According to the American Dental Association, between 1-25% of Americans have a gap between their two front teeth. This gap is known as a diastema. Many individuals who have a diastema are frustrated and do not feel like they have options to improve their smile. Fortunately, there are ways that dentists can help treat these gaps over time. Cosmetic dental bonding is one option for treating gaps between teeth. Here is an explanation of how bonding can be used to minimize and repair these unwanted gaps.

What is dental bonding?

Bonding is a cosmetic procedure where a tooth-colored composite is applied to your teeth like a putty. With some craftsmanship your dentist will sculpt the putty to match the shape and size of your front teeth to fill or minimize the gap. The dental bonding procedure is fairly non-invasive and harmless. Additionally, it can be completed in one routine visit.

The first step is for the dentist to select a composite that matches the shade of your teeth. Next, a little preparation of the tooth surface is required to help the bonding adhere. This can require etching to make the surface rougher. Once the teeth are prepped it is time for the bonding.

Applying the Composite

The bonding composite is a putty like substance that your dentist will smooth on and then sculpt to your teeth once it is in your mouth. This makes the dental bonding procedure and the result really a customized approach to cosmetically improving your smile. How long it takes all depends on your dentist and them reaching a point where they are satisfied with how your teeth look. Once they feel good about the appearance they will use a UV light or laser to harden the composite material in place. Once the bonding is hardened the surface will be polished and smoothed. This will help keep your mouth and lips safe from irritation and will ensure the bonded area matches the rest of your teeth.

Who should get bonding?

If you have diastema, dental bonding may be a good option for you, or it may not. It really depends on the extent of your gap and the overall state of your smile. It is common for bonding to not be the only treatment some individuals undergo to repair diastema. In fact, if you have other gaps or misalignment, seeing an orthodontist for treatment may be your best bet. To determine if cosmetic bonding is the right choice for you, have a conversation with your dentist at your next exam. If your dentist does tell you that bonding is a good treatment option, you should still consider some other factors. Bonding is susceptible to staining from coffee or cigarettes. Next, the bonding material is not as durable as some alternative options, such as porcelain veneers. Individuals who bite their fingernails or who grind their teeth may have issues with their bonding not lasting as long as they hoped.

Interesting in learning more about dental bonding? read about how long dental bonding lasts