As a practiced restorative dentist, Dr. Stanley Wendt, Jr. has studied dental bonding, specifically dentin bonding, for the past 20 years. Bonding a man-made material to a living tooth can be complex, and should only be performed by a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. Using the most current information gathered from clinical research, Dr. Shaffer provides dental bonding at Alon Dental for patients who have experienced tooth decay or trauma. Learn more about dental bonding below, and contact Dr. Shaffer’s office today to schedule a consultation.
What Is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is necessary when the hard outer layer of a tooth, also known as enamel, is worn down due to decay, trauma, or other oral health problems. First, Dr. Shaffer applies a very mild etching material to the tooth to create a surface that man-made tooth material can be bonded to. This enables him to replace or enhance the outside surface of the tooth. Dr. Shaffer can then change the shape and color of the tooth to create a natural-looking finish. This process is known as bonded restoration, and is a simple procedure to perform.
Another form of bonding is when man-made tooth material is bonded to the inside, living part of the tooth, called dentin. This dental bonding procedure is also available at Dr. Shaffer’s San Antonio practice. However, there are no simple answers to the bonding of a man made material like a white (composite resin) filling material or a veneer to the living tooth. One analogy that Dr. Shaffer uses is attaching a fake fingernail to a woman’s nail. Attaching it to the outside of the nail is normally not a problem, but if the whole nail was missing and you only had the soft skin underneath the nail to bond to, that could be a problem.
So what does dentin, this living material, look like? The best way to describe it is to send you to the grocery store, to the deli section. Look in the cheese section and find Swiss cheese, especially the Baby Swiss cheese. This resembles that dentin looks like. Below is a highly magnified picture of dentin.
In each one of those holes is a nerve ending of living tissue. To bond to this soft, smooth, underlying tissue called dentin, Dr. Shaffer will use a special primer to roughen the surface and provide mechanical retention. When the primer is placed on the surface of the dentin, it will look more like a kitchen pot scrubber or wire brush. That surface will allows us to bond the white filling material.
Dental Bonding Materials
Many of the latest dental bonding materials will form a strong bond immediately. However, the problem with the newest of materials is that they often do not last very long. Just as fake fingernails get broken or come off over time and use, the bond between the tooth and the synthetic material breaks down over time. Over the last 50 years, there have been six generations of dentin bonding materials in dentistry. Unfortunately, some of these fail relatively quickly.
Over the last 20 years, Dr. Shaffer has found that some of the dentin bonding materials work well for the immediate short period and then fail in three to four years. The trend in dentistry has been to combine several materials into one, but research has shown that these combination materials don’t provide as good of a bond over time as older, more tested materials.
Dr. Shaffer is committed to providing patients with long-lasting results, and understands that patients don’t want to keep receiving dental restorations. Therefore, he has gone against the trends of dentistry and uses only two dentin bonding materials in his San Antonio practice that have been proven to work throughout his 20 years of laboratory and clinical research. It is Dr. Shaffer’s belief that the least we can do in dentistry is to provide you the best and longest lasting bonded restoration that science can give us.
Contact Us Today
When you visit Dr. Shaffer at Alon Dental Care, you can be sure that the dental bonding materials he uses are of the highest quality. Through years of experience Dr. Shaffer has identified the best materials and techniques available. Contact Robin to schedule a dental bonding consultation at Alon Dental Care.