Have a cracked, chipped, or simply discolored tooth or even an ugly gap between teeth? Don’t despair or lose confidence, says the periodontist, and assures a simple cosmetic dental procedure exists that can restore your confidence to flash those pearly whites rendering a charming smile.
Teeth Bonding, also known as enamel bonding, involves the application of a tooth-colored durable composite resin material, to the surface of the tooth, which ultimately bonds the material to the tooth and hardened with a special light to repair it. It’s usually a simple, inexpensive non-invasive cosmetic dental procedure that is by and large completed the same day.
While this procedure does have its own benefits, there are also pitfalls to tooth bonding that may outwit any possible advantages. Despite the advocacy of dentists to go for a tooth bonding procedure, there are a number of adversities that come along with it.
Owing to the underlying disadvantages some facts about bonding need to be critically analysed, considered, and exhaustively discussed with the dentist while deciding to choose between veneers, crowns, and other options for the desired tooth repair.
Hence a clearcut understanding of the drawbacks of dental bonding is necessary to avoid becoming a victim of the negative effects of the procedure.
Some specific disadvantages of tooth bonding can be real issues for some, and if it is found that the drawbacks outweigh the positives, other options are pretty well available for the desired tooth correction.
Let us examine some major disadvantages and drawbacks of tooth bonding.
Tooth bonding material:
The bonding material used is usually not durable as compared to ceramics and other materials used in crowns, veneers, etc. These are commonly made of a variety of plastic known as composite resin. Although the material is reasonably strong, it is not as long-lasting as regular tooth enamel. As a result, they are not at all sturdy as the porcelain used in veneers and crowns to withstand all the wear and tear during the usual process of chewing foods, especially the harder ones.
Bonding resins usually have a much weaker shelf-life vis-a-vis ceramic materials. Hence having a lesser surface strength one needs to be extremely careful while eating hard foods so as not to crack the bonding. In case any of the bonded teeth start to feel jagged along the edges it has to be checked by the dentist. The dentist may simply file down the jagged edges or may need to entirely redo the bonding, making the choice of the patient to go for a bonding a wrong one in the first place
Staining of tooth bonding:
Unlike ceramic or zirconium used in crowns, the composite resin material used in bonding is more porous. Therefore it has a tendency to absorb the colours of various foods we eat to a much greater extent. This makes the original colour of the bonding more susceptible to deterioration running the risk of having the bonding become discolored.
Frequent coffee or red wine drinkers, as well as smokers, are the first line victims of this drawback of tooth bonding. This poor stain-resistant property of the bonding resins makes the patients who have undergone the procedure, more bothering about eating and drinking deep-colored foods and beverages.
While not needing to give up these foods altogether one needs to be much diligent and watchful in his or her oral care if the individual’s teeth are resin bonded. Careful maintenance of the bond colour needs an additional oral care routine following the dentist’s guidance.
Risk of damage:
If opting for a composite bonding procedure, one should be aware of the efforts needed to avoid anything that causes the repair to chip or damage the tooth. Bad habits like chewing pencils, fingernails, and biting on ice cubes have to be completely abandoned. In case of participating in contact sports, some sort of mouthguard must be worn to protect the bonded tooth keep away from the risk of trauma.
Effectivity in multiple teeth :
The benefits reduce when more extensive repair work involving multiple teeth is needed. In cases where many teeth are in need to work on, a variety of crowns and dental veneers as an alternative treatment are preferred over tooth bonding. In the case of cosmetic applications, instead of bonding, it is generally recommended to go for thin porcelain veneers such as Lumineers.
The main purpose of dental bonding is to deliver cosmetic benefits. It is not meant for the protection of the tooth, in any way, from future damage. In some cases, it is not even suitable and dental crowns may present a much more comprehensive solution as it will provide desired cosmetic outcome besides giving protection to the tooth from unwanted decay as well as damage.
The whitening problem of bonded teeth:
Bonded material cannot be whitened. The procedure of teeth whitening usually involves applying a chemical of peroxide mix to the teeth and allowing it to stay there for some time to seep through the enamel to oxidize pigment molecules in the dentin. Because of the typical property of the material of the bonded resin, this process will not effectively whiten bonded areas of the teeth. This prevents the whitening of the particular teeth on which bonding had been carried out earlier.
Tooth bonding may lead to recurring costs:
After undergoing teeth bonding it may give rise to recurring costs if an individual does not follow a proper oral care regime as directed by the dentist. One shall be prepared to spend the money again every 3-5 years or so due to the frail nature of this very procedure and its lack of providing strong protection to the teeth unlike the other options available such as crowns and veneers.
Although apparently it may not seem to be a concern, but the ultimate truth is that no dental process is cheap, and had the initial cost of tooth bonding been the only consideration without regard to the required treatment the price will add up to more than other options over the course of a reasonable lifespan. Hence one needs to consider carefully whether or not to fall into the reinvestment trap in the future before committing to tooth bonding as a fix for the dental issues.
Special artistic expertise required:
The tooth bonding procedure is basically a form of art. The success of the procedure performed by an expert dentist lies in his ability as to how perfectly the resin is matched to the shape and color characteristics of the surrounding teeth. Equally important is to ensure the proper and secure curing of the bonded resin material. It calls for a great deal of artistic acumen besides training and experience in dentistry of the performing dentist to finish a successful dental bonding procedure. Lack of above may end up in a poor appearance of the repaired teeth.
The final words;
Although tooth bonding procedure has a number of advantages and benefits such as noninvasive, lesser time consuming, less expensive, a single day procedure, etc. choosing between bonding and other options should be more of a matter of its applicability and suitability as per an experienced dentist. Cost and convenience should always be secondary considerations.
Bonding is more delicate than crowns or veneers, but it is also less expensive, however talking with a dentist to decide what is best for a particular case is essential.