Swapping Your Retainer for Dental Bonding: Just How Viable is It?

A course of orthodontics can take months or years to complete. It requires great patience and diligence on the part of the patient. However, even after the treatment is successfully completed and the teeth are straightened, the journey doesn't end there. Most patients will need to wear a retainer for the rest of their lives. Otherwise, they risk relapse.

For some patients, wearing a retainer for the rest of their lives, whether removable or fixed, is not something they are willing to do. If you have recently finished a course of orthodontics and don't like the idea of wearing a retainer, you need to prepare for the possibility that your teeth will relapse. Fortunately, composite bonding can be used to close gaps.

Bonding Can Close Spaces Between Teeth

If you are sure that a retainer is not for you, then you should seek out a dentist who practises cosmetic dentistry to fill in any gaps when your teeth shift back to their former positions. By applying composite resin to your teeth, a dentist can widen them, thus closing the spaces that might result from a relapse.

However, there are some things that you need to take into account before going with this option.

Bonding Needs to Be Replaced Every Few Years

Composite bonding has a lifespan of a few years at most. This is because bonding picks up stains easily, and is also prone to breaking. If you choose to go this route then, be prepared to replace your composite bonding every few years. While replacing bonding every 2-3 years won't harm your teeth, it may hurt your finances.

Using Bonding to Close Gaps Makes Teeth Wider

In order to close spaces with composite bonding, a cosmetic dentist has to widen teeth by applying the composite material to their interproximal (sides) surfaces. If your teeth are small in size, cosmetically, this should not be a problem. However, if your teeth are large to begin with, enlarging them further with composite bonding might compromise your smile.

Porcelain Veneers Are More Reliable

If you really are set on ditching your retainer, the most reliable alternative at your disposal is porcelain veneers. Not only are veneers stain-resistant, but they are also comparable in terms of strength to your natural teeth. This means that you can probably get at least 10 years out of porcelain veneers before they need to be replaced, even more, if you take god care of them.

Not everybody likes the thought of having to wear a retainer forever. For those that don't, cosmetic treatments such as composite bonding and veneers, are a good alternative should teeth relapse and return to their former positions.