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Chipped, stained, or otherwise damaged teeth can make a person feel self-conscious about his or her appearance. Such aesthetic flaws can affect a person’s willingness to smile and can even interfere with social encounters including work and relationships. To repair this damage, Dr. Weston Spencer performs dental bonding at our La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe cosmetic dentistry offices. Dental bonding can alter the appearance of teeth while improving a person’s confidence and outlook on life.
The Purpose of Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure utilizing tooth-colored plastic composite resin to repair a damaged tooth. Bonding is often used on chipped, broken, decayed, or discolored teeth to restore their appearance. Dental bonding can close spacing between teeth, repair a missing chip of tooth, or make short teeth appear longer. Sometimes bonding is used to repair discoloration to a damaged tooth or even to protect a tooth’s exposed roots caused by receding gums.
Unlike porcelain veneers that are custom-made in a laboratory and require the veneers to be crafted and sent to our offices, Dr. Weston Spencer actually performs dental bonding on site, in our La Jolla or Rancho Santa Fe office, with results achieved in very little time.
The Process of Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is a simple process that can easily be achieved in a single visit in most cases. The process typically requires 30 minutes to an hour per tooth, but more teeth will require additional time and potentially additional visits. Most patients do not require anesthesia for this procedure.
Dr. Weston Spencer will prepare the surface of the tooth for bonding, shaping the tooth if necessary, and then etching the enamel with a special acid that will roughen the surface of the tooth and allow the bonding to adhere. The tooth is cleaned then coated with a conditioning liquid that will aid in the process.
Dr. Spencer will select a shade of dental resin to match the surrounding teeth, applying the resin in layers. If needed, multiple shades can be used to more closely match the natural coloring of the tooth. An ultraviolet light will be used to cure each layer of bonding to the surface of the tooth. The tooth can be trimmed and shaped as needed through the process to achieve the desired results. Once completed, the final resin surface is polished to mimic the sheen of the natural teeth.
If desired, dental bonding can be combined with other cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening as part of a comprehensive smile makeover plan.
Caring for Your Bonded Teeth
The composite resin used in dental bonding is not as resilient as natural teeth and therefore will require additional care. Special care should be used to avoid foods that are notorious for staining. Habits such as chewing ice, fingernails, or pen caps should be avoided or the resin may chip and require repairing. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly will help resist plaque buildup and staining that can damage the delicate resin surface. If properly maintained with good oral habits, dental bonding will last several years before repair is needed.
Learn More about Dental Bonding
If you are interested in achieving a radiant, healthy-looking smile through a quick, simple procedure, then dental bonding at our La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe cosmetic dentistry offices, serving all of San Diego County, may be ideal for you. This process offers patients restored confidence and a beautiful smile to enjoy for years to come. Please contact the practice of Weston Spencer & James Lovell DDS today to schedule your initial consultation.