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The appearance of your smile matters, just like the health of your teeth. Dental problems such as gaps, discoloration, and chips or cracks in your teeth often affect one’s appearance. If you have imperfections, you may be happy to know that Santa Monica dental bonding can transform your smile. Dental bonding or teeth bonding is a cosmetic dentistry treatment that uses tooth-colored resin material to conceal imperfections and improve your smile. Read on to learn more about this treatment.

The difference between dental bonding and veneers

Veneers are thin shells, custom-made to match the size, shape, and teeth color; they adhere to the front surface of your teeth. To place them, the dentist must remove some enamel from your natural teeth, so they don’t appear bulky. Once in place, the process is irreversible; you can have them for up to 20 years. Veneers made out of composite resin are called composite veneers. On the other hand, dental bonding doesn’t require significant enamel removal, and the process is completely reversible. You will likely need touch-ups every three to ten years, depending on how you care for them.

What happens before dental bonding?

Before dental bonding, you will book a consultation session with your dentist to discuss your cosmetic goals. The dentist will take x-rays and examine your teeth and gums to ensure you are a good candidate. If you have gum disease, severe tooth decay, or other oral health problems, your dentist must treat those issues first. 

What to expect during dental bonding

First, your dentist uses a shade guide to choose a composite resin material close to the color of your natural teeth. The dentist then prepares your tooth by etching the surface and applying a conditioning liquid; these steps ensure the bonding material sticks to the tooth. Next, your provider applies the resin material, molds, and smoothens into the desired shape. Using a special light, the dentist hardens the material, which then bonds to the surface of your tooth. Finally, the dentist will remove any excess composite and polish your tooth to a natural-looking shine.

How painful is dental bonding?

Dental bonding is pain-free since the dentist only works on the teeth’ surface and not anywhere close to the nerves inside your teeth. Most of the time, patients don’t require anesthesia for the procedure. Some people experience sensitivity after dental bonding, but this is usually short-lived; you may use over-the-counter pain relievers to ease the discomfort.

Advantages of dental bonding

Dental bonding is minimally invasive compared to other cosmetic treatments, including porcelain veneers and dental crowns. It is also one of the least expensive cosmetic dental procedures available, so you don’t have to worry about denting your pocket. Dental bonding conceals multiple cosmetic imperfections such as cracks, chips, discoloration, and gaps. Additionally, the process is fast and convenient; you only need to visit your dentist once. Other cosmetic procedures like veneers and crowns usually need multiple appointments.

Dental imperfections can detract from your smile and leave you less confident, but dental bonding can bring balance and uniformity to your smile. Consult your dentist at Bay Dental to find out if the procedure is right for you.