When you think of an eye-catching and attractive smile, you probably think about white, straight, and bright teeth. While that might be a perfect definition of a beautiful smile, it doesn't mean you cannot achieve the same as well. Imperfect and stained teeth are not only a risk to your dental health, but they can also affect your smile, appearance, and confidence to speak in a social place or business environment.

Luckily, there are several cosmetic dentistry options to improve the aesthetic appearance of your teeth and smiles. One of the most common cosmetic dentistry options to solve these detrimental dental issues with just a single visit to a dentist is dental bonding.

At Washington Dental, we understand the value of a healthy and eye-catching dental system. We treat every prospective Lomita client like family and will be happy to help you achieve the best smile possible through cosmetic dental bonding.

An Overview of Cosmetic Dental Bonding

Since we all love the pleasure of having healthy and eye-catching teeth, it is upon us to do whatever it takes to constantly improve their aesthetic appearance and to protect them from plagues. Dental bonding is one sure way you can improve or enhance the aesthetic appearance of your dental system by repairing and fixing damaged parts of your teeth for an enhanced smile.

Typically, cosmetic dental bonding involves applying tooth-colored composite resin material on the surface of a tooth to enhance its appearance. The composite resin material (mostly plastic) is pliable, allowing your dentist to mold it into the desired shape and size of your tooth to match the appearance and alignment of the surrounding teeth.

Once your cosmetic dentist is happy with the appearance of the composite resin material on your tooth or teeth, he/she will use a special high-intensity light to initiate the bonding process that hardens it. It is known as cosmetic dental bonding because the composite resin material bonds to your tooth to increase its strength and aesthetic appearance.

Knowing If You are a Good Candidate for Cosmetic Dental Bonding

Cosmetic dental bonding is a procedure that could solve various dental issues that make you want to consult a dentist for a smile makeover. It is advisable to seek the services of a specialized or general dentist if you wish to know whether cosmetic dental bonding can solve your teeth' appearance concerns or not.

Typically, cosmetic contouring could be the smile makeover of your dreams if you have any of the following dental concerns:

Chipped Teeth

Although it comes as a surprise when it occurs, chipping a tooth is not an uncommon dental issue. Your teeth enamel is remarkably hard and strong, but biting some hard objects or food can make your tooth chip off. Although you don't have to visit your dentist immediately when your tooth chips off, you may want to do so later to bring back the aesthetic appearance of your tooth and smile.

Through cosmetic dental bonding, your dentist may be able to fix your tooth to its ideal shape and size to makeover your smile. Your dentist may combine dental bonding with a cosmetic procedure known as contouring to smoothen the edges and surfaces of the chipped tooth for an enhanced and brighter smile.

Fractured or Cracked Tooth

A fractured or cracked tooth can also affect the beauty of your smile and physical appearance. However, it is possible to solve this dental issue through cosmetic bonding if the crack or fracture does not affect your tooth's pulp section to enhance your smile.

When your tooth chips off, you may not experience any pain or symptoms, but a tooth fracture or crack can come with the following possible symptoms:

  • Random pain

  • Sensitivity to temperature changes

  • Swelling of the gum surrounding the tooth with a fracture

  • Pain when biting or chewing food

A reliable dentist will advise you to fix the fractured teeth through cosmetic bonding to restore and improve their appearance. To protect the inner part of the tooth from infections, your dentist may recommend the placement of a dental crown or cap over it to achieve your desired smile.

Extremely Short Tooth

People can also seek cosmetic dentistry services to lengthen an extremely short-sized tooth to match the length of other adjacent surrounding teeth. Apart from its effects on your teeth’ alignment and ability to chew, an extremely short-sized tooth can also impact the appearance of your smile and social life.

However, through cosmetic bonding, an experienced dentist can lengthen the size of your short-sized tooth, using a composite resin that resembles the color and texture of your teeth for a brighter and "good-looking" smile.

Decayed Tooth

Tooth decay is a widespread dental issue that will affect your teeth' appearance and make you prone to other severe dental health issues, which can even make you lose your teeth. Tooth decay, also commonly known as tooth caries or cavities, is a constant process of the demineralization of the tooth enamel by mouth bacteria that excretes acidic content.

The acidic excretion from the bacteria causes the outer surface of your tooth (enamel) to erode and turn brownish over time, which affects the aesthetic appearance of teeth and smiles. The following signs and symptoms are possible if you have tooth decay or cavity:

  • Tooth sensitivity

  • Brownish or blackish staining on the surface of the affected tooth

  • Spontaneous or random pain

  • Visible holes in your mouth

  • Mild pain when drinking or eating hot, cold, or sweet drinks

Since tooth decay is not an overnight dental issue, you might be able to prevent it if you avoid poor oral habits like smoking and visit your dentist regularly for check-ups. However, if you have a continuing tooth decay issue, a cosmetic dentist can help you.

Cosmetic dental bonding can restore your teeth' shape and size to make them look like other adjacent healthy teeth for a "catchy" smile that you deserve. Depending on the severity of the decay, your cosmetic dentist may also recommend the placement of permanent and custom crowns or caps to protect or cover the tooth pulp section.

Stained or Discoloured Teeth

Discolored or stained teeth can make you feel self-conscious and ashamed of your smile. Like tooth decay, the cause of teeth stain and discoloration is our lifestyle and habits, for example:

  • Poor oral hygiene

  • Food and drinks like tea or coffee

  • Smoking

When you interact with someone, the first feature of your body that he/she will notice is your teeth. It is possible to enhance the appearance of a stained or discolored tooth or teeth through cosmetic dental bonding if you have a skilled dentist by your side.

To give you a "catchy" and charming smile that you deserve during the cosmetic bonding process, your dentist may use teeth whitening solutions to remove these stains. Although there are home remedy options for dealing with stained or discolored teeth, it would be best to consult a cosmetic dentist for excellent and reliable smile makeover services like cosmetic dental bonding.

Gapped Teeth

Although people are born with gapped teeth most of the time, it doesn't have to be permanent for the rest of your life. Some people consider gapped teeth, especially between the front teeth (incisors), as part of their charm and fashion statement.

However, if you are uncomfortable with the size of your teeth gap or make you feel self-conscious about your smile, you should visit a dentist for a cosmetic remedy option. One of the most economical and quickest remedies for a detrimental gap between your teeth is cosmetic dental bonding.

Your cosmetic dentist will use a tooth-colored plastic resin material to repair the gap between your teeth during the bonding process. Then, he/she will shape and polish this resin material using a special dentistry tool to match seamlessly with the alignment of the adjacent and surrounding teeth for an enhanced smile appearance.

While dental bonding is a helpful and permanent remedy for fixing a gap between your teeth, you should make a regular appointment with your dentist to polish the bonding to avoid any possible staining or discoloration. A bonded gap between your teeth feels and looks like your natural teeth, giving you the confidence to smile and talk without being self-conscious about your teeth spaces.

Cosmetic bonding is also a perfect remedy for irregular or imperfect teeth shapes and surfaces. Ensure you schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist if you have any of the above dental issues to know whether dental bonding will work out in your favor to improve your teeth and smile appearance or not.

Forms of Cosmetic Dental Bonding

Your dentist can use either of the following forms of cosmetic dental bonding to fix the detrimental dental issue affecting the beauty of your smile:

Direct Composite Bonding

During this form of cosmetic dental bonding, your dentist will use a tooth-colored restorative material to fix your dental imperfections and mismatches to improve the appearance of your smile.

Adhesive Dental Bonding

Adhesive dental bonding is also a reliable option for improving your teeth' quality and appearance for a bright smile. As the name sounds, during adhesive dental bonding, the dentist uses an etchant, an adhesive material, and a bonding agent to repair and fix your dental issues for an improved smile.

Whether your dental issues require a direct composite resin or an adhesive dental bonding to makeover your smile is an issue you need to discuss with a cosmetic dentist. Your dentist will know the suitable form of cosmetic dental bonding that will work in your favor to give you the smile of your dreams.

What to Expect When You Visit a Dentist for Cosmetic Dental Bonding

Cosmetic dental bonding is a comfortable and non-invasive dentistry procedure, which will take much of your precious time. Before the dentist starts the cosmetic bonding process, you should expect minimal preparations or planning.

To determine if cosmetic dental bonding is the right option for your specific dental issue or concern, your dentist will evaluate and examine your teeth and gums condition keenly. As part of the diagnosis and examination, your cosmetic dentist may need to review X-ray pictures of your teeth to identify precise areas to focus on during the bonding process to achieve your desired smile goals.

Typically, the dentist will not use any sedation means or anesthesia to make you ready for the cosmetic dental bonding process because it is painless unless under the following circumstances:

  • The dentist needs to drill your tooth to change its shape and size

  • Your dental issue is a cavity or decay

  • Your dental issue is a fracture or cracks extending to the nervous part of the tooth.

Your cosmetic dentist might need to use a shade guide to determine or select the suitable composite resin material color to match the color of your teeth. Apart from your teeth' alignment and color, your dentist will also consider a few other aesthetic components when planning your perfect smile makeover through cosmetic dental bonding. Some of these aesthetic components include:

Your Teeth’ Length

Long and aligned teeth do not only give you an enhanced smile appearance, but they also make you look younger in front of most people's eyes. If there are any short and imperfect teeth in your mouth, your dentist can lengthen them using a composite bonding material to make them appear like the rest of your natural teeth.

Teeth Proportions

Your teeth proportion with each other also plays a critical role in the appearance of your smile. Most people consider a pleasing and attractive smile as one where your two incisors are dominant, having a width-to-length ratio of 4:5. For your teeth to appear balanced in your smile aesthetic zone, the dentist may recommend adjusting your tooth proportions for a better smile.

Smile Line

A smile line is typically an imaginary line that people have in their minds about how a perfect and attractive smile should appear. Most people perceive an ideal perfect smile as one where this imaginary smile line appears in line with the edges and corners of your upper teeth on every side, which preferably should appear like the curve of your lower lip when you are smiling.

Your dentist will use this standard of reference to determine how long your new bonded teeth should serve you without any need to adjust your tooth size or shape to maintain and preserve your attractive smile.

Tooth Characterization and Texture

Apart from matching the feel and look of your surrounding natural teeth during the dental bonding process, an artistic cosmetic dentist will also ensure your bonded teeth fit your masculine or feminine appearance.

All the above aesthetic components of your smile are essential during a smile makeover that involves dental bonding. Your prospective cosmetic dentist must pay attention to these aesthetic components of an ideal smile to know how to approach your current dental issue to satisfy your smile appearance and dental health goals through dental bonding.

As part of the cosmetic dental bonding preparation, the dentist may take pictures of your teeth for easy comparison with the after-results pictures of the newly bonded teeth to see your smile appearance changes.

Understanding Cosmetic Dental Bonding Process

If cosmetic dental bonding is a suitable remedy for your dental issue, the dentist will begin the bonding process immediately after the above crucial preparations. Before attaching the composite resin material to your tooth, the dentist will use a special solution to roughen the tooth's surface to make it adhere to the bonding material.

After preparing the damaged or imperfect tooth, the dentist will apply the composite resin or adhesive material while simultaneously molding it to the desired shape. Then, he or she will harden this bonding material using ultra-violet rays or laser to make it strong and permanent.

To complete the cosmetic bonding process, the dentist will shape, trim, polish, and smoothen the hardened bonding materials to match the brightness and alignment of the surrounding natural teeth for an enhanced and unique smile. A reliable dentist can complete the dental bonding process within thirty to sixty minutes.

Benefits that Come With Cosmetic Dental Bonding

Apart from achieving your desired smile effect, cosmetic dental bonding is also an advantageous option over other alternative cosmetic dentistry procedure because:

It is a Time-Saving Procedure

Unlike placement of crowns and veneers, which require multiple visits to your dentist's clinic to complete the process, a dentist can complete a cosmetic dental bonding within less than an hour unless you have multiple teeth that require bonding. Also, your dentist will need to customize tooth coverings in the lab during veneers or crown placement, which means he/she cannot fix your dental issue the same day.

However, during a cosmetic dental bonding appointment, a dentist can fix your dental issue the same day since the necessary composite bonding material is readily available.

There is No Need for Tooth Surface Removal

Some cosmetic dental procedures like contouring and placement of veneers require the dentist to remove pieces of your tooth enamel to restore your tooth's ideal shape and size for a brighter smile. However, during cosmetic dental bonding, your dentist will only use a composite resin material that resembles the color of your teeth to enhance your smile.

It is an Affordable and Comfortable Smile Improvement Process

Dental bonding is an affordable and comfortable cosmetic dentistry procedure that you should consider if you are looking for a non-invasive and cheap way to makeover your smile. As mentioned above, your dentist will not even use anesthesia to prepare you for the process because it is comfortable and painless.

Dental bonding is a procedure a dentist can recommend in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening and braces placement to achieve the aesthetic and attractive smile that you want. You cannot undermine the benefits that come with cosmetic dental bonding. Ensure you consult a dentist if you would like to improve your smile through cosmetic dental bonding.

Maintenance of Cosmetic Dental Bonding

Your teeth don't require any special care after a cosmetic dental bonding process. However, your dentist will give you guidance and tips to increase the durability of the bonded resin material because it is susceptible to chipping and staining. Below are some top-notch tips to keep your cosmetic dental bonding in its ideal shape and color:

  • Reduce your intake of staining drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine

  • Since the bonded material can chip easily compared to your natural teeth, you should avoid biting or chewing hard objects or food, for example, raw carrots, pencils, fingernails

  • To prevent discoloration of the bonded material and other teeth, you should limit or avoid smoking if possible. Cosmetic dental bonding should be an excellent reason to quit smoking if you have this habit because it can also cause other oral health issues like gum cancer

Speak with your cosmetic dentist if you notice or feel sharp edges and corners on your bonded tooth days after the bonding process to fix the issue as soon as possible because the edges can injure your tongue or other soft mouth tissues.

Take Away Points on Cosmetic Dental Bonding

The cosmetic dentistry field is constantly improving and growing to ensure the best services for patients who wish to enhance their teeth' aesthetic effect for an attractive smile. During your hunt for a reliable cosmetic dentist, you should consider the technological advancement he/she has to ensure the best and efficient services for his/her clients.

Since the cosmetic dental bonding process requires some artistic skills, you should also consider the following factors to find a reliable dentist for this crucial smile makeover service:

  • The dentist length of experience

  • The dentist's area of specialty

  • The dentist's reputation with his/her past clients

Find a Lomita Cosmetic Dentist Near Me

Cosmetic dental bonding might be the answer to your dental concerns with a detrimental effect on your smile. Experienced cosmetic dentists at Washington Dental know the importance of teeth shape and appearance in a person's overall smile beauty. If you reside in Lomita, California, you can call us at 310-326-5183 to discuss your dental concerns and smile makeover goals with our understanding dentists.