can bonding be used to close a gap between teeth and to tooth roots

Q. I was wondering if you can use bonding to close a gap in a tooth. Also, can you apply bonding to the root of the tooth that shows when you smile. I feel that there is too much gum showing between my two teeth. Thanks for your help.

A. It is possible to bonding to close a gap between teeth. We can also cover over exposed roots with bonding. There are a number of things you should be aware of if you have this procedure.

1. Presuming the gap is between the 2 front teeth it is important that the final result produces teeth of the same width. You could well imagine that if a dentist tried to do this free hand that his chances of success would be low. The human eye can detect minute differences between the widths of front teeth. This means that special techniques using a mock-up of the changes to be made on models is usually required. My point is that a seemingly simple procedure is actually very demanding for the dentist to achieve success – although very easy for you as a patient to cope with!

2. Bonding is a tooth coloured plastic material that can stain where it joins the tooth and even come off. Having said that it is very conservative to your teeth , requiring virtually no drilling if any of you tooth to produce the desired result. The stains can be polished off relatively easily.

3. When widening a tooth to fill in the gap the result can sometimes produce an excessively wide tooth which is less than ideal. In such situations braces or multiple veneers would be the better options from a cosmetic point of view.

4. The bond to enamel is very strong. However the bond to dentine is much weaker – this is what your root of your tooth is made of. This means that when bonding to this part of the tooth it is more likely to stain or fall off.

Having said all that within my practice we have had good success with bonding teeth and I am quite happy to recommend the technique as long as the patient is fully aware of the possible downsides of the procedure as outlined above.

Hope this helps.


dr julian caplan

Dr Julian Caplan – Director on the board of the BACD

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