able to tell that you have had teeth bonded. Dr. McDonald carefully matches the bonding material to the shade of your natural teeth and sculpts it precisely to look very natural.
Can I combine dental bonding and teeth whitening?
Yes, if you are interested in lightening your teeth and addressing minor cosmetic issues, you may combine bonding and whitening. We generally recommend whitening your teeth prior to bonding; Dr. McDonald can then color-match the bonding material to your lighter, whiter teeth.
Is dental bonding recommended for every dental issue?
No. Although dental bonding is a quick and straightforward fix for superficial dental issues (e.g., misshapen teeth, small chips/cracks/areas of decay), it is not recommended to repair badly damaged or decayed teeth. Furthermore, dental bonding cannot address orthodontic issues, such as crooked, crowded or significantly gapped teeth.
How long does dental bonding last?
The results of dental bonding can last anywhere from three to 10 years. The longevity of your results depends on several factors, including the location of the bonding in your mouth and whether you tend to chew on hard foods or ice.
How well you care for your teeth also matters. Although the bonding material is strong, behaviors such as opening bottles or packages or chewing pen caps can cause it to break or wear down.
Learn More About Dental Bonding
If you are interested in learning more about dental bonding or other cosmetic dentistry solutions, Dr. McDonald invites you to call or send us an email today.