If your child is at the age where he or she seems to be losing teeth by the week, you may notice that his or her new teeth aren't as white or straight as the baby teeth recently lost. While most minor dental imperfections will correct themselves once your child has grown into his or her new teeth, if your child's permanent teeth appear chipped, cracked, or discolored (particularly yellowish or grey), you may need to take preventive action to prevent long-term damage. Read on to learn more about dental bonding and the situations in which this may be the best option to help repair and protect your child's permanent teeth.
What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding is the process of applying a cavity-resistant and tooth-colored resin over the surface of teeth to help repair chips or cracks, smooth out a surface, or change the color of a permanent tooth. Unlike dental veneers, which require a tooth to be drilled down so that a thin porcelain veneer can be laid over the surface, dental bonding won't require any grinding of (or additional damage to) the existing tooth. Bonding also shouldn't require patients to make multiple follow-up visits -- most of these procedures can be performed in just a bit more time than one would want to set aside for a regular cleaning and examination.
However, this instant application can render the bonded surface slightly more fragile than a veneer or crown, so those who have their teeth bonded need to ensure that they keep up with their recommended twice-yearly checkups to maintain these teeth in good shape.
What are some situations in which dental bonding could benefit a child?
There are a number of different medical conditions that can affect the appearance of a child's permanent teeth. If you took the antibiotic tetracycline before you knew you were pregnant (or if your child took it as an infant while his or her teeth were still developing), your child may end up with gray discolorations on his or her teeth that can't be faded with even the most extensive bleaching treatments. In other cases, a high fever during your child's infancy could have damaged the developing tooth enamel and led to striping or weak spots in the permanent enamel.
Although dental bonding will likely need to be repeated on a child's teeth as he or she enters adulthood, this can often be a good solution for cosmetic issues that could lead to teasing, ostracism, or low self-esteem. Because bonding is less invasive than the application of a crown or veneer, it can be performed on dental patients of nearly all ages, and won't require any special follow-up care other than regular dental checkups.
Should bonding be performed now or later?
Once you've determined that dental bonding is the right choice for your child's teeth, you may be wondering whether it's better to have this procedure performed sooner or to wait a few months (or even years). The timing of your child's dental bonding will depend on a few factors, including your budget, dental insurance coverage, child's age, and the specific types of dental issues with which you're dealing.
Because dental bonding can require some careful oral care (including regular brushing and flossing and avoiding chewing on pencils, pens, or hard candies), it may not be the best idea for a child who is still struggling to establish good oral health habits. However, if your child is beginning to become self-conscious about his or her teeth, this could be the final push needed to adopt healthier habits and might permit your child to have bonding performed sooner. For more information about dental bonding, consider contacting a professional like Richard M Holmes DMD PA.Share
9 December 2015
After dealing with a few root canals, I realized that it was time to take my dental hygiene a more seriously. I talked with my dentist about what I could do differently, and he was full of great suggestions that would help. He walked me through different ways to brush, floss, and take care of tartar buildup, and it was really amazing to see the difference that it made. I also started taking a fluoride supplement to strengthen my enamel. When I made it to my next appointment, my dentist was blown away with the improvement. This blog is all about improving your dental appointments by keeping your teeth healthier.