Phobias surrounding treatments for oral health issues can leave you embarrassed to smile. Not only that, but your dental health problems may worsen, leaving you in need of more invasive treatment. By learning about simple treatment options like cosmetic bonding, you can reduce your anxiety and increase your confidence.
When you have cracked, chipped, decayed, or discoloured teeth, any lost confidence in your smile can be regained through cosmetic bonding. This non-invasive treatment option involves your dentist applying a tooth-coloured composite resin to your teeth to restore them to their former glory.
Also known as composite bonding or tooth bonding, this restorative process is a more cost-effective alternative to other treatment options such as veneers or crowns.
Uses for Cosmetic Bonding
Dental issues cosmetic bonding can address include:
- Repairing chipped and cracked teeth
- Improving the appearance of discoloured teeth
- Correcting mishappen teeth
- Close gaps between teeth
- Protecting exposed roots where gums have receded
The Benefits of Cosmetic Bonding
The benefits of cosmetic bonding include:
- Cosmetic bonding can be done in a single procedure – Often, cosmetic bonding can be carried out in one simple procedure. This makes it one of the fastest ways of dealing with many minor cosmetic problems.
- Cosmetic bonding is a non-invasive procedure – Cosmetic bonding doesn’t require an extraction or the removal of any part of your tooth. The only preparation needed before the composite bonding is applied is to roughen the surface of your tooth so the resin can bond.
- The cosmetic bonding procedure is cost-effective – In comparison to other procedures such as veneers or crowns, cosmetic bonding is relatively inexpensive.
- Cosmetic bonding improves your confidence – If you’re ashamed of your smile, cosmetic bonding may help.
The Cosmetic Bonding Procedure
If you suffer from dental phobia, talk to your dentist before your procedure and they’ll suggest ways to minimise your anxiety.
Preparing your teeth for cosmetic bonding is simple. The dentist begins by roughing up the surface of your tooth. This creates the perfect surface for the resin to bond to.
Next, your dentist applies a liquid to your teeth for the resin to adhere to. The colour-matched resin is the next thing to go on. This is evenly spread across your tooth before being hardened with a UV light.
If needed, the dentist will reshape the resin further once it has set.
Caring for Your Bonded Teeth
As with any dental treatment, the key to caring is cleaning. Here are a few ways to keep tooth decay at bay:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Using fluoride toothpaste
- Using mouthwash
- Flossing between your teeth
Also, to protect your bonded teeth, avoid biting anything hard – chewing your nails or ice could damage the hardened resin.
To prevent stains, steer clear of coffee, tobacco, and spicy food for the first couple of days after the procedure.
Cosmetic Bonding FAQs
Asking questions is often the first step in putting your dental fears to rest. Here are the most commonly asked questions about cosmetic bonding.
What is cosmetic bonding?
Cosmetic bonding is a simple process where composite resin is used to fix cracked, mishappen, or discoloured teeth. Once applied, the resin is hardened to form a solid restoration that improves the appearance of your teeth instantly.
What are the alternatives to cosmetic bonding?
The most commonly used alternatives are:
- Veneers – These are thin shells custom-made out of porcelain that bond to the front of your tooth. Veneers are useful for covering gaps and adjusting small misalignments without undergoing orthodontic treatment.
- Crowns – These either sit on top of a damaged tooth or are used to complete a dental implant. A crown will replace the entire visible part of your tooth.
Both options involve more dental work than cosmetic bonding as some of your tooth will need to be removed before either restoration can be completed.
Are there any risks associated with cosmetic bonding?
There are no significant risks associated with cosmetic bonding. One thing to remember is composite resin isn’t as hard as your natural teeth and can chip if you’re not careful. Avoid chewing pens, nails, ice, and anything that could damage your teeth.
Other dental restorations such as veneers are more stain-resistant than composite resin so your teeth may become discoloured if you drink a lot of coffee or smoke.
How long does cosmetic bonding last?
As long as you take good care of your bonded tooth, you can expect the resin to stay intact for five to ten years.
How much does cosmetic bonding cost?
Cosmetic bonding costs vary depending on the provider with the average treatment starting at around £250.
How does cosmetic bonding work alongside teeth whitening?
Cosmetic bonding can help whiten stained teeth. It can also be used alongside whitening treatments to improve the overall appearance of your smile.
If you’re looking to make improvements across your entire smile, you should have any teeth whitening treatments before cosmetic bonding. This will allow the dentist to colour-match the composite resin to the new shade of your teeth. After the composite resin is placed, it can’t be further whitened.
Can I get cosmetic bonding on the NHS?
No. Composite bonding is a cosmetic procedure that isn’t covered by the NHS. Many dental practices offer this service on a private basis.
What questions should I ask my dentist about cosmetic bonding?
Ultimately, you’ll want the treatment to give you long-lasting results. Talk to your dentist about the best ways to keep your bonded teeth healthy and clean and this will lengthen the lifespan of the restoration.
What can I do to minimise anxiety surrounding cosmetic bonding?
Fortunately, cosmetic bonding is one of the most straightforward procedures for addressing cracked, misshapen, and discoloured teeth. As a result, there is little to be concerned about. That said, having a dental phobia can be difficult, and even a non-invasive treatment can be daunting.
Find a Dental Phobia Certified dentist. We believe these dentists have the skills and know-how to best deal with your anxieties. Before your consultation, tell the practice you’re anxious and they’ll suggest some ways to help you out. This could include:
- Booking you in for the quietest time of the day
- Letting you take a friend, partner, or family member into the treatment room
- Letting you have a longer appointment to take things at your pace
- Listening to your fears and worries
- Offering sedation to relax you