Good daily oral hygiene habits supported by twice-yearly dental exams and cleanings can go a long way toward helping your child maintain optimal oral health as they grow and develop.
For many school-age kids and adolescents, occasional cavity fillings and orthodontic treatment are also routine oral care needs along the way to adulthood.
But as our skilled team at Smiles in Springfield knows all too well, children can experience a wide range of cosmetic and restorative dental needs, too. In many cases, dental bonding can be an ideal solution.
Here, Dr. Quang Tran and Dr. Truc Duong explain what dental bonding is, how it works, and when it may be a good treatment option for your child.
What is dental bonding?
If you’ve ever chipped a front tooth, you know that even a tiny imperfection can dramatically transform your smile. To restore your pearly whites, you don’t have to invest in a crown or a veneer to conceal the problem; you just need a basic cosmetic fix that restores your tooth’s shape and appearance.
This is where dental bonding comes in. Bonding is a quick and painless in-office treatment that uses a moldable tooth-colored resin material and a special curing light to make minor repairs or cosmetic improvements to your teeth.
A wide range of applications
As one of the most popular offerings of cosmetic dentistry, bonding is the go-to treatment solution for a wide range of minor dental imperfections. At Smiles in Springfield, we can use bonding to:
- Repair chipped or cracked enamel
- Smooth out a jagged tooth edge
- Correct an oddly shaped tooth
- Close a wide gap between teeth
- Lengthen an abnormally short tooth
- Whiten one or more discolored teeth
But bonding isn’t just a cosmetic treatment, it’s also a restorative solution. For patients who prefer tooth-colored fillings, dental bonding materials and techniques can successfully fill a small cavity. We can also use bonding to protect a tooth root that gets exposed by receding gums.
Dental bonding for your child
We often recommend bonding to adult patients who need minor dental repairs or cosmetic improvements because it’s faster and more cost-effective than getting a veneer or crown. For younger patients with the same needs, bonding is typically the best solution on every level.
This is especially true for kids who’ve sustained minor damage, like a chip or crack, in a baby tooth: You want to repair the enamel to preserve tooth strength and function — and prevent cavities — but they don’t need a full crown for a tooth that’s eventually going to fall out.
For pediatric patients, our team has used dental bonding to cover permanent discoloration after a traumatic injury; repair enamel that’s been cracked or chipped by hard foods, sports, or a fall; and lengthen teeth that are noticeably shorter than adjacent teeth, among other things.
Quick, painless, and effective
One of the best aspects of dental bonding — especially for our younger patients — is that the process is relatively quick and totally painless. In a single office visit that takes 30-60 minutes, we can complete the treatment in six easy steps:
- Roughen the tooth to promote optimal bonding
- Apply a conditioning liquid to help the material stick
- Apply the resin; shape and mold it into the desired form
- Use a special light to cure the material so it forms a tight bond
- Finely shape the hardened material as needed until it’s just right
- Polish the bonding material until it matches the sheen of your tooth
Unless it’s being used to fill a cavity, dental bonding treatments don’t require anesthesia. And because we use a shade guide to select a composite resin color that closely matches the color of your child’s teeth, their dental work is virtually imperceptible.
At Smiles in Springfield in Springfield, Virginia, we’re passionate about helping patients of all ages maintain a healthy smile for life. To learn more or schedule an appointment for anyone in your family, call 703-595-2403 today.