Composite veneers, also known as tooth bonding, represent a durable and conservative approach to tooth restoration, often used as an alternative to ceramic veneers. Tooth bonding is a minimally invasive procedure aimed at improving the aesthetics of one or several teeth, utilizing resin-based composites, mainly acrylic. It is worth emphasizing that these composites closely mimic the structure of tooth tissues, consisting of precisely combined various chemical components.
One of the advantages of composite veneers is their excellent matching to the natural color of the patient’s teeth. This achieves a harmonious aesthetic effect that meets appearance expectations. Tooth bonding is gaining increasing popularity, primarily due to its high aesthetic level, durability, and quick execution. Another favorable factor for this method is the significantly lower cost compared to traditional ceramic veneers.
When is it worth considering tooth bonding?
The most common indication for this procedure is superficial damage within the crown, especially various types of defects, fractures, cracks, and even breaks. In the case of minor damages, instead of using a crown or veneer, a special flexible resin can be applied, which, during the adhesion process, bonds with the hard tissue of the crown, adhering perfectly to it. Tooth bonding can also be performed for aesthetic reasons, such as unaesthetic discolorations of individual teeth, minor differences in their length or width. The procedure is used, among other things, for diastema and to eliminate gaps between teeth.
It is important to note that during the tooth bonding procedure, there is no need to interfere with the natural structure of the teeth. This makes it a reversible procedure, recommended for individuals who have not yet decided on permanent solutions or cannot currently afford porcelain veneers. The procedure is completely painless and simple to perform, which is a significant advantage for those who cannot or should not use anesthesia at the moment, for example, pregnant women. However, it should be remembered that tooth bonding is not as durable a solution as veneers or crowns, so it may need to be repeated every few years. Additionally, composite is prone to discoloration, meaning individuals consuming a lot of coffee or smoking may need to regularly maintain oral hygiene and may require more frequent teeth polishing or sanding.
What are the effects of tooth bonding?
The use of composite resin coatings can be an alternative to teeth whitening procedures and even veneers. Of course, resin is not as durable as porcelain veneer, but it allows for gentle modification of the shape of teeth (lengthening or widening), hiding minor surface damages, such as fractures and pits, and also giving teeth a brighter color. Tooth bonding can be an alternative to whitening, especially when the color of a previously treated tooth that has discolored cannot be changed. The use of composite resin allows adjusting the color of such a tooth to the other healthy teeth. It is worth noting that tooth bonding procedures are most often applied to individual damaged or permanently discolored teeth, while whitening is applied to all teeth to restore the natural, white color of the bone.
The result of aesthetic treatment using composite resins is the possibility of painless, quick, and completely reversible changes in the appearance of teeth. Tooth bonding allows for modification of shape and color, hiding minor fractures, pits, and other mechanical damages without the need for crown grinding, as required when using porcelain veneers. Of course, the effect is not permanent. Composites can chip and discolor, so regular cleaning and possible renewal are necessary.
What are the contraindications for tooth bonding?
The main contraindication is significant tooth damage. In the case of severe damage, composite buildup may be unstable due to limited bonding surface, making it prone to cracking. In such cases, porcelain crown or, if possible, veneer is used. Tooth bonding is also not performed in the presence of inflammation in the oral cavity. The first step should be treating cavities and gum and periodontal diseases. Another important contraindication is bruxism, habitual clenching and grinding of teeth. Individuals suffering from this condition should consult with a dentist before deciding on tooth bonding.
Bonding or porcelain?
When choosing a method of tooth restoration, it is essential to consider that the final decision always lies with the patient. Nevertheless, it is recommended to listen to the opinions of the dentist, especially a specialist in dental prosthetics. Based on a comprehensive clinical and radiological analysis, the dentist can accurately assess the patient’s condition and present available treatment options.
For young patients whose teeth are healthy, with preserved bite function, and the goal is only to improve minor aesthetic flaws, bonding can be an effective solution. However, for comprehensive restoration of damaged teeth, investing in porcelain restoration is highly recommended. There is also the possibility of combining different restoration techniques, such as using porcelain veneers in the front and composite in the back. However, such a combination should be transitional, and eventually, it is recommended to replace part of the composite with porcelain restoration to achieve a durable and consistent effect.