Bonding: The Dental “Face-Lift”

By Catherine M. Fascilla, D.D.S.

Even perfectly healthy teeth can look less than perfect. Overall appearance can be marred by unsightly stains resulting from coffee, tea, tobacco or certain childhood medications, front-tooth gaps and accident-induced cracks or chips. But thanks to a relatively quick, painless procedure called bonding, dentistry can do for your teeth what a health club can do for your physique.

Bonding improves the appearance of your teeth with the aid of plastic and ceramic substances called composite resins. “Painted” on by a dentist, and then hardened, sculpted and polished, the tooth-colored resins produce bright, shapely grins where craggy, dingy ones once lurked.

It is a simpler procedure than crowning or capping, and it preserves tooth structure. Crowning reduces a tooth in size to accommodate the cap. Bonding may not require drilling or anesthesia. It isn’t the answer for everyone, however, and the procedure has its drawbacks. It doesn’t last as long as a cap and usually needs periodic touch-ups. If you smoke or drink lots of coffee or tea, bonded areas can stain. If unshapely teeth are crooked or crowded enough, then braces might be warranted.

If you perceive your smile to be less than perfect, then professional advice will help you decide whether bonding is the best solution for you. Consider contacting your dentist today.

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