A Guide to Composite Bonding
Individuals of all ages often find there is an area of their smile they would like to perfect. Whether it be a cavity or unsightly filling, or a broken or chipped tooth, these issues can cause normally confident people to shy away from public speaking or social situations, therefore limiting quality of life.
An increase in popularity for cosmetic dentistry in recent years – possibly spurred through a high number of celebrities seeking this treatment – has meant that members of the public no longer have to worry about an unattractive set of pearly whites as they are able to achieve their perfect teeth.
Similar to other methods, dental bonding is a technique that has been utilised in this area of dentistry for many years and can completely transform the pearly whites with a single visit to a dental professional.
During this process, a specialist will skilfully use the correct quantity and colour of the composite substance – a mouldable material with a paste-like consistency that is produced from acrylic resins and a number of fillers – to resolve a number of oral issues.
- Filling dental cavities
- Replacing traditional metal fillings
- Closing gaps between pearly whites
- Reshaping teeth
- Repairing chipped and broken areas
- Carrying out a smile makeover through the addition of composite veneers
What is a composite white filling?
This method of cosmetic dentistry is becoming increasingly popular for fillings due to its aesthetically pleasing appearance, while its colour is able to completely match the shade, translucency and texture of a natural tooth.
Many professionals have started to replace traditional metal installations with the composite in a bid to make patients proud of their brighter, more attractive smile.
Furthermore, modern research has hinted mercury found in amalgam fillings can be dangerous, which has spurred many dentists to remove them using a safe protocol involving the isolation of the other pearly whites using a rubber dam material
Can this method fill all cavities?
Individuals with large holes in their teeth will not be able to benefit from composite bonding as the material does not have a strong structure when it is used over a bigger area and is only ideal for use for small fillings that are not exposed to substantial force.
As a result of recent advancements in technology, many professionals are beginning to adopt the use of CAD/CAM CEREC equipment to create ceramic fillings, which are both durable and attractive. The innovative method also allows patients to receive the full extent of the treatment in a single one-hour visit, so it is ideal for those people with hectic lifestyles.
Many dental practices have their own technicians to create a ceramic filling, but this process can take two to three weeks to carry out.
What does the composite bonding procedure entail?
The procedure will often require the use of a local anaesthetic, which is administered by a dental professional through an injection into the gum area around the tooth. Following this, the tooth surface where the substance will be applied is extensively cleaned to remove any debris or tartar accumulation.
When the correct shade of the material has been selected, the pearly white is kept dry by surrounding it with cotton rolls and then shaped or roughened using a special tool.
The surface of the tooth is then etched with a phosphoric-acid-based gel, which creates the optimum texture for the composite to adhere to. Then, the bonding agent is applied and exposed to a special light source to activate it to harden and set.
In some cases, this substance is placed on the pearly white in several thin layers that are around two millimetres thick until the desired shape, translucency and texture is achieved. Following this, the area is polished and buffed to give it a smooth finish that will make it feel like a natural tooth.
Are there any drawbacks to this procedure?
One minor disadvantage of using this method of cosmetic dentistry is the fact the composite does not have the strength of many other restorative materials, including ceramic or porcelain.
Additionally, it has a greater tendency to stain than natural teeth or traditional materials used for similar purposes.
Who can carry out the bonding?
While any dental professional can carry out this treatment, the artistic skill required means patients should ensure they fully trust the administrator. Many cosmetic dentists have taken extensive postgraduate training in this field, so members of the public are invited to ask their own specialist about the extent of their experience.
Furthermore, many specialists will have photographs of their previous work, which is a great opportunity for individuals to examine the results of the procedure and voice any concerns or queries about its effectiveness.
How much does this procedure cost?
The price of composite bonding depends largely on the type of procedure that is carried out, as well as the materials used and the experience of the cosmetic dentist.