What are the benefits of composite bonding?
- The case is examined and treatment planned. In complex cases or cases where multiple gaps between the teeth are being closed, it is necessary to first take impressions for study models and do a diagnostic wax-up (mock-up) of the case on the study models. This allows the dentist to plan the case correctly and ensure that what treatment is proposed can be predictably achieved with composite bonding.
- The diagnostic models will then be assessed by both the patient and dentist.
- The bonding procedure is then carried out on the teeth. There is no invasive drilling of the teeth. The tooth surface is conditioned and the tooth coloured material added on the tooth as necessary in thin layers.
- The material is then cured (set) using a bright curing light source and the bonding is then given a final contouring and polishing.
Bonding should last on average anywhere from 5-10 years. However, it is important to stress that composite bonding material is not as strong as natural tooth enamel. One does need to be aware of this and avoid biting into very hard things with the bonded teeth (e.g. crusty pizza rind) or using the bonded teeth as tools (e.g. to crack open nuts or strip cotton). You can eat most foods normally (e.g. apples, toast, steak, etc.)
With time, bonding can discolour a little due to lifestyle and diet. This often can however be polished off by the dentist or hygienist. If the discoloration gets worse it is sometimes possible just to carefully strip away the surface layer of the composite bonding and resurface it with fresh material. In severe discolouration cases it is necessary to remove all the bonding and replace it (or when the bonding has come to the end of its functional lifespan). Once again, this is a non-invasive process and the tooth is not damaged in any way.
- Regular dental check-ups and hygienist visits to monitor and maintain the teeth and restorations.
- Be careful about biting into anything too hard with the teeth which have had cosmetic bonding. Rather cut or break the relevant food into pieces and bite on your back teeth.
- If the patient grinds their teeth it is indicated and recommended that a bite guard be made to protect both the teeth and bonding at night while asleep.