One of the most beneficial and simplest things you can do to help maintain good oral health, in addition to daily brushing and flossing, is to schedule professional dental cleaningsat least twice per year. These cleanings are beneficial for a number of reasons and can leave your mouth feeling refreshed while also brightening your smile.
Yet, a brighter smile doesn’t necessarily mean your teeth will be whiter after each cleaning. They may, however, appear a slight shade lighter, depending on the level of staining or tartar build up that can be easily removed.
What to Expect During a Dental Cleaning
Dental cleanings involve a number of steps that are all beneficial. The focus is on hygiene, not whitening, so you can expect your dental hygienist to work in every reachable area of your teeth and gums to achieve the best cleaning possible.
In general, here is what occurs. The hygienist will
examine the interior of your mouth, looking for signs of cavities, loose fillings, tartar build-up, receding gums, and other conditions. Then, using a dental tool called a scaler, built-up plaque and tartar, which often appears yellowish in color and sits at the gum lines and between teeth, are removed.
Next comes the brushing and polishing with an electric
wand-type toothbrush with a professional-grade paste. Your hygienist will usually finish up with flossing and, in some cases, a fluoride treatment.
Once this cleaning is complete, your mouth will not only feel fresher, but your teeth will appear brighter. Yet, the goal of cleanings is not to see how much whiter the hygienist can get your teeth. It is more focused on helping you maintain your teeth and a healthy mouth overall.
These professional dental cleanings benefit your oral health and appearance in the following ways:
Removes the build-up of plaque and tartar, which can lead to cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss
Identifies any problem areas that need attention
Kills bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath, leaving a freshness to your breath
Minimizes or removes surface stains created by the food and beverages you consume, such as coffee or tea, or from tobacco usage.
Does Dental Cleaning Make My Teeth Whiter?
The answer to this question can be both yes and no. Built up tartar and plaque, along with some minor surface stains, can be removed during the cleaning process and may result in slightly lighter colored teeth.
The no part of the answer is that brighter and lighter doesn’t necessarily mean your teeth will appear whiter. To achieve that type of result, you may want to consider asking your dentist about the availability of other options to help with this goal.
How Can I Get Whiter Teeth?
Scheduling regular dental cleanings and exams can help you maintain good oral health in the long run. They can also brighten teeth by removing tartar and plaque and reducing or eliminating some minor staining. To really whiten your teeth, however, you’ll need to consider specialized teeth whitening treatments.
Today you have access to a variety of teeth whitening options over the counter, and these include whitening toothpastes, mouthwashes, whitening strips, and entire kits. While these can work, they do take longer and may not achieve the full results you are looking for to enhance your smile. Also, if directions are not followed exactly, you may experience pain or sensitivity during the process.
Your other option is to undergo professional teeth whitening which will be conducted or supervised by your dentist. There are several benefits for going this route, and these include the following:
Provides for personalized treatments
Offers higher safety for teeth and gums
Uses higher grade, professional strength whitening agents
Takes less time to achieve results
Creates a more even whitening across teeth that is long-lasting
Professional teeth whitening options include in-office whitening, take-home whitening kits, or a combination of these two. The in-office option usually involves your dentist applying a whitening agent, followed by heat and light. You may require one or more of these sessions, depending on your goals.
For the professional take-home whitening, your dentist will provide you with a customized tray or mouthguard that is thin and lightweight. Each one of these will contain just the right amount of bleaching agent for your needs. You can choose to wear the trays during the day or at night and then follow back up with your dentist periodically to evaluate results.
Schedule a Dental Cleaning and Learn More About Teeth Whitening Options Today by Contacting Lifetime Dental Health
Regularly scheduling dental cleanings and exams can help you maintain a healthy mouth and also brighten your smile. Get started today by calling the Columbus office of Lifetime Dental Health at 614-321-1887 to schedule your next appointment. Dr. Richard Barry and his team will also answer any questions you may have about professional teeth whitening and help you get started with your own customized take home mouthguards or trays.
Sharing your smile should come naturally. Yet, when you’re not happy with some aspect of your dental health or the appearance of your teeth, you may hesitate or avoid smiling altogether. In such situations, it’s beneficial to consider undergoing a smile makeover to address all the issues holding you back and, in turn, enhance your life in new and wonderful ways.
What Exactly is a Smile Makeover?
A smile makeover will involve one or more dental procedures or solutions to achieve the smile you desire. Instead of looking at just one dental issue, such as a misaligned tooth, the process involves looking at your mouth as a whole.
Your dentist begins by conducting a thorough examination of your oral health and then creates a personalized and comprehensive plan to help you improve your smile. This plan can consist of both cosmetic and restorative dental solutions.
You’ll be part of the process also, collaborating with your dental team about what your individual preferences are and how you want your smile to appear.
It all starts with choosing one or more of the following procedures to include in your smile makeover.
A smile makeover can enhance your life in several exciting ways, including the following seven.
1. Boosts Your Confidence
Your confidence can suffer from stained, misaligned, or missing teeth, and you may be too embarrassed to smile and let people see you. With a smile makeover, teeth can be whitened, aligned, shaped, restored, and even help correct noticeable gaps.
With a combination of these restorative and cosmetic procedures, you can attain a smile and appearance you like and want to share. Your self-confidence will soar, and you’ll feel confident smiling all the time. You also will hesitate less to speak out in a group or go to lunch with co-workers.
2. Allows you to Make a Good First Impression
First impressions are important, not only in your career but in your social interactions as well. Your teeth show when smiling and even talking, and this can be a problem if you have less than perfect looking teeth.
A smile makeover can address these issues and allow you to forget about hiding your dental imperfections. Others will notice, and that first impression can benefit you in your professional, social, and romantic relationships.
3. Bolsters Oral Health
Maintaining good oral health is essential, and with a smile makeover, you have a fresh start to initiate a dental care routine that works. Your teeth are now easier to take care of, and you’ll want to keep that smile for a long time after the procedures are complete.
To avoid new staining, plaque buildup, cavities, and other dental problems, you’ll be more motivated to brush and floss regularly. You’ll also become proactive in scheduling regular dental exams and deep cleanings.
4. Improves Speech
Missing, misaligned, malformed, or gapped teeth can cause speech impediments, such as lisping or an inability to pronounce certain words properly. These speech issues can be embarrassing not only in your profession but also in your social life.
With the help of restorative or cosmetic dentistry procedures, your dentist can close gaps, replace missing teeth, and improve alignment, restoring your overall speech capabilities.
5. Allows you To Enjoy Eating Again
Various dental issues can interfere with chewing and eating the foods you love. Chewing may even be painful, particularly if you have missing fillings or misaligned teeth. It can also become more of a chore if teeth are missing.
Essentially, being unable to properly chew your food can lead to digestive issues and even cause choking to occur.
With a smile makeover, teeth can be straightened, repaired, or realigned and begin functioning properly again as nature intended. It also allows you to enjoy eating again, especially those foods that you love and are good for you.
Indulge with nuts and crunchy fruits and vegetables again or for the first time. Feel confident attending cookouts where the lean meats that were once too difficult to bite into and chew are now easy to eat.
6. Improves Your Overall Physical Health
Your teeth and gums are part of your body and, in turn, affect your overall health. Difficulty in reaching areas where decay builds up can eventually lead to heart issues, lung problems, and more, making it imperative to take action as soon as possible.
A smile makeover, while initially focusing on improving your appearance, can have a behind-the-scenes effect on your body’s health as well.
Before a smile makeover even begins, your dentist will assess your oral health and determine what is needed to not only improve your smile but ensure your dental health is keeping you healthy in other ways as well.
7. Helps Alleviate Stress
Stress is rampant today and can lead to negative thoughts and patterns that make life challenging. Smiling, on the other hand, can boost your mood and reduce the amount of stress you feel on a daily basis.
A smile makeover ensures that you will feel more comfortable smiling, and by doing so, you can alleviate stress and become more positive in how you go about your day.
Smiling makes you feel happier, and this can positively enhance your life.
Start Improving Your Smile by Contacting Lifetime Dental Health Today
Your smile is such a big part of who you are, and when you feel uncomfortable sharing it, it’s important to know you have options.
Dr. Richard Barry and his team here at Lifetime Dental Health understand that dental issues can affect your smile and your confidence. To help, we work with you to design a personalized smile makeover plan and stay with you every step of the way.
When it comes to your smile, your dental health plays a crucial role. One or more problems or missing teeth can cause you to hide that smile as well as cause other issues in your day-to-day life. It may be time, then, to consider your options, and two of these are dental implants and dentures.
Knowing how these two options differ and how you can benefit from either one is essential to making the best decision for you personally. This is where your trusted dentist here at Lifetime Dental Health can help explain the differences and help you find the right solution. To get started, though, here is what you need to know.
What are the Main Differences Between Dental Implants and Dentures?
Knowing the differences between dental implants and dentures will help give you further insight into which will work better with your lifestyle and particular needs. Each has its advantages but also some disadvantages. Weigh each of these pros and cons with your dentist, and choose the one that benefits you the most.
Dental implants are permanent, long-lasting replacements for missing teeth and require regular maintenance similar to your natural teeth. They are also strong, providing you with confidence when eating the foods you love.
The procedure for dental implants is highly involved, however, and will take some time to complete. Your dentist will start by creating a synthetic anchor in your jawbone to act as the root of a natural tooth. From there, a crown-type tooth or bridge is attached, with the final result looking and feeling much like a natural tooth.
Dentures are removable teeth replacements, usually made from either porcelain or acrylic resin. They can be complete or partial replacements, depending on your particular needs. Made to resemble your natural teeth and gums, you will have to add an adhesive to hold them in place.
The procedure for dentures also takes time. First, your dentist takes impressions of your lower or upper gums, or both if needed. Next, your overall bite and alignment will be analyzed to help in correcting the denture length to allow you to eat normally and also not interfere with speech. The dental lab will then create a preliminary denture for you to try and for your dentist to observe for alignment or length adjustments. From there, your final dentures will be crafted and provided.
Once you receive the final dentures, your dentist will go over how to use an adhesive and how to care for them. Occasionally, you may need to be fitted for new dentures as your bite changes throughout your life. Common complaints about dentures include sores on the gums and the dentures slipping and not staying in place.
If you’re not sure if either of these options is for you, discuss with your dentist the newer possibility of hybrid versions known as implant-supported overdentures.
What Factors Do I Need to Know When Choosing Between Implants and Dentures?
Choosing between dental implants and dentures involves the consideration of several factors, such as bone structure and density, number of missing teeth, age, and lifestyle.
Bone Structure and Density
Your bone structure and density are factors that may eliminate one choice over the other for you, depending on your particular circumstances. To be a candidate for dental implants, your jawbone must be able to support the necessary posts. Unfortunately, bone loss often occurs due to age, injury, gum disease, or the very tooth loss you are attempting to correct.
In addition, the structure of your jaw may shift eventually. This happens when the nearby teeth try to compensate for the missing tooth and try to shift over to fill the open space. This leads to instability in your mouth structure and can lead to more tooth loss or decay.
Your dentist will evaluate you for all of this and determine if implants are even an option for you. In many instances, you can choose a bone grafting procedure to bolster the density of the jawbone. However, this will involve several visits, higher costs, and be a more invasive type of surgery.
Once chosen, dental implants or dentures can help maintain and preserve your bone structure going forward.
Number of Missing or Damaged Teeth
Much will depend on the number of missing teeth and the overall health of the surrounding ones. Cost can be a significant factor here as well. If you need more than one tooth, the expenses will naturally be higher. At a certain point, a partial or full denture may be a better option for you financially than a set of dental implants.
Dental implants require a more invasive, time-consuming process. Such a process takes considerable time to heal, and as you grow older, this may take even longer. Older adults often find that dentures are a more acceptable and beneficial choice. Younger adults, considering a lifetime of needing their teeth to eat, smile, and talk, often lean more towards dental implants.
When choosing between dental implants and dentures, it is essential that you consider your lifestyle. Practicing good oral hygiene is necessary to maintain your teeth, and either of these can add to that. Dental implants require similar brushing and flossing as your natural teeth. Dentures, on the other hand, require continuous special care and cleaning.
Ask yourself how ready you are to take on this extra task and keep your dentures in good shape. The use of adhesive is necessary, especially if you enjoy such activities as swimming or playing football with friends. Be honest when it comes to what you are willing to do as far as oral hygiene is concerned.
Why Should I Replace Missing Teeth?
Whether to replace your missing teeth or not is an individual decision. Every circumstance is different, and your decisions are your own. Consider the following reasons and benefits to replacing one or more missing teeth.
To protect and maintain bone structure and the jaw
Support for your facial muscles
Maintain or improve your speech
Increase your ability to eat normally and chew foods better
Boost confidence in your smile
Avoid the additional risk of bacteria and food sticking in areas of missing teeth, potentially leading to infections and gum disease
Replacing missing or damaged teeth is an important decision, so discuss your options with your dentist, so you’ll be ready to take this next step.
Schedule an Appointment with Lifetime Dental Health Today
If you’ve experienced tooth loss, you’re not alone. Many people experience this type of loss, either as young adults or as they grow older. You can trust the compassionate staff with Lifetime Dental Health here in Columbus, Ohio to help. We provide thorough information to help you make your choice and stay with you throughout the entire process and beyond. Call us today at 614-321-1887 to get started.
You’ve scheduled your dental hygiene exam, now what? How can you be sure you get the most out of it and benefit your overall health as well? There are different answers to this question, and knowing them ahead of time can help you prepare for a better experience.
Get the Most Out of Your Next Dentist Appointment
Instead of viewing your appointment as just another routine cleaning or exam, it has the potential to be so much more. Here are five proactive ways to get the most out of your next dentist appointment.
1. Assess Your Dental Health Before Arriving at Your Appointment
Before you arrive for your appointment, assess your dental health at the present moment. You don’t need to know all the symptoms or names for dental issues, just identify what you experience daily while eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. Things to look for include:
Are any specific teeth sensitive to hot or cold? While you may not be aware you have a cavity, a tooth may seem overly sensitive to that morning coffee or ice cream dessert after dinner.
Do your gums bleed while flossing? Perhaps you floss, and a certain area of your gums bleeds, indicating gum disease might be present.
Do you have sores in your mouth? If so, consider how long you’ve had them. Normally mouth sores disappear on their own, but those that don’t may be an issue, including an abscessed tooth or a possible indicator of oral cancer.
Is your bad breath not responding to toothpastes and mouthwashes? Chronic bad breath not treatable by brushing and using a mouthwash can be a condition of a more serious oral health issue.
Are any teeth noticeably darker than others? Glance in a mirror and see if there are any tooth discolorations. If so, is this making you self-conscious? Several things can cause tooth discoloration, from staining to health issues.
Is your jaw tired or sore upon waking in the mornings? If so, mention this to your dentist. You might grind your teeth while sleeping or clench your jaw unknowingly.
While your dentist will look for these also, you may forget to mention symptoms if not prepared. A way to smartly get around this is to write down a list of issues you are experiencing as well as any questions you may have.
2. Identify Any Changes to Your Medical History
The condition of your mouth is part of your overall health, and symptoms displayed here can be connected to medical issues elsewhere in your body.
Whether this is your initial appointment with a new dentist or you’ve been with them for years, every appointment is the best time to update any medical information in your file.
Changes in your health can happen between dental visits. You may be diagnosed with a certain condition, prescribed new medications, or choose a new vitamin and supplement routine to follow. All of these can affect your dental health as well, so letting your dentist know can help speed up a diagnosis.
For instance, issues affecting your teeth and gums can be an indicator of diabetes. Any diagnosis for respiratory or gastrointestinal disease can be the cause of your chronic bad breath. If you receive a diagnosis of Sjogren’s syndrome, a common symptom is dry mouth, which can lead to cavities as well.
Are you taking any different medications since your last visit? Bring the bottles with you to the appointment or write them down, including the dosage information. Since many prescriptions can have side effects, some of these can directly affect your oral health.
For example, blood-pressure regulating medication, a prescription to help with depression, or a prescribed allergy medication can lead to dry mouth. If you take blood thinners, your dentist will need to know this before any procedure which may cause you to bleed.
Also, inform your dentist of any vitamins and supplements you’ve added to your diet recently.
By knowing your most updated medical history, your dentist can better determine when a dental issue is isolated to your oral health and when it may be connected to another health issue.
3. Reveal Any Anxiety You Feel at the Appointment
If dental appointments make you anxious, you’re not alone. Even scheduling a dentist appointment can make many patients nervous long before stepping inside the office.
You don’t have to hide your anxiety. When you schedule your appointment, mention it to the staff and ask them to relay it to your dentist. Once you arrive for your appointment, openly discuss any anxiety with your dental hygienist and your dentist directly.
A few ways to reveal your apprehension are to:
Tell them you feel nervous, anxious, or scared. If you have a particular reason, such as a bad past experience with a dentist, let them know.
Express any fears, such as the fear of injections or shots.
If pain is a concern, start off by revealing any current pain or sensitivity you experience, so your dental team will know to take special care in those areas.
Explain you are protective of your personal space, and it’s difficult to let anyone get close to you.
Working together, you can come up with ways to alleviate the anxiety, fear, or apprehension. For example, choose a signal to use to alert your dentist you want to take a break during a procedure. This solution gives you more control during the appointment and can help you avoid feeling panicked at any time.
You may also want to discuss undergoing sedation during a procedure. While you won’t be asleep and completely unaware of what is going on, you will remain calmer throughout. Another option is to bring a trusted companion with you to the appointment.
Essentially, learning to trust your dental team is the key to overcoming many of these fears and apprehensions.
4. Develop a Suitable Treatment Plan
Following your exam, if further procedures are necessary, develop a treatment plan that works for you. Learn what your options are and how much time each one will take. Also, ask about costs and payment options available.
Seek out explanations for anything you don’t understand. Ask for details, or choose to accept an overview of a procedure if the details make you overly anxious.
Schedule appointments before you leave, so you’ll know what to expect going forward.
5. Ask What You Can Do to Continue with Good Oral Health
Even if you already practice good oral hygiene, your dental team may have other suggestions on how to maintain your teeth and gums. Ask for recommendations, such as the best mouthwash to use for your sensitive teeth, occasional bad breath, or congregating bacteria.
Your dental health may differ from others in your household, so knowing unique ways to keep and positively affect your own is essential. Knowing how to continue with good oral health can also lessen the number of appointments you’ll likely need in the future.
Contact Lifetime Dental Health for All Your Dental Needs
Making the most of a dental visit is a valuable way to spend your time and can also benefit your overall health. Let Lifetime Dental Health help you get the most out of your next visit by scheduling an appointment with us today. Our team of compassionate and experienced professionals is here to help with whatever dental needs you have now and in the future.
Dental cavities, which dentists may refer to as caries, or tooth decay represent holes in the teeth forming when acid in your mouth (oral cavity), erodes your tooth enamel. Untreated cavities or tooth decay can not only cause toothaches, but they can result in infections and tooth extractions. Individuals of all ages can have tooth decay.
Having the proper dental care, including flossing, brushing, and regular checkups with a dentist in Columbus, OH, can help prevent tooth decay.
Causes of Tooth Decay
Our mouths are chock-full of bacteria. While some good bacteria are certainly helpful, others can be harmful, including those that play a tooth decay role. The food combines with these bacteria to form a sticky, soft film named plaque. The bacteria present in plaque use the starch and sugar in the foods and drinks we consume to produce acids.
The acids begin to erode the minerals in the enamel. Over time, the plaque can turn into tartar. In addition to damaging the teeth, plaque and tartar can also irritate your gums and cause gum disease. If you don’t take care of your teeth and/or eat and drink too much sugar or starch, your enamel will continue to lose minerals. This leads to tooth decay.
Symptoms of Cavities
At the onset of tooth decay, there are usually no symptoms. As tooth decay worsens, it can cause:
Brown or white spots on the tooth’s surface
Sensitivity of the teeth to sweets, heat, or cold
Diagnosis Cavities/Tooth Decay
Having dental checkups at least twice a year is the best way to detect cavities early when the dentist can save a large part of the tooth. A tooth with decay or a cavity will be softer when the dentist examines it. You can also do dental x-rays. X-rays show cavities before the decay becomes visible.
Our dentists can usually identify tooth decay in the following ways:
Asking about sensitivity or toothache
Examining your teeth and mouth
Using dental instruments to probe your teeth to check soft areas
Having a look at dental X-rays, which can show the extent of decay and cavities
Our dentist will also be able to tell you which of the three forms of cavities you have: pit and fissure, smooth surface, or root.
Treatments for Cavities/Tooth Decay
Regular checkups can help identify cavities and tooth decay before they lead to more serious problems. The earlier you seek help, your chances to reverse the early stages of tooth decay and prevent its progression are greater. If tooth decay is treated before it starts causing pain, you probably won’t need extensive treatment. Options for treatment include:
Fluoride treatment: If tooth decay has just started, fluoride treatment can help restore tooth enamel and reverse tooth decay in the early stages. Fluoride treatments contain more fluoride than the amount found in toothpaste, tap water, and mouthwashes. Fluoride treatments can be liquid, gel, or foam that are brushed onto your teeth or placed on a small tray that fits your teeth.
Dental Crowns: For weakened teeth extensive decay, a crown may be needed. This is a custom-made cover that replaces the entire natural crown of your tooth. Your dentist drills the entire damaged area and enough of the rest of the tooth to ensure a good fit. Crowns can be made of gold, high-strength porcelain, resin, metal-fused porcelain, or other materials.
Dental Fillings: Fillings, also referred to as restorations, are the primary treatment option when tooth decay has progressed beyond the initial stage. Various materials are used for fillings, such as porcelain, tooth-colored composite resins, or dental amalgam.
Root canals: When the cavity or decay finds its way to the pulp (which is inside the tooth), it may be necessary to have a root canal. Instead of removing a tooth, this treatment repairs and saves a tooth that is infected or damaged badly. The pulp of the diseased tooth is removed. Sometimes, a drug is inserted into the root canal to clear any infection. The pulp is then replaced by a filling.
Tooth extractions: Some teeth are so badly damaged that they cannot be restored and must be removed. Extracting one tooth can leave a gap allowing the other teeth to move. If possible, consider getting a bridge or dental implant to replace the missing tooth.
Good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups are essential to prevent tooth cavities or decay. New dental treatments, including fluoride rinses, and dental sealants, have reduced the risk of tooth decay in children and adolescents. Adults with dental fillings from childhood can develop cavities around the edges of old fillings. It is advisable to ask one of our dentists, Dr. Love, Dr. Barry, or Dr. DiDonato what steps you can take to protect your oral health and prevent tooth decay.
Book Your Dental Exam and Cleaning at Lifetime Dental Health
Are you due for a dental exam and cleaning? Along with brushing and flossing daily, visiting us twice a year for a dental exam and cleaning is one of your best defenses to prevent cavities. Don’t ignore your oral health. Call us at 614-321-1887 or book your appointment online.
Every human being can smile, and, like everything else, everyone’s smile is unique to them. It’s important for you to be satisfied with your smile. And if your smile isn’t as appealing as you’d like it to be, Lifetime Dental Health is here to help. Chipped, cracked, or discolored teeth aren’t attractive. They can cause you to stop smiling or make your smile smaller. But you don’t have to hide behind a less-than-pleasing smile when a simple procedure known as dental bonding can give you back the warm, welcoming smile you love.
What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding is a procedure in which we apply a durable plastic material called resin to a damaged tooth to improve the tooth’s appearance and resilience. We apply the resin (color-matched to your natural teeth) directly to the surface of a problem tooth and harden it. Once the resin is “cured” via blue light, the material is “bonded” to the tooth, and we can then file it smooth and shape it to blend with the natural teeth around it.
Of course, dental bonding isn’t a cure-all for every type of tooth damage, but for the right situation, it can be a quick and relatively inexpensive way to improve your smile. Depending on the level of damage, bonding can fill in gaps between teeth, hide roots revealed by receding gums, or build up a broken tooth. It is also often used to fill small cavities – especially ones in highly visible front teeth – because it’s less noticeable than silver or composite filling.
Why should I choose bonding to help my smile?
At Lifetime Dental Health, bonding is not the only cosmetic dentistry that could give you a winning smile, and there are advantages and disadvantages to any procedure. Although we encourage you to book a consultation with us to help determine the best solution for your situation, here’s a brief summary of four reasons why you might want to choose bonding.
It’s fast. Among the several different ways to solve chipped, cracked, or stained teeth, dental bonding is often the quickest route to take. Alternatives such as veneers and crowns require restructuring the target tooth in some way. This means that getting a veneer or a crown involves at least two — and sometimes three — visits to the dentist. Bonding can be a single visit procedure — from 30 to 60 minutes start to smiling finish.
It costs less. If you compare bonding to the most common alternatives, bonding will likely come out to be less expensive. In addition to the cost of multiple office visits, veneers and crowns require the expertise and equipment of a specialized laboratory along with the skills of our professional dentists. You’ll need to check your own dental policy, but most dental insurance plans cover dental bonding, especially for structural reasons or to fill a cavity.
It’s versatile. Other types of cosmetic dental procedures can accomplish much of what bonding can, except for filling in the small cavities that may occur in your smile. Although veneers and crowns can sometimes address cavities, both are more complex solutions than a simple filling. Like veneers, bonding can cover chipped, cracked, or discolored teeth, and unlike a veneer, it can serve as a filling alternative for small cavities, too.
It’s comfortable. Both veneers and crowns require removing some of the natural enamel on the target tooth. They both also usually involve anesthesia. Bonding only requires anesthesia if it’s being used to fill a cavity, so it is preferred by people who cannot be anesthetized or who would simply prefer not to be.
What are the disadvantages of bonding?
While bonding comes highly recommended, there are disadvantages to the procedure you’ll want to be aware of before making a decision.
Bonding will stain. One of the differences between veneers/crowns and bonding is that, just like your natural teeth, the resin used in bonding will stain. Bonding resin is porous, so smoking and coffee or tea can be especially hard on its surface. If your teeth are stained from something you’re doing, your bonding will eventually be stained, too.
Bonding can chip. Like the enamel of your natural teeth, the resin used in bonding is not as strong as the porcelain of a dental crown or veneer. It is nearly as easy to chip as your teeth are, so if some of your habits — chewing on ice or your fingernails — were the cause of the chips you’re bonding over, you may want to stop.
Do bonded teeth need special care?
You can maintain the good looks and health of your bonded teeth with your normal oral hygiene routine, but to make bonding last as long as possible (up to 10 years, depending on your habits), follow these helpful tips:
Decrease your intake of coffee, tea, red wine, and other dark-colored food and drinks, and rinse your teeth well after you finish them.
Stop chewing on hard candies, ice, large nuts, your pen or pencil, or your nails. This can chip bonding as easily as it chips natural teeth, and if bonding is damaged, it must be removed and reapplied.
Call us if you notice sharp edges on your bonded teeth or if your bite seems off after your teeth are bonded. If we catch a problem early, it can likely be repaired, or the bonding can be reapplied.
Dental bonding takes some artistic skill to do its best for your smile. And, as we’ve noted, it’s not for every situation. We’d be happy to talk with you about whether bonding is right for your situation. Why not call us today?