Many dental patients who want a more attractive smile have a hard time achieving that goal due to a condition called “diastema,” which is a medical term used to describe a gap between the two front teeth. This is far from a rare condition. In fact, the American Dental Association estimates that as many as 25% of adults in the US have diastema. And while the size of the gap may vary from one person to the next, most people with a significant sized gap would like a way to rid themselves of it and enjoy all the benefits of a more attractive smile. Fortunately, Austin, Texas area dental patients have several options to choose from in order to resolve this issue. Orthodontic braces is one choice, but that can be expensive and time consuming. Porcelain veneers is another option, but they can be pricey as well. That’s why many dental patients choose dental bonding instead. In this article, we explore what’s involved in this procedure and why so many dentists choose dental bonding for gaps between teeth.
What’s Involved in the Dental Bonding Procedure?
Advantages of Dental Bonding
Although there are other ways to resolve diastema, bonding is a popular choice for several different reasons:
- Bonding is fast. The entire procedure can be completed in a single trip to the dentist’s office.
- Bonding is natural looking. Your dentist will make sure that the bonding material is the exact same color as your natural teeth, and once the composite resin is molded to change the shape of your teeth and fill in the gap, it will look totally natural.
- Bonding is strong. The composite resin material not only closes the gap between your teeth; it also protects your teeth and lasts for several years. In fact, if well cared for the bonding can last between 5 and 10 years!
- Bonding is less expensive than other alternatives. We mentioned earlier that your dentist could use braces to close the gap between your teeth, or even porcelain veneers. But bonding is the least expensive of those options, and the end result is every bit as beautiful.
Disadvantages of Dental Bonding
Although it’s easy to see why so many dentists and patients choose bonding to close gaps between front teeth, it does have a few drawbacks:
- Bonding doesn’t last as long as other options. Even though dental bonding lasts for several years, some of the other procedures used to resolve this issue last even longer. Braces, for example, is a permanent solution. And porcelain veneers usually last about 15 years or even longer if they’re properly cared for.
- Bonding material can be damaged. We mentioned earlier that the composite resin material is strong enough to protect the natural teeth underneath. While that is most definitely true, it doesn’t mean that bonding material is indestructible. In fact, the composite resin can be damaged if you eat foods that are too hard or sticky on a regular basis or – worst of all – if you use your teeth as tools.
- Bonding material can be stained. As is the case with your natural teeth, the composite resin material used in dental bonding can be stained. So you’ll need to avoid consuming too many highly pigmented foods, such as red wine, coffee, red sauces, or berries, for example.
If you do choose bonding to close the gap between your front teeth, your dentist might recommend that you change some of your personal habits to better preserve the bonding. This could include not only avoiding certain foods and drinks, but also quitting other habits that could damage or stain the bonding material – such as chewing on pencils or ice, and smoking tobacco, for example. It’s important to keep in mind that although bonding is usually a great choice to resolve diastema, you’ll have to do your part to ensure that the bonding material lasts.
The Importance of an Attractive Smile
If you would like to close the gap between your front teeth in order to enjoy a more attractive smile, but you’ve dismissed the possibility thinking it would just be an exercise in vanity, think again! Having a smile that you’re proud of means much more than you may think. In fact, many studies conducted over the past several years have found that people who are happy with their smiles have a higher sense of self-esteem and a greater level of self-confidence. They’re also typically seen in a more positive light by other people. So it’s no exaggeration to say that having a more attractive smile can literally improve the quality of your life in ways that you may never have imagined possible!
If you have a gap in between your front teeth, talk to your dentist about the different ways to resolve this issue. If you have other teeth that are also misaligned, your dentist may recommend braces – an orthodontic treatment that will not only close the gap between your front teeth, but will also straighten your other teeth at the same time. Patients who want a longer-lasting solution than bonding may instead choose porcelain veneers. But if you’re like many dental patients in the Austin, Texas area, you’ll see why so many dentists use dental bonding for gaps between teeth. Contact your dentist today to schedule an appointment!