Monday, July 13, 2009

Cost of tooth bonding

When a painted wall in your home becomes indelibly stained, what do you do? Yes, you'd paint it. If you decide to make the wall less stainable and easier to clean, you could also bond ceramic tiles to it.

In dentistry, bonding is the method by which a dentist adds a tooth coloured material to the surfaces of your teeth to mask underlying discolouration, cavities, gaps or undesirable contours or alignment. Like the wall in your home, there are 2 methods of bonding, namely direct and indirect bonding.

Direct Bonding

We have upgraded to a new cordless LED curing light (left). The light is cool, it's more powerful in terms of pure light intensity and does the job in half the time that older machines take. The older halogen light unit (right) is cumbersome and heat-generating.



The tooth or teeth to be treated are first trimmed to reduce or roughen the surfaces that are to be bonded.

Next, chemicals are applied to the surfaces of the teeth to improve the grip in much the same way you would apply paint primers. Then, a composite material of the desired colour is applied to the surface of the tooth and allowed to harden. The results are faster and more dramatic than bleaching. You can theoretically "paint" your teeth as white as you want.

For shape or alignment correction, the dentist will add material to the tooth to thicken it in some areas. By selectively thickening certain parts of a tooth that are slightly out of place, the treated tooth can be made to flush with the other teeth. In a similar way, teeth can be slightly enlarged by adding material to close gaps between them. Putting on braces may be the ideal treatment for crooked teeth, but bonding yields immediate results and costs much less.

One limitation to bonding is that you can only add but not subtract. To correct the positions of teeth that are too bulging, you'll have see an orthodontist. Another setback is the strength and durability of composites. These materials seldom last more than 5 years. You are likely to need repairs and patch up every few years.

Cost Estimation
Tooth coloured fillings/bonding S$100-S$200

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