What is composite bonding?

What is composite bonding?

Posted by Morgado-IDC | 22nd February 2023 | Team News

Composite bonding (also known as edge bonding) has become extremely popular with patients over recent years as it offers a fantastic solution for minor damage or gaps between teeth.

Composite bonding can be used on a variety of clinical situations to correct minor aesthetic issues such as chipping, small spaces between teeth or to disguise discolouration.

How does it work?
Composite resin in bonded onto the tooth surface and contoured to restore the tooth’s natural or more desirable appearance. This is a minimally-invasive and can easily be removed or adjusted should the patient change their mind in the future. The composite material used is shade matched to your natural tooth, meaning there will be a seamless blend from the restoration to the tooth.

Composite bonding is a minimally-invasive and therefore a safe procedure. The aim is that no natural tooth surface is removed in the process, meaning it can also be reversed and removed in the future if the patient so wishes. During application, your tooth surface is activated with a micro-etcher allowing the surface of the teeth to receive the composite resin and the actual tooth surface remains completely natural and intact.
Composite bonding is usually performed in one long appointment, after a comprehensive assessment where pictures, scans and virtual mock ups are performed to ensure the patient expectations are reasonable and achievable. The composite bonding is hand crafted by our expert dentists, meaning the appointment length is usually quite long. Once the composite bonding has been cured (or set) you are then able to go about your normal day straight after the appointment. As the edge bonding is performed using resins, it means that some maintenance will be required including regular polishing and potential repairs.

Can I still whiten my teeth?
It is important to note that tooth whitening gel will not whiten composite resin material. Therefore, we encourage any patient undergoing composite bonding to be completely happy with the shade of their teeth prior to the bonding appointment so that the composite resine is shade matched to the tooth. If you would like an overall lighter and brighter smile, then we would advise for you to undergo a course of professional tooth whitening to achieve the desired shade, then the composite resin can be matched to this.

What is the procedure?
For a patient, the procedure is easy, plus pain and hassle free!
Generally, a patient would not require any local anaesthetic as the tooth surface is not being drilled. However, if you have particularly sensitive teeth and find cold water uncomfortable, the dentist can discuss making you numb to undergo the composite bonding appointment. Once the dentist shade matched the resin to your teeth, the resin is placed into a heater to warm up and to allow easier manipulation and contouring for the dentist. The dentist will begin by activating the surface of the tooth with a micro-etcher giving a more retentive surface for the resin to adhere to. A thin layer of bonding agent will then be applied to the tooth and cured. Then, the tooth is ready for the dentist to apply the composite resin to and begin the fine contouring process. The resin can then be cured and is now ready to be polished to create a high-shine look. Simple, right?

How will I know if I am eligible for the treatment?
Firstly, you will need to attend the practice for a comprehensive assessment, so your eligibility can be checked. Lots of factors need to be considered prior to composite bonding treatment being prescribed. Most importantly, you must have a stable oral health. By this we mean there is no decay or infections present, and your gums are healthy and stable. Our expert dentists will also need to assess your bite (occlusion). This is very important as there needs to be adequate space for your teeth to meet, bite and talk after composite bonding is placed.

Maintenance of composite bonding.
Post-treatment, care for your composite bonding like your regular teeth. Brush twice a day with an electric toothbrush for two minutes and floss daily! Visit the hygienist as often as recommended by your dental care professional to ensure your gums are healthy, this will also help keep your composite bonding unstained.
Avoid unnatural uses of your teeth such as biting nails, chewing pen lids, or removing lids from bottles! These are all dangerous for not only the composite bonding but your natural teeth also. Accidents can happen and result in broken and chipped teeth.
Staining can occur with composite bonding, just as it can with your natural teeth. So do not worry if you notice some staining, an appointment with our highly trained hygienist or therapist can quickly correct this for you. Staining occurs from tannins in our foods and drinks. Things such as black coffee, green tea, red wine, or vibrant curries all contain a high concentration of staining agents. Simply manage and monitor your intake of these foods and drinks and maintain excellent oral hygiene. It is also important to know that acids will roughen the composite and avoiding acidic diets is essential to ensure the composite bonding not only lasts longer but looks great for longer as well.

Are there alternatives to composite bonding?
Yes, there are, however these are usually more invasive procedures such as veneering, and our dentists will always recommend opting for the least invasive procedure to avoid damaging or removing your natural tooth surface if possible. Nothing is better than your own teeth! Things such as veneers or crowns are potential alternatives, however these options should be discussed at length with your dentist to ensure you are getting the right treatment for you and your teeth.
If you are considering composite bonding treatment and would like to find out if you are eligible, contact us today for a complimentary initial consultation with our highly trained treatment coordinators. We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve the smile you have always wanted.

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