Individuals unfortunate enough to suffer from a low self esteem due to the appearance of their teeth may feel at a loss as to what they can do to achieve the perfect smile.
Luckily, the emergence of cosmetic dentistry – coupled with its increasing accessibility – means it is not an impossible dream to enjoy a bright and straight set of pearly whites that can be showed off with confidence.
Dental bonding is a method that has been used in this type of practice for a number of years and is able to transform the smile in a single sitting in the professional’s chair. Usually, this course of action involves the use of the correct amount of coloured composite, which is a mouldable material with a paste-like consistency.
Created from acrylic resins and a variety of fillers, the substance is utilised for a number of cosmetic dental procedures, including:
Dental composite bonding is a hugely popular choice for fillings due to the fact the material can match the shade, translucency and texture of the natural teeth, while providing a much better result than traditional options.
In many cases, cosmetic dentists will replace old metal fixtures, which are often unsightly, with the tooth-coloured substance.
There has been debate in the history of the profession regarding the safety of amalgam fillings containing mercury, with many professionals arguing the metal appliances must be removed using a safe protocol, involving the isolation of the pearly whites using a rubber dam material.
Unfortunately, individuals who have large holes in their pearly whites will be unable to enjoy the benefits of composite bonding because the material does not have a strong structure over large areas.
This process is ideal for small fillings that are unlikely to be exposed to large forces, while recent advancements in the world of dentistry have resulted in many practitioners using CAD/CAM CEREC options to produce ceramic inlays.
With this method, the fitting possesses the advantage of both strength and aesthetics and can be fitted in the same visit within one hour. However, some may have their dental technicians produce a ceramic filling, which can take between two and three weeks.
Patients who require a local anaesthetic before the procedure is carried out will have the affected area injected by a dental professional. Following this, the tooth surface where the composite is set to be applied is thoroughly cleaned to remove any debris or tartar.
When the correct colour material has been selected, the pearly white is kept dry by surrounding it with cotton rolls or a latex sheet, then it is shaped or roughened using a specially-designed tool.
After this, the surface of the pearly white is etched with a phosphoric-acid-based gel, which provides a better surface for the substance to adhere to. The boding agent is applied to the etched area and exposed to a light source that activates, then sets.
When this is completed, the final step involves polishing and buffing the area to give the desired shape and smooth finish.
The main drawback of the bonding procedure is that it does not have the same strength or durability of many other restorative materials including ceramic or porcelain, while it has a greater tendency to stain than the natural pearly whites or more expensive options.
Fortunately, this procedure can be carried out by any trained dentist, but patients may wish to note it requires a high level of artistic skill, so some professionals may be better than others.
In addition, many practitioners have undertaken extensive postgraduate training in this area, making it necessary for individuals to ask about their local clinic’s expertise.
The cost of the procedure is likely to vary depending on the type of process that is carried out, the materials used and the specific administrator.