Fixing Gaps Between Teeth with Dental Bonding
Did you know approximately 1/4 of Americans have a gap between the two front teeth, formally called diastema. Some individuals with diastema are frustrated with the appearance of their smile. Fortunately, there are cosmetic dental options available to change the appearance of their smile. One of these options, cosmetic dental bonding, is more commonly used to treat small chips or cracks in teeth. Here is more information on how cosmetic dental bonding can be used to treat diastema, or to minimize and repair unwanted gaps between teeth.
What is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is a dental procedure where a tooth-colored composite is applied directly to the teeth. Once the composite is applied, the dentist can sculpt the putty to the desired shape and size. To fill or minimize gaps, the tooth on each side of the gap can be shaped slightly larger in size. Dental bonding is a non-invasive, relatively quick, and pain-free procedure. The procedure can be completed in just one dental visit.
Composite Bonding Procedure Steps
The dental bonding procedure is minimally invasive and can be completed in just a few simple steps, including:
- Preparation step: The dentist will select a composite putty that matches the shade of the natural teeth and prepare the tooth to be repaired for the treatment. Preparing the tooth involves re-surfacing it to help ensure the bonding adheres. This re-surfacing may require etching to make the surface rougher.
- Applying bonding: Once the tooth is prepared, the bonding composite can be sculpted onto the teeth. This is the customizable step in the procedure.
- Curing the bonding: Once the dentist is satisfied with the bonding, they will use a UV light or laser to harden the composite.
Finishing touches: After the bonding has hardened, the surface will be polished and smoothed to match the nearby teeth.
Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Bonding?
If you are trying to decide if dental bonding is the best solution for the gaps between your teeth, there are a few factors to consider. Depending on the size of the space between your teeth, bonding may not be the best treatment available. If you have several teeth with gaps or misalignment issues, you may want to consider consulting with an orthodontist to discuss alternative treatment options. To determine if you are a good candidate for dental bonding, you should have a conversation with your dentist. If your dentist suggests you are a good candidate for dental bonding treatment, you may want to consider these other factors:
- Dental bonding is susceptible to staining from coffee, tea, or cigarettes.
- Bonding composite is not as durable as alternative options, such as veneers.
- Personal habits, such as biting fingernails or grinding teeth, can cause damage to dental bonding repairs.
Dental bonding is an easy, affordable, and non-invasive solution that can be used to help fix unwanted gaps between teeth. If you have diastema and are interested in changing the appearance of your smile, you should talk with your dentist to decide if dental bonding is right for you.