What Does the Composite Bonding process involve?
November 18, 2022
Increasingly common in the UK, composite bonding is a fantastic non-surgical alternative to veneers and dental crowns.
Also known as tooth bonding or dental bonding, cosmetic bonding is usually completed within the hour, doesn’t involve any anaesthetic, and can be easily repaired or replaced if damaged, broken, or at the end of its lifecycle.
Lasting an average of 4- 8 years, or more, if looked after carefully, composite bonding can completely change the appearance of your teeth quickly and easily.
What is composite bonding?
Cosmetic bonding explains the process of applying resin, also called composite, to natural teeth.
This resin is sculptable and buildable, which allows for dental professionals to cover imperfections and alter the teeth, making them more cosmetically desirable.
Composite bonding in London is commonly used to:
- Repair chipped teeth
- Change the shape and size of teeth
- Change the shade of teeth, especially with very discoloured teeth.
How do professionals apply composite bonding in London?
While dental clinics may work with slightly different tools and equipment, the process will be generally very similar. It will take, on average, 30-60 minutes per tooth to complete the procedure from start to finish.
The process of applying cosmetic bonding is remarkably similar to some manicure techniques, for example, gel nail polishes or Shellac nails, and shares many of the same benefits, although cosmetic bonding is much stronger and much more long-lasting.
Firstly, dentists will take a shade of your teeth and choose a resin that matches to ensure the most seamless, natural blend. Meaning if you would like a brighter smile it may be best to get your teeth whitened in London before your treatment.
The tooth to be bonded will then be roughened and a conditioning liquid or dental glue is then applied. This allows the resin to adhere properly to the natural tooth.
Next, professionals will apply and sculpt the resin, which has a putty-like consistency. During this stage, chips can be filled in, or teeth can be reshaped to make them more pleasing.
Dentists then cure the resin, hardening it with a UV light. This bonds the material to the surface of the tooth, making it very long-lasting and difficult to remove.
Finally, your composite tooth will be adjusted and polished, so it looks more natural.
Is everyone suitable for composite bonding in London?
While versatile, cosmetic bonding may not be suitable for everyone, due to pre-existing conditions or personal habits.
Cosmetic bonding is not suitable for:
- Patients with gum disease
- Patients with dental decay
- Patients who clench or grind their teeth
- Patients with misaligned teeth
Similarly, patients wishing to whiten their teeth should undergo professional whitening before their cosmetic bonding as the resin cannot be whitened once applied.
Is resin strong enough to last?
The resin or composite is a special type of plastic that is very strong, making it perfect for dental work.
However, composite bonding resin is not as durable as natural tooth enamel, so will break down over the years, just as enamel itself does.
To ensure your cosmetic bonding lasts as long as possible, you need to be more careful of your teeth and look after them well.
Composite bonding is damaged most often by staining, dental decay, and chipping.
To avoid staining your cosmetic bonding, you should:
- Avoid staining foods and drinks, and smoking, for 48 hours after your procedure.
Continuing to reduce exposure to staining agents can keep your smile whiter for years to come, and if you do ingest food or drink that can stain, you could use a straw to limit tooth exposure or brush your teeth after.
Common staining agents include tea, coffee, cigarettes, red wine, cola, fruit juices, tomato sauces, curry, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, berries, and beetroot.
If you neglect your oral hygiene, your teeth and gums can become affected by dental decay. This will in turn damage any cosmetic bonding, which relies on healthy teeth to bond to.
To avoid dental decay, you should:
Ensure you brush twice daily as a minimum and see a dentist regularly.
- Floss, use interdental brushes or use a water pick daily.
- Have regular check-ups with dental professionals.
- Stop smoking
- Avoid high-sugar foods and drinks.
Chipping can occur on the teeth or to composite bonding when patients use their teeth for anything other than eating.
While the resin used in cosmetic bonding is strong, it is not stronger than the enamel found in teeth, which means it can be more easily damaged by day-to-day activities.
To avoid this, patients should:
- Avoid biting or chewing things that are not food, including pen lids and fingernails.
- Stop using teeth to cut tape or open packets.
- Resist the urge to carry things in the mouth when their hands are full.
- Cut harder foods, for example, apples, into smaller portions that are softer on teeth.
Find cosmetic bonding in London
For cosmetic or composite bonding in London, consider the experts here at the London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry. View our dedicated treatment page here.
With over 35 years’ of experience in creating beautiful smiles, we put patient care at the heart of all we do.