Smiling can be tough if you’re unhappy with your teeth. When you have cracked, chipped, gapped, crowded, or discolored teeth, you may feel like grinning in public is out of the question. The good news is that there's a fast, easy fix for a slightly unpresentable smile.
At Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, PC, in Washington, DC, Dr. Culotta-Norton and Dr. Peter Grinc can perform bonding and other restorative dentistry treatments to enhance your smile and make you glad to show off your grin.
Tooth bonding basics
Tooth bonding requires your dentist to apply a tooth-colored composite resin to one or more of your teeth, to cover cosmetic flaws or repair mild structural damage. This option can be a lot less expensive than other cosmetic dental procedures such as crowns and veneers, but can’t be used for all patients.
Dr. Culotta-Norton will sit down with you, do a full exam, and talk about your cosmetic dentistry options, including bonding. If your tooth problems are merely cosmetic and fairly minor, bonding could be a great place to start in your restoration journey.
The most common reasons to get tooth bonding are:
- A cracked or chipped tooth
- Teeth with large gaps between them
- Teeth that are crowded and overlapped a little
- Teeth that are discolored
- A tooth that needs a filling and a slight restoration
Your tooth bonding visit
First, Dr. Culotta-Norton will use a shade guide to determine the color of your natural teeth so the bonding material can be developed in a shade to match. Tip: If you’ve been planning on teeth whitening, get it done before you have bonding.
Next, it’s time to roughen the surface of your tooth a little, so the bonding material can form a strong seal with your tooth. Dr. Culotta-Norton will follow up the roughening process by applying a liquid to allow the composite resin to stick to your tooth.
Once the liquid is applied, she’ll place the resin over it and quickly mold it to create the perfect appearance before curing the resin with a curing light to harden the restoration. She can touch up the tooth after the resin hardens for a polished final effect.
Tooth bonding only takes between 30 to 60 minutes per tooth to complete, assuming fillings aren’t being done at the same time. If you’re having multiple teeth bonded, your dentist may break up the process into several visits.
Taking care of your bonded teeth
Bonding can last anywhere from three to 10 years before needing a touchup. Brush and floss normally, and use the same care as with your original teeth to ensure your gums and mouth stay healthy.
Your bonding is designed to match your natural tooth color as closely as possible, but can stain under duress, so be prepared for some darkening from activities like smoking, drinking dark hot coffee or red wine, and other things that can stain your teeth.
Try not to bite things that aren’t food, like ice, your fingernails, pens, or other hard things. This can cause your bonded tooth to chip or crack. Keep an eye on your bonded teeth and schedule a visit if you see bonding separating from a tooth.
Are you ready for renewed confidence thanks to dental restoration? Call our office at 202-833-1111 or request an appointment online today.