I’ve always been a very smiley person – but I’ve been smiling more than ever lately, and here’s why: after years of hating my teeth, I’ve discovered dental bonding.
I’ve never been happy with the colour of my teeth. I’m not sure if it was due to genetics, drinking too much tea and coffee, the antibiotics I took when I was young, or the fact that I avoided brushing them when I was a kid. All I know is that they have always been discoloured – more of a grey/yellow, than pearly white.
However it was more than the discolouration that bothered me. I didn’t really like the shape of them, my canines were too pointy, and a couple of things became more noticeable with each passing year. One front tooth seemed to sit out in front of the other, and then I chipped one of them, leaving me feeling like a snaggle tooth.
I didn’t let it stop me from smiling – but inside I was miserable. Every time I looked in the mirror, or saw a photo of myself, there they were.
I thought the only solution was porcelain veneers but at a couple of grand per tooth, I just couldn’t justify the expense.
Then I met Debbie from Debbie Family Dental at a local business networking event and she told me about dental bonding – needless to say I was booked in for an appointment only a few weeks later!
I’m so thrilled with the results and have had lots of questions when I shared my bright new smile on social media, so wanted to share my experience here on the blog.
So what is dental bonding?
It’s known by all sorts of names – composite bonding, dental bonding, tooth bonding, resin bonding, cosmetic bonding.
The tooth is cleaned and smoothed, before a tooth-colour resin, about the consistency of putty, is applied, moulded and shaped. The dental bonding is “set” with a special blue light, before the dentist polishes, trims and shapes your tooth.
Dental bonding is used to:
- fix crooked teeth;
- cover gaps between teeth;
- lengthen short teeth;
- repair chipped front teeth;
- whiten a discoloured smile;
- cover the exposed roots left by receding gums;
- change the shape of teeth; and
- repair decay (instead of fillings on front teeth).
What are the pros and cons of dental bonding?
The main pro, compared to porcelain veneers, is the cost. Here in Australia, instead of paying a couple of thousand for each tooth, you can expect to pay $250 to $300 each. I had dental bonding done to my six front teeth, as a way of repairing a chip, whitening, and changing their shape. There is also usually no need to have local anaesethic, and it’s quite quick – between 30 minutes to one hour per tooth.
While dental bonding doesn’t exactly hurt, it can be a little uncomfortable and your gums may bleed quite a bit (which means it will take longer). I’ll be honest – it’s not a particularly pleasant experience for somebody like me (who loathes spending time in the dentist’s chair). My top tip – look for a dentist with a lot of experience in dental bonding, to minimise your time in the chair! From what I can gather, there aren’t a lot of dentists providing this service.
How long does tooth bonding last?
According to what I’ve read online, you can expect dental bonding to last ten years. However Debbie feels this is a conservative estimate and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t last a lifetime with proper care. Oh, and no more biting threads off or breaking into packets with your front teeth!
Taking care of your teeth following dental bonding is just the usual oral hygiene – brushing at least twice a day (preferably with an electric toothbrush), flossing daily, and rinsing your mouth with water after tea, coffee or red wine, to prevent staining – and of course visiting the dentist regularly for a checkup, professional clean and fluoride treatment.
Are you happy with the results?
Absolutely, especially with Miss 22’s wedding coming up – I am so glad I will have nice teeth for the wedding pictures! My front teeth feel really smooth now too when I feel them with my tongue.
I am in love with my new smile, and it’s not too white so it still looks natural. Although I wanted better teeth I didn’t want a “Hollywood” smile – I often see people on TV and their teeth are practically fluorescent, they have been whitened so much. I *could* possibly get an extra tooth done on each side as you can sometimes see them when I smile but I’m really not bothered at this stage.
For years I have been choosing my lipstick colours based solely on what would make my teeth look less yellow – at last I can wear the pretty apricots and bright reds that I always avoided before!
I feel more confident, and my lovely family tell me that it makes me look younger (but they could just be flattering me).
My only complaint is: Why didn’t I know about dental bonding earlier?! Mind you- we probably wouldn’t have had the money earlier, it’s definitely a bit of a luxury for this middle aged mama 🙂 .
Have you ever heard of – or considered – dental bonding?!
NB I was not compensated in any way for this post, and I paid for my own treatment – just wanted to share my experience with you. You can find more before and after pictures on the Debbie Family Dental website.