Cosmetic bonding is a simple way to improve your smile without the need for drilling. It involves the use of a tooth-coloured composite filling material that sticks to your teeth and can be used to repair chipped teeth as well as improving the shape and shade of your teeth. If you have any damaged or discoloured teeth, cosmetic bonding may be an alternative solution to improve oral health and the appearance of your smile.
When might cosmetic bonding be required?
Cosmetic bonding is a simple and effective way to help improve your smile after a chipped tooth, or if you simply aren’t happy with the shape or colour of your teeth. There’s no drilling involved, and the treatment is reversible too, so if you’re unhappy with the outcome, your dentist can remove the composite filling.
Cosmetic Bonding Procedure
If you have any concerns regarding the shape and/or colour of your front teeth, your dentist will discuss the treatment options available to you. If they think you are suitable for tooth shaping or shade correcting through cosmetic bonding, they should talk you through the pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision as to whether or not to go ahead. If you do proceed with the treatment, the process usually involves several stages:
The procedure may not need any form of anaesthetic as there is no drilling involved. Sometimes, however, your dentist will numb the area to avoid sensitivity from the various materials used during the treatment.
Shade(s) and Translucency
Your dentist will choose the shade(s) and translucency of composite required to achieve the desired look. There are a multitude of composite systems on the dental market and choosing the correct shade and opacity of materials can be time consuming for even a simple case. However, this stage is crucial to ensure the best aesthetic outcome and improve your smile.
They will then isolate the teeth/tooth to be treated by using either cotton rolls or a rubber sheet (known as a rubber dam). This ensures that the treatment area remains dry and uncontaminated as that may reduce the effectiveness of the bond between the composite and your tooth.
The tooth enamel is then treated with an acid-etch gel (usually containing phosphoric acid) which ‘roughens’ the tooth surface to help the composite material to bond well with the tooth.
Applying Composite Gel
The composite material is then added to the tooth in very small increments, with each layer being set hard using a UV light. This process is repeated until the final desired tooth shape has been achieved. The composite will then be polished until the surface is smooth and glossy. The final restoration should be almost (if not entirely) identical to your natural teeth, improving your look and the appearance of your smile.