Advancements in dental technology made over the past several years have provided dental patients with a variety of ways to repair minor dental issues and dramatically improve their smiles. One example is dental bonding. This simple, quick procedure produces remarkable results. Thanks to bonding, people with a variety of dental issues can enjoy all the advantages of a beautiful smile. If you’re considering having your teeth bonding, you might be wondering, “How long does dental bonding last?” We’ve compiled the information in this article to answer that question and many more.
What Is Dental Bonding?
The bonding procedure begins with the dentist preparing the patient’s tooth, then applying a layer of composite resin over the surface of the tooth. As the bonding begins to harden, the dentist molds the resin material into a perfectly shaped tooth that is shaded to exactly match the color of the patient’s other natural teeth. The entire bonding procedure can usually be accomplished in a single trip to the dentist’s office and often with no anesthesia! People can choose to have a single tooth bonded or – for a dramatically improved smile – to have all of their visible teeth bonded.
Who is a Good Candidate for Bonding?
Bonding is typically recommended to repair minor dental problems. The composite resin material used in dental bonding provides dentists with an excellent way to repair a variety of issues, including:
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Badly stained teeth
- Slightly crooked teeth
- Teeth with wide gaps in between
Bonding also serves to protect the teeth from further damage. For that reason, a dentist may recommended bonding for patients who are cavity prone. The resin produces a smooth surface on the tooth, reducing the crevices where bacteria can collect and making it less likely that cavities will form.
Generally speaking, anyone who is in good oral health is usually a good candidate for dental bonding. Although your dentist may recommend some other procedure depending on your specific needs and oral health goals.
How Long Does Dental Bonding Last?
Typically, bonding lasts between 5 and 10 years, but that number can vary greatly depending on several factors. These include the following:
- The material – The durability of dental bonding can vary depending on the type of composite used, how much is used, and where the bonding is applied on the tooth.
- Personal habits – Bonding may not last as long for people who grind their teeth, bite their nails, or routinely eat sticky/hard foods, for example.
How to Tell When it’s Time to Replace Dental Bonding
If your teeth are bonded, there are several indications that it might be time to have the bonding replaced.
- Your teeth feel different. Newly bonded teeth feel smooth and very similar to your natural teeth. So if you begin to notice sharp edges or lifted corners, for example, it’s usually a sign that it’s time for new bonding.
- Your bonded teeth are stained. Bonding material can become stained over time in much the same way as natural teeth. If you notice that your bonded teeth are stained, it might be an indication that the bonding material is becoming worn down.
- Your bonding material becomes damaged. This is especially common for people who grind their teeth or eat hard/sticky foods on a regular basis. The bonding material can wear down and/or chip and break.
Extending the Lifespan of Dental Bonding
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help your dental bonding last longer. The first is to practice good oral hygiene habits every day. It’s simple to care for bonded teeth – you simply do exactly has you normally would for your natural teeth. That should include (at a minimum) brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Your dentist or dental hygienist can provide additional information regarding good oral hygiene practices that can help your bonding last longer.
Take care to avoid certain habits that can damage the bonding material. As we mentioned earlier, stay away from hard or sticky foods, and don’t indulge in habits like biting your fingernails, chewing ice, or gnawing on the top of a pen, for example These habits can cause damage to composite resin the same way they can to your natural teeth. And because the composite resin material used in bonding can be stained, it’s also a good idea to avoid using tobacco, and minimize drinking coffee, tea, and red wine, for example.
Porcelain Veneers: An Alternative to Dental Bonding
Many people are more than willing to take the precautions necessary to protect their bonded teeth. After all, bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic procedures, and the end result is a much-improved smile. But if you’re looking for a longer-lasting alternative to bonding, you might ask your dentist about porcelain veneers. In fact, veneers are often the cosmetic procedure responsible for the perfect-looking smiles of movie stars and celebrities! Although veneers are more expensive than dental bonding, they are stain resistant and more durable than the composite material used in dental bonding.
On the other hand, bonding is often the preferred method for repairing chips and cracks in teeth, as well as filling in gaps in between teeth. That’s because your dentist can more easily mold the composite resin material used in bonding to fill in imperfections in a tooth or to make the tooth larger in order to fill in gaps between teeth. Your dentist can tell you which solution would be the best choice for you.
Both bonding and veneers are excellent ways to repair minor dental issues and greatly improve the appearance of your smile. And that can improve the overall quality of your life! That may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s not. In fact, several studies conducted over the past several years have shown that people with attractive smiles have more self-confidence, a greater sense of self-esteem, and are seen in a more positive light by others. To find out more about how long dental bonding lasts, and to determine if you’re a good candidate for this procedure, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.