Instagram has a lot to answer for. We could just leave that there (whilst prising ourselves away from the cat memes/ex’s avocado brunch) but we’re specifically talking about being bombarded with perfect smiles, every.second.of.the.day. It’s enough to give you tooth dismay.
Once the reserve of the Hollywood elite, immaculate gnashers are now infiltrating our feeds on a daily basis and social media stars and reality stars alike are feeding in to our quest for perfect pearlies (Rapid White attributed their surge in sales this summer to the ‘Love Island’ effect).
But lusting after a dazzling smile isn’t anything new – we’re hard-wired to find straight, unblemished teeth attractive as it denotes greater fertility (gum disease negatively affects chances of conception) as well as a healthy diet. In fact, studies have shown that people with straight teeth are perceived to be more successful, more intelligent and more attractive.
I tried a ‘tooth tweakment’ and it totally changed my life
No wonder teeth are big business. Because, let’s face it, anything to do with straighter, whiter teeth is big bucks. So we were pleased to hear that ‘bonding’ (touted as ‘shellac for your teeth’) is the cheaper, quicker solution to costly veneers which average around £600 per tooth or lengthy tooth-straightening programmes. And whilst getting whiter than white ivories is infinitely more affordable, whiteness on crooked teeth is a bit like putting lipstick on your spots.
Award-winning cosmetic dentist, Dr Rhona Eskander, gives us the low-down..
What’s the difference between veneers and bonding?
“Veneers are essentially facades for your teeth traditionally made from porcelain which cover the entire surface to disguise the colour, shape and positioning of your natural teeth. Bonding uses a different material (generally resin) and can either be used over the whole teeth (composite bonding) or more conservatively on the edges of the teeth to shape them or in between teeth to close gaps.”
Tooth contouring is the hot new way to get pearly whites. Here’s what happened when we tried it…
What does teeth bonding involve?
“Your treatment should always start with a consult where your dentist will smile design the teeth. A dam is then placed in the mouth to isolate the teeth before they’re treated with a mild phosphoric acid and bond. The colours are mixed and the resin is shaped on the teeth before a special light is used to set the resin. The more skilled a dentist is the better as they can shape and add detailed anatomy.”
What are the advantages of dental bonding?
“There is minimal or no drilling involved unlike with veneers where the tooth needs to be chipped down first. As they can be done chair-side they are also a lot quicker and can be done the same day. They are more affordable than porcelain veneers with the benefit that they can be added to and repaired. Done in the right hands they can also have great aesthetic appeal.”
What are the disadvantages of teeth bonding?
“Resin is prone to chipping and staining but chips are easily repaired.”
Does bonding damage your teeth?
“No, but it’s also not entirely irreversible. Removing them is likely to involve some touching of the natural teeth even if it’s just a little.”
How long does tooth bonding last?
“Generally between two and five years but can be longer. It depends on your lifestyle such as whether you smoke, drink wine etc.”