The same material that Drs. Mike and Jeremy Frith use for filling cavities can also be used to improve the aesthetics of your smile. The treatment is called cosmetic bonding, and though it may sound complex, it’s a relatively simple dental procedure that can be completed in just one hour at a cosmetic appointment. While it’s a great option for treating several dental issues, other cosmetic treatments, such as veneers or a dental crown, could be a more fitting treatment option. So how do you know if it’s right for you? Continue reading to learn more about the types of issues cosmetic bonding can treat, and its advantages and disadvantages for St. Louis patients.
Ready to transform your smile through cosmetic dentistry? When it comes to creating a beautiful smile, trust the experts at Masterpiece Smiles. Both Dr. Mike Frith and Dr. Jeremy Frith are members of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and have a passion for dental artistry through cosmetic treatments. View our Smile Gallery to see for yourself the impact a beautiful smile makeover can have on your appearance. Call us today to schedule a cosmetic consultation!
What can I expect during a cosmetic bonding treatment?
The durable, resin-like composite material used in bonding can conceal a variety of aesthetic uses. During the procedure, Dr. Mike or Dr. Jeremy Frith files the natural tooth slightly to create a textured surface to which the composite material can bond. Then, the composite is shaded to match your natural tooth color before being applied to the tooth and hardened with a special dental curing light. Your dentist will buff the composite material to a smooth, glossy finish in order to mimic the natural appearance of tooth enamel.
What can cosmetic bonding treat?
Generally, dental bonding is used to cover, fill, or replace areas of tooth that are chipped, damaged, or otherwise aesthetically unappealing. Typically, it is used to treat:
- Surface stains or discoloration: a thin covering of composite can brighten the appearance of dulled or discolored teeth.
- Gaps between teeth: your dentist can close or lessen the gap between teeth, without lengthy orthodontic work.
- Cracked or chipped teeth: teeth that show visible signs of damage can be quickly repaired with bonding, helping to protect against a future (more invasive) restorative procedure like a root canal or extraction.
- Misshapen teeth: small or irregularly shaped teeth can be altered to seamlessly fit your smile.
What are the advantages?
With composite bonding, you can preserve more tooth enamel as opposed to porcelain veneers or dental crowns. To prep the tooth for bonding, your dentist usually only needs to slightly file the area to create an accepting surface. Protecting enamel whenever possible is important since enamel cannot grow back once removed.
In addition, dental bonding is significantly less expensive than veneers or crowns, and the procedure offers instant results; most procedures can be fully completed in just one appointment. Dental bonding is often an ideal treatment for patients looking to improve the aesthetics of one or two teeth.
What are the disadvantages?
While dental bonding is a great treatment option, it has its shortcomings, too. Although it can correct discoloration in your natural tooth, the slightly softer, porous composite material won’t resist stains in the future as well as a porcelain crown or veneer. It’s also not as long-lasting as a crown or veneer, and so there is a higher chance that the composite could chip or crack in the future. Dental bonding lasts for about five to eight years before needing to be replaced. Often, patients looking to improve the look of their entire smile opt for highly durable and long-lasting veneers, rather than dental bonding.
Is cosmetic bonding right for me?
When it comes to cosmetic treatments, it’s important to look at both your short-term and long-term goals. If cost and speed of treatment are more important to you, cosmetic bonding could be a great treatment option. However, if you want to ensure a long-lasting, highly-durable solution, or wish to improve the appearance of several teeth in your smile, there could be other options more suited to your smile.
If you’re looking to discuss a dental bonding treatment with a St. Louis, MO dentist, schedule a cosmetic consultation with our experienced team at Masterpiece Smiles. Call us at 636.394.5200.