Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure that is often an effective way to resolve minor dental issues. Even for people who aren’t experiencing any problems, bonding is a great way to dramatically improve the appearance of their smiles and provide added protection from cavities. In this article, we’ll describe dental bonding and its advantages, as well as discuss whether or not dental bonding on molars is a good idea.
The Dental Bonding Procedure
One of the biggest reasons why bonding is such a popular choice for many dental patients is the procedure itself – it is remarkably quick and easy. To begin with, the dentist makes light etches on the surface of the teeth to be bonded, then applies a conditioning liquid on the teeth which allows the bonding material to more readily adhere to the surface. The next step involves the dentist applying a composite resin material to the teeth, allowing it to harden slightly, then literally molding it into a perfect tooth shape. And the best news of all – the entire procedure can often be completed in a single trip to the dentist’s office!
Who Are Good Candidates for Dental Bonding?
Virtually anyone can have their teeth bonded, assuming that they are in good oral health. But if you have issues like cavities or gum disease, for example, your dentist will want to resolve those problems before moving forward with dental bonding or any other cosmetic procedure.
Common Uses for Dental Bonding
The most common reason to have your teeth bonded is to quickly and easily correct minor dental issues. Some examples include the following:
- Chipped teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Teeth with wide gaps in between
- Slightly crooked teeth
- Badly stained teeth
Bonding is often an effective way to resolve any of these problems, but it’s also useful for people who are especially cavity prone. One reason why tooth decay develops is that bacteria collects in tiny crevices on the surface of teeth. When that bacteria collects, it can form decay if it’s not removed quickly. But the composite resin material used in dental bonding creates a smooth surface on the tooth, eliminating many of the small crevices where bacteria would otherwise accumulate.
Another common reason for dental bonding is to enhance the appearance of the patient’s smile. The composite material used in bonding can be created in virtually any shade, so if you choose to have just one or two teeth bonded, your dentist will be able to precisely match the shade of your other teeth. But some people choose to have all of their visible teeth bonded, and the end result is an absolutely stunning new smile! This is particularly helpful for people who have badly stained teeth that can’t be whitened using typical whitening products (which is often the case for people with eroded enamel, for example).
Dental Bonding on Molars
Although bonding is often an excellent choice for teeth in the front of the mouth, most dentists would recommend against using bonding on molars. The reason is simple: molars are the teeth we use to chew our food, meaning that we regularly apply a tremendous amount of pressure on these teeth located in the back of our mouths. And even though the composite resin material used in bonding is quite strong, it’s simply not strong enough to withstand the constant biting and chewing pressure that we place on our molars.
Fortunately, there are other very effective methods to choose from when it comes to repairing and/or strengthening molars. For these teeth in the back of our mouths that we rely on to thoroughly chew food, most dentists would recommend either dental fillings or crowns. Both of these alternatives are plenty strong enough to withstand the constant pressure of chewing food and are commonly performed by any reputable dentist.
More Facts about Dental Bonding
Even though bonding may not be recommended for back molars, there are still plenty of advantages in having your front teeth bonded, including the following:
- Cost – Bonding is relatively inexpensive, especially compared to other dental services that accomplish similar goals, such as crowns and porcelain veneers, for example. Bonding is also much less costly than orthodontic treatments, yet it can often fix minor issues that were once only resolved by braces, such as slightly crooked teeth and closing gaps in between teeth.
- Procedure – As we mentioned earlier, the bonding procedure is surprisingly fast and easy. In fact, the vast majority of the time, bonding can be completed in a single trip to the dentist’s office. And most patients don’t even require anesthesia while undergoing their dental bonding procedure!
- Durability – While bonding may not be strong enough for back molars, it’s still a remarkably durable material. In fact, when bonded teeth are properly cared for, the bonding material typically lasts between 5 and 10 years.
- Care – It’s simple to care for bonded teeth. Just follow your normal daily oral hygiene routine, treating your bonded teeth exactly as you do your natural teeth. It is important to remember, however, that you need to exercise some caution with teeth that are bonded. Because the composite material isn’t strong enough to endure vigorous chewing, you should avoid eating anything too hard or sticky with your bonded teeth. Also keep in mind that the bonding material can stain in much the same way as your natural teeth, so you should try to limit your consumption of foods that stain teeth – such as red wine, coffee and tea, for example.
Using dental bonding on molars may not be a good idea, but dental bonding has plenty of other uses without a doubt. And considering how easy the bonding procedure is, and how inexpensive it is when compared to other dental services, it’s easy to see why bonding is such a popular choice among dental patients and dentists alike. To learn more about dental bonding, and to find out whether or not this procedure is the best choice for you, schedule an appointment with your dentist today!