Stuck Like Glue: How Dental Bonding Helps You Keep Your Natural Teeth

Dental bonding, in many ways, is akin to glue. It is used to adhere cracked tooth surfaces together, among other dental applications. The following highlights some of the many ways in which dental bonding helps you restore and keep your natural teeth, and why you would choose dental bonding over some other options.

"Gluing" Tooth Roots in Place

Receding gum lines are caused by old age, poor oral hygiene habits and/or poor nutrition. While they do not prove to be too much of a problem early on, you could eventually expose the roots of your teeth, causing the teeth to become loose and fall out. Using the dental bonding process, your dentist saves your teeth and slows down the progression of receding gums by applying the bonding agent to the gums at the base of your teeth. As you work with your dentist to restore the health of your mouth (if possible), the bonding agent may be removed or left as is, depending on the severity of your gums when the bonding agent was first applied.

Filling in Chipped Teeth

If your teeth are chipped, your dentist could grind them down and crown them, but that tends to be a little extreme when the chips in your teeth are small. Instead, it makes better sense to smooth out the rough edges of the chipped areas and use the bonding agent as a filler. The bonding agent can be sculpted and added to, in layers, while you sit in the dental chair, thereby filling in the missing chips and creating a tooth-like chewing surface at the same time. You get to keep more of your natural tooth while you regain the tiny pieces of tooth that were lost.

Coating Teeth That Are in Danger of Cracking

If you grind your teeth in your sleep (bruxism), your teeth are in danger of cracking. Your dentist can coat some or all of your teeth with a bonding agent to make them a little stronger and prevent cracking. Usually, the bonding agent is applied to just the top surfaces (crowns) of your teeth where the nightly grinding would do the most damage. However, if your dentist sees some small fractures already beginning in your teeth at their bases, he or she may decide to coat all of the surface areas of the affected teeth. This process may need to be repeated with greater frequency if you opt not to wear a mouth guard at night (i.e., more frequent than the recommended "once every decade for normal wear and tear" because bruxism is not normal wear and tear).