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Bonded teeth are teeth that have undergone a dental bonding procedure where a plastic material is applied to the teeth. This plastic material hardens and bonds to teeth in order to improve their appearance. Dentists may recommend a patient undergoes this procedure if he has teeth that are chipped, cracked, or decayed. The patient may also have the procedure if his teeth are discolored and misshapen. Patients with spaces between the teeth or who have exposed tooth roots, may also be candidates for tooth bonding.
There are several advantages to having bonded teeth. Tooth bonding is less expensive than other dental procedures and is simple to perform. In fact, the procedure can often take place during one office visit.
The use of anesthesia is not required unless a cavity needs to be filled. In contrast, patients who need crowns and veneers must undergo expensive procedures that involve tooth coverings manufactured in a laboratory. Crown and veneer procedures require anesthesia and more complex dental work as well.
A disadvantage of bonded teeth is the fact that bonded teeth are not as stain-resistant as crowns. Bonding materials are also not as durable as fillings, crowns, or veneers. The plastic material covering the natural tooth can even chip and break. Since bonding has such limitations, dentists use bonding as the solution to minor cosmetic problems. They may also use bonding as a way to make temporary corrections with the teeth or provide covering for areas where the teeth receive low bite pressure.
During a bonded teeth procedure the dentist uses a color guide to choose a resin or plastic color that matches the patient's own tooth color. Next, the tooth's surface is roughened and the dentist applies a conditioning liquid. This liquid will help the resin material to bond to the tooth. The resin is applied to the tooth and molded into the desired tooth shape.
Ultraviolet light is utilized to harden the resin material. Once the material hardens, the dentist trims, shapes, and polishes it so that it matches the rest of the teeth inside the patient's mouth. Tooth bonding usually requires no more than 30 to 60 minutes per tooth.
Bonded teeth can be maintained just like natural teeth. Follow traditional dental hygiene by brushing at least twice a day, flossing at least once daily, and visiting the dentist on a regular basis for teeth cleaning and check-ups. Since bonded teeth can chip easily, avoid chewing ice or other hard materials.
Bonded teeth can last between three to ten years, depending on the amount of bonding performed and how carefully the teeth are maintained. The bonding procedure is relatively inexpensive compared to other dental procedures. Typical costs range from $100 US dollars (USD) to $400 USD. Some dental insurance plans may cover all or part of the expenses.