Teeth bonding is one of the cheaper ways to cover a chipped or discolored tooth — which is important if the damaged tooth is a baby tooth that’ll fall out anyway. The bonding materials actually adhere to the enamel on your child’s tooth, hence the name “bonding.” This procedure, covering the tooth with a composite resin, is also easy and can be done in one visit Dr. Mila Cohen of True Dental Care for Kids & Teens. Other uses for teeth bonding include:
- Closing spaces between teeth
- Changing the shape of a tooth
- Covering an exposed tooth root due to recession of the gums
- Repairing a decayed tooth
- Covering a fractured tooth
- Lengthening a too-short tooth
Benefits of Teeth Bonding
Teeth bonding is often thought of as an aesthetic treatment, but in fact, it’s often used to seal a primary (or baby) tooth that has been damaged by injury or cavity. So teeth bonding is more than an aesthetic treatment. That’s why best rated child dentists in Jersey City rely on bonding, especially when baby teeth are involved.
While bonding teeth is a lot less expensive than putting in a crown or veneer, teeth bonding isn’t as durable as those more permanent dental repairs. However, most insurance policies cover some if not all of the cost for bonding a tooth. Talk to your children dentist in NJ about your options and what might work best for your child.[pgcallout]
What to Expect from Teeth Bonding
Teeth bonding can be done on your child’s front or back teeth. Mila Cohen can show you a shade guide, so the composite resin matches as closely as possible the color of your child’s surrounding teeth. It’s considered a completely painless experience.
You and your child don’t have to do anything to prepare for your appointment to have a tooth (or multiple teeth) bonded. No anesthesia is necessary unless your kid’s getting a decayed tooth filled. If your child is scared or very young — or won’t sit still — anesthesia may be an option. The actual teeth bonding process has a few steps that include:
- Your kids dentist does a teeth cleaning, to make sure the tooth’s surface is clean of debris that would impede the bonding process.
- The tooth gets roughened with an etching gel, so there are grooves and a little texture for the teeth bonding materials to grab on to. Your child shouldn’t feel any pain during this process. The gel is rinsed off before the next steps.
- A conditioning liquid is applied to further encourage the teeth bonding.
- The composite resin, a type of plastic, is applied. It looks a little like putty. Your dentist molds it to the tooth, shaping the resin as needed.
- The dentist uses an ultraviolet light to get the resin to harden. There may need to be several layers like this, to get the tooth to match the surrounding teeth in form and color.
- Once the resin’s hard, your dentist smoothes, trims, shapes and polishes the bonding material so it looks like the rest of your child’s teeth. A dental drill is used for this, which may be loud, but won’t hurt your child.
- Finally, your child’s bite is checked to make sure the teeth bonding doesn’t disrupt the alignment of the teeth.
Each tooth takes between 30 to 60 minutes from start to finish, including prep time. The resulting bonded teeth looks and feels like your kid’s other teeth. To protect the bonded teeth, your dentist may recommend a mouth guard for children who play sports or who have a tendency to grind their teeth when they sleep.
Down the Road
Bonded teeth do not last a lifetime, especially in children who may not be taking perfect care of their teeth. Once your kids reach adulthood, they’ll more than likely need to get their teeth re-bonded or crowned due to staining and possible damage from long-term use. Bonding isn’t as strong as crowns or veneers; they’re prone to chipping if they’re not cared for properly. Most teeth bondings last up to 10 years with good care. Effective dental care includes:
- Don’t use teeth as a tool. Don’t allow your child to do things like open packages or bite off threads with their newly bonded teeth.
- Eliminate bad chewing habits. Your dentist recommends that your child not chew on pen caps, pencils or their fingernails.
- Avoid eating hard food. Don’t allow your children to chomp on hard items like ice or raw carrots.
- Beware of staining items. Avoid giving your children food and beverages that can stain their bonded teeth. Some items — such as coffee, tea and dark sodas, as well as blueberries — can stain the bonding material, not just their natural teeth. This is particularly necessary during the first few days after getting their teeth bonded.
- Brush and floss regularly. Make sure your kids practice good oral hygiene. Continue to get your child’s teeth professionally cleaned every six months by your dentist.
- Watch for problems. If your child complains that any edge of the bonding feels sharp or that something doesn’t feel right when they bite down, make an appointment immediately to take them back to the dentist so repairs can be made.
Keep in mind that whitening doesn’t work on the composite resin that makes up the bonding material. So while bonded teeth can take on stains, they can’t be lightened by whitening agents. If you try to whiten your child’s teeth after a bonding has been done, their bonded teeth and their natural teeth will no longer match up in color.
If your child’s other teeth need whitening, your kids dentist in NJ recommends that you have the whitening done before the problem tooth is bonded. That way, the dentist can match the bonding material to the newly whitened natural teeth. Once a good color match is made, the teeth will look great — which makes it an aesthetic treatment — and work perfectly — which makes it a functional treatment.