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Dental bonds are an affordable quick-fix for that smile to die for.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 28, 2010 23:03 IST

Okay, so you’ve chipped your tooth and are too embarrassed to smile wide. Dental bonding may hold the key to get rid of that awkwardness. It is a cosmetic procedure that uses dental filling resin with a special light to remodel imperfections such as gaps, chips and even crooked teeth. The resin is used to fill in spaces and reshape imperfections and it is done at a lower cost of other similar procedures such as caps and crowns.

What it takes The procedure is painless as little or no local anesthetic is needed to bond a tooth or fill a cavity. The most important ingredient is the resin, a compound that, when dry, becomes as hard as tooth enamel. The resin is moulded using a special ultraviolet light. Experienced dentists mix the resin colour to match your teeth so cleverly that it becomes impossible to differentiate between natural teeth and the bonded ones.

Cost Dental bonding is the cheapest way to a better smile. The cost depends on the severity of the correction and varies from Rs 1,500 to Rs 5,000 per tooth. Multiple corrections can be made in one visit. A session could last between 30 minutes to 3 hours. Whitening teeth to a more attractive shade, however, is an added expense.

Perfect, for a while Most other cosmetic dental procedures run into several thousand rupees and are often more painful and complicated. Braces for example, require numerous visits over several years. Likewise, caps require filing teeth which can be both painful and costly. The only drawback for dental bonds is its durability. The average life span of bonds is between three and seven years. The immediate benefit, however, is immense. Even turmeric, tea, coffee and cigarettes cannot stain bonds, bringing it the closest to walk-away perfection.

Dr Kakar is a senior consultant orthodontist at Apollo Hospitals

First Published: Aug 28, 2010 23:02 IST