Many patients desire a brighter, whiter smile. For most people, they can take a trip to their local convenience store to get at-home whitening treatments. Over the course of several weeks, they can lighten the shade of their smile within the comfort of their home. Other patients may go to their dentist for a professional whitening treatment. With that route, the dentist can brighten their smile by five to eight shades in one sitting.
However, there are some people who need a different type of whitening treatment. Many whitening treatments use chemicals to break down stains. Yet, chemical treatments cannot lift some causes of discoloration. For these cases, you may need dental bonding.
Dental bonding is a type of composite resin. Unlike other cosmetic treatments, dental bonding is a reversible process. Dentists use dental bonding for a variety of dental issues, including chipped teeth, cavities, and discoloration. Due to its flexible nature, it is the go-to choice for many dentists.
Why Dental Bonding?
There are several reasons why you may need dental bonding rather than a professional whitening treatment.
Dental trauma can cause discoloration within your tooth. For example, sports increase your chances of dental trauma, especially without using a mouthguard. Stray balls and wild elbows are potential hazards that can damage your smile. In addition, getting hit in the face with a ball can cause bleeding within your tooth. When this happens, whitening treatments cannot lift the color.
Your dentist will use dental bonding to camouflage the darkened area. Then, it looks like there was never any damage.
Certain medications can change the color of your teeth. For example, taking certain antibiotics before the age of eight can damage your enamel. Specifically, it can damage the formation of the enamel, causing discoloration.
Additionally, some over-the-counter medications can dim your smile. For example, some antihistamines can discolor your teeth, turning them gray or yellow.
Finally, some medications used to treat hypertension can alter the color of your teeth. However, your dentist can use dental bonding to restore your smile.
If you have a chipped tooth, your dentist can quickly fix it using dental bonding. Since it is flexible and tooth-colored, it will look like the damage never happened. Your dentist will use your other teeth as a model to reshape your tooth.
Another way that your dentist may use dental bonding is to alter the shape of your teeth. For example, you may have teeth that seem smaller than average. This can make your smile look disproportionate or even “gummy.” Your dentist can use dental bonding to add to your existing teeth. However, dental bonding is not strong like other cosmetic installations. Therefore, your dentist won’t use it on all of your teeth. They are more likely to use it on your front teeth instead.
Dental bonding is a multi-functional process that can give you the smile you desire.