What is Cosmetic bonding?
Cosmetic bonding is the use of a composite filling material to smooth out, fill in chips, gaps, or recreate tooth structure. This is an alternative to a veneer in some circumstances, and while many dentists will push a patient toward a veneer, cosmetic bonding is considered a less aggressive treatment when it can be employed.
The process requires roughening the surface that the composite material will be applied to, and slowly adding and curing the composite material to recreate the shape of the original tooth, or to fill a gap between teeth. The end product is polished to blend seamlessly with the natural tooth structure.
Pros and Cons of Cosmetic Bonding
There are some dentists who simply will not do cosmetic bonding because, when done correctly, it can take much more of the dentist’s time compared to a veneer and the price is typically much lower. That said, a veneer is also typically stronger and has a tendency to last longer. However, the biggest caveat with cosmetic bonding, more than just about anything else, is that it is extremely reliant on the skill and artistic ability of your dentist, It is almost always the anterior teeth, or the front teeth, that are being bonded, so the cosmetic appearance of the end product is paramount. Aside from needing a perfect color match, your dentist essentially becomes a sculptor, needing to worry about the overall shape, texture, and translucency of the restored tooth. Failing to account for any of these will result in a very obvious and unsatisfactory result.
The pictures on this page are a couple examples of the cosmetic bonding performed by Dr. Jennifer Dean. Click below to view more examples.