Dental Bonding: A Less Invasive Solution For Chipped Front Teeth?

Suffering a chip on one or more of your front teeth can be a painful experience, and the visible damage left behind can put a big dent in your self-confidence. Severe chips can even interfere with your ability to eat and speak clearly.

If you have chipped front teeth, you may be considering having them repaired with dental veneers. However, having veneers fitted can be quite an invasive and involved procedure. Dental bonding is a minimally-invasive, alternative method of repairing chipped teeth, and may be a better option for your needs.

How Is Dental Bonding Used To Repair Chipped Front Teeth?

Dental bonding is a putty-like substance, made from durable, plastic-based resins. It is quite similar to the material used to create composite veneers and crowns but is used differently to repair damaged teeth.

First, your dentist will examine your damaged front tooth or teeth to assess the scale of the damage. They will then apply small amounts of an acidic substance to the enamel of each tooth. This acid creates shallow, harmless grooves in the enamel, which will help the bonding attach and stick to the enamel more strongly.

The bonding is then applied over the damaged portion of your tooth or teeth. Your dentist will use bonding that exactly matches the color of your natural tooth enamel and sculpt it into the slightly irregular shape of a healthy, unchipped tooth, making the repairs look extremely convincing. 

After the bonding is applied, it is exposed to a specific wavelength of UV light. This causes a chemical reaction, which turns the soft putty into a hard, durable substance in a matter of minutes. Once the bonding has hardened fully, it is polished until it takes on the shine of natural tooth enamel.

Why Is Bonding Less Invasive Than Other Repair Methods?

Many people with chipped front teeth choose dental veneers to repair the damage, but this procedure has its downsides. To apply veneers, some of the enamel on the damaged teeth must be shaved away to allow the veneers to fit properly. Porcelain veneers require more enamel to be removed than composite veneers.

While a skilled dentist can remove enamel without damaging the tooth, this procedure still weakens the remaining natural tooth beneath the veneers. In rare cases, removing enamel to fit veneers can also make teeth more sensitive.

Your mouth will also need to be numbed before veneers can be fitted. Nerve block injections are usually administered, but these injections can be very unpleasant if you are uncomfortable with needles. Numbing gas can be used instead, but not all dentists offer this option, and it can be considerably more expensive than injections.

If you prefer a minimally-invasive approach to repairing chipped front teeth, bonding is ideal. The acidic pre-treatment only removes a tiny amount of tooth enamel, and the procedure is completely painless, with no injections or gas required. Because so little enamel is removed, your teeth will not become more sensitive after the bonding is complete

Bonding also has other advantages over veneers. It is considerably cheaper (especially compared to premium, porcelain veneers), and takes much less time to perform. If you are interested in using dental bonding to restore chipped front teeth, book a consultation with a general dentist to explore your options.