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What is Cosmetic Bonding?

Cosmetic bonding is a cost-effective cosmetic dental procedure in which a dentist applies a tooth-colored composite resin to one or more of your teeth to repair damage. Serving as a practical alternative to crowns and veneers, cosmetic bonding uses a shade guide to help you choose a color that matches your natural teeth. After that, we roughen the surface of the tooth, and apply a liquid that allows the bonding agent to stick! Finally, we apply the composite resin over the liquid, molds, or shapes the tooth, and then hardens the material with UV light.

While your teeth are naturally very strong, accidents can happen. Teeth bonding can help repair chipped teeth while preventing future damage. Is it the right move for you? Keep reading, or contact Cville Dentist today at 434-973-5873 for more information.

Is Cosmetic Dental Bonding Right for You?


Teeth bonding has the best value among cosmetic dental procedure options. Unlike veneers and crowns, which may require a lab, bonding can be done onsite, unless several teeth require attention. Another advantage of bonding, when sized up against veneers and crowns is that it removes the least amount of tooth enamel.

Due to some of its limitations, cosmetic bonding is best used as a solution for short-term cosmetic correction, and for correcting teeth in areas of very low bite pressure such as the front of your teeth. Typically, bonding material lasts from 3-10 years before a replacement or touch-up is required.

Dental bonding may be recommended for several reasons:

  • repairing chipped or cracked teeth

  • fixing gaps in teeth

  • concealing discoloration

  • changing your tooth shape to match the rest of your smile

  • protecting part of a tooth's root caused by a receding gumline


How Long Does Dental Bonding Last?


Bonding on the front teeth can last between 4 and 8 years, but it may need to be replaced in as little as 3 and as many as 10 years depending on the bond’s location, your bite, and your eating habits. After the 8-year mark, your dentist will assess the bonding site to determine if the bond needs to be replaced, retouched, or if it is fine as is.

While some circumstances regarding your bond’s shelf-life may be entirely out of your control, there are certain things you can do to give your bond the best chance of longevity. It's usually better to avoid biting directly into your food, particularly hard consumables that can compromise the dental bonding structure. Your bonding's lifespan will depend largely on how serious you take your oral hygiene.

How to Care for Bonded Teeth


Bear in mind, many materials are as strong as your natural teeth, including composite resin. Avoid activities that might damage your teeth such as chewing on ice, writing utensils, and your fingernails.

Bruxism (teeth grinding) can also damage the bonding resin by grinding it down quicker than normal, run-of-the-mill wear and tear. If you are a bruxer, consider investing in a mouth guard or night guard, either through our office or a third party. Bonding your front teeth typically requires minimal prep-work, so anesthesia is unnecessary unless there is an old restoration or decay present. The tooth is layered with a conditioning gel to help the bonding material stay put. The resin is then applied and hardened with a UV light.

While your bond repairs the tooth initially, good oral hygiene is still required for long-lasting effects. Excessive hard foods and candies can also cause damage to your bond, so it’s best to avoid them since these are not great for regular teeth either. Whitening gels won’t harm anything, but you may see some discoloration as your tooth’s appearance changes, but your bond remains identical.

The process works best for healthy teeth that have suffered minor damage or trauma. You should also be content with your teeth color before getting your bond, so discuss teeth whitening with your dentist in preparation for your bond if it’s something that’s on your mind.

What to Expect from Dental Bonding


First, we use a shade guide to select a resin shade that most closely matches the natural color of the tooth. Before attaching, the surface of the tooth is sanded down and lightly coated with a conditioning liquid so that the bonding material will more easily stick. Once preparation is complete, we will apply the resin to the tooth and mold it to fit. The material is subsequently hardened using an ultraviolet light. After this, we will apply the finishing touches.

A single-tooth bonding procedure usually takes between 30 to 60 minutes from start to finish, but may require several visits to complete if more than one tooth requires work. Because most tooth bonding procedures require no anesthetic, you can commence daily activities after we’re done.

Cosmetic Bonding Preparation and Procedure


Minimal preparation is needed for dental bonding on your end, outside of practicing standard oral hygiene. As long as you show up with your teeth brushed and flossed, you are good to go! If it is almost time for your biannual dental cleaning around the time of your procedure, you might consider moving up that cleaning and scheduling it beforehand.

To kick off your bonding appointment, your dentist will select a shade that best matches up with your teeth to prepare the resin. The actual composite resin is a pliable, putty-like material that can be molded into countless shapes. Local anesthesia may be necessary if a nerve is nearby the site of the procedure, but no anesthesia is typically needed for surface repairs. The bonding procedure then starts by making the surface of the tooth coarser and more susceptible to the bonding material. The dentist will subsequently apply a fluid to help the resin stick to your teeth. Next, they will apply and mold the resin into shape. After smoothing it down, they will use UV waves to cure and harden the resin in only a few seconds.

Interested in finding a dentist that specializes in cosmetic bonding near you? Call Cville Dentist today at 434-973-5873 for more information.



What are Porcelain Dental Veneers?


Porcelain dental veneers are a custom-designed shell inserted onto the surface of your teeth like a new layer of enamel to help restore the look of your teeth. Once inserted, they can cover damaged or worn enamel, provide a bright, white surface, and even help straighten crooked teeth.

Porcelain veneers are the ideal option for smile improvement, having become increasingly popular due to their simplicity and versatility. When bonded, they are virtually undetectable and highly resistant to coffee, tea, or even cigarette stains (though we do not condone smoking for a variety of health reasons) and their resemblance to natural tooth enamel is second to none. Because they are thin, they take on the natural color of the underlying tooth.

Picture a veneer as an ultra-thin covering on your teeth’s outer surface made from super-strong, enamel-mimicking materials, thus making it a tooth’s perfect substitute. Having a porcelain veneer bonded to your tooth makes for an attractive, radiant, and new exterior.

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?


With proper care, porcelain veneers will assist in giving you your dream smile for at least a decade. We ensure that your veneers are made from the highest quality porcelain and bonded using state-of-the-art technology.

How Do Porcelain Dental Veneers Work?


Most common veneer applications involve removing a fine layer of tooth enamel before applying the porcelain material, making room for a seamless fitting of the porcelain veneer and giving it the most natural appearance possible. Porcelain dental veneers can help adjust not just your tooth color, but also its size, shape, and spacing.

What Type of Problems Do Porcelain Veneers Correct?

  • Discolored Teeth

  • Worn-Down Teeth

  • Chipped or Broken Teeth

  • Misaligned, Uneven, or Irregularly Shaped Teeth

  • Gaps in Teeth

This procedure happens in several phases:


Diagnosis and treatment planning: While we are here to help, we want to make sure you play an active role in planning your smile.

Preparation: A mold is taken of your teeth and sent to the lab for fabrication. The veneer should be ready in approximately a week or two.

Bonding: First, we place the veneer on your teeth with water or glycerin to check the fit and color. By this point, the color of the veneer is still adjustable by the shade of the cement used to adhere it before the tooth is cleansed with specific chemicals to achieve a bond.

Composite vs. Porcelain Veneers


Composite veneers have many advantages, namely their ability to remain cost-effective while not sacrificing quality. Direct composite veneers are sculpted onto your teeth rather than at a lab. The tooth-shaded resin is directly applied to teeth where it can be shaped, sculpted, and polished to elicit a more natural appearance.

While many patients prefer composite veneers to porcelain veneers, porcelain veneers can be a great option with proper care. Porcelain veneers are made of a more durable material than composite resin veneers and may last longer as a result. Porcelain veneers typically last between 10-15 years, while composite resin dental veneers last around 4-8 years.

Caring for Your Porcelain Dental Veneers


If you want to improve your smile with cosmetic dentistry, then veneers are a good treatment option. Along with proper at-home care, such as brushing with a non-abrasive toothpaste and flossing daily, and regularly scheduled checkups every six months, they are sure to provide you with a beautiful smile for years to come.

You may experience some sensitivity to extreme temperatures after placement of your veneer. This is due to the amount of enamel left on the tooth after it has been prepped. This is normal and should subside in a few weeks time. If sensitivity persists, please do not hesitate to call us.

Additionally, if you are known for clenching your teeth (bruxism), please be sure to let us know. We may recommend a soft, durable night guard for you to wear that can minimize stress placed on your teeth while you sleep.

For answers to questions such as, “do porcelain veneers stain?,” or for more information on how to get porcelain veneers, call 434-973-5873 to schedule a consultation today!



In cases of tooth decay or damage where severity exceeds the restorative capacity of fillings, Dr. Sowmya may recommend inlays or onlays. In contrast to fillings, which are made of malleable material that is placed in the tooth and then hardened, inlays and onlays are pre-formed from gold, porcelain or another material and cemented into the tooth by Dr. Sowmya. While inlays are used to repair damaged areas within the edges of the chewing surfaces of molars, onlays are used for damage that extends to the outer cusps of the chewing surfaces. A variety of advantages related to appearance, functionality, and longevity are associated with inlays and onlays.



The benefits of inlays and onlays are numerous and varied. These treatments from Dr. Sowmya enables preservation of more natural tooth structure, which is preferred for long-term fit and durability of the teeth involved. In fact, inlays and onlays can actually help strengthen teeth. Compared to tooth-colored fillings, inlays and onlays are less likely to become stained over time. Cleaning is also easier with inlays and onlays compared to full crowns, supporting oral health as a result.

Two appointments are necessary for placement of inlays and onlays. At the first appointment, Dr. Sowmya removes the damaged area and takes dental impressions for use in making the new inlay or onlay. To protect the tooth until the second appointment, a temporary inlay or onlay is placed. At the following appointment, Dr. Sowmya checks the permanent inlay or onlay for fit before cementing it in place, curing it, and polishing it to a smooth finish.



Onlays are used when more tooth structure has been lost and are made from the same filling as inlays, though the onlays will extend to the cusp of the tooth. For example, a crown is a type of onlay that covers the entire surface of the tooth. Once the onlay has been properly set, you will find you have regained a great deal of your strength and will be able to better chew and bite.


Depending on the location of the area being repaired, Dr. Sowmya may recommend one type of material or another for an inlay or onlay. For example, gold is often preferred for durability, but porcelain is normally recommended for inlays and onlays in the front of the mouth for aesthetic purposes. To learn more about inlays and onlays and their usefulness for specific issues, patients can schedule a consultation with our office.


Having a beautiful smile may be even easier than you think. Many people achieve the look they have been dreaming of with our simple “bleaching” procedure.


It is safe, quick, and inexpensive. At any appointment, just let us know if you would like to begin the bleaching process. You can lighten only your upper teeth or both the upper and lower depending on how much you show when you talk and smile.

In only a day or two your custom bleach splints will be ready for you. We provide a special bleaching agent that you put into the clear splints. With only a few hours of wear per day, our special bleaching agent bubbles stains right out of your enamel without altering tooth structure or existing dental work. When your teeth reach the desired brightness, only occasional treatment is needed to maintain your new smile. We will want to take “after” photos at your next appointment.

Dental bleaching can be used to correct tooth discoloration. Discolorations can be caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Using the latest in bleaching technology, we can offer a safe method for creating a beautiful, brilliant smile. In cases of extreme tooth discoloration, crowns or veneers may be the only choice. But because of the low cost of bleaching treatments, bleaching is nearly always worth a try.

Key Benefits of Teeth Whitening:

  • Corrects brown, yellow, and mottled teeth stains.

  • Improve the aesthetics of your smile, regardless of age.

  • It is a near-permanent solution for a dull smile, restoring brightness and brings a smile alive


An impression is taken to make a specialized mouth guard mouthguard or stent to hold the bleaching solution against the teeth. The material is used each night for about three to four hours for a week or two. By the end of this time, significant whitening will occur. In some cases, the change is nothing short of brilliant. For confidence in appearance, this bleaching technology allows us to promise improvements in yellowing, aging, or stained teeth. For very severely stained teeth, crowns or veneers may be more appropriate.


Over-the-counter bleaching agents are available for purchase at drug stores and pharmacies. However, since these products can cause harm to the gums and teeth, it is better to use products that our practice recommends.


If you prefer teeth that are immediately whiter right now or you would rather whiten your teeth over a few nights while you sleep, Dr. Sowmya has your answer! In-Office Whitening System uses proprietary technology to whiten your teeth an average of eight shades* in a little over an hour while you relax at your dentist's office. It's ideal for anyone who wants immediate results. ! Take-Home Whitening System uses a revolutionary patent-pending gel to whiten your teeth an average of six shades in three nights*. And you may go even lighter with additional applications. Start on Friday and by Monday you will have a whole new smile. Strips or paint-on gels are a waste of time. Get your teeth whiter in a fraction of the time !


What is tooth whitening?

It is a bleaching process that lightens discoloration of enamel and dentin.


What can cause tooth discoloration?

There are many causes. The most common include aging and consumption of staining substances such as coffee, tea, or tobacco. During tooth formation consumption of tetracycline, certain antibiotics, or excessive fluoride may also cause tooth discoloration.


Who may benefit from tooth whitening?

Just about anyone can benefit from tooth whitening. However, treatment may not be as effective for some as it is for others. With an oral exam, Dr. Sowmya can determine if you are a candidate for this procedure, including a shade assessment.


Is tooth whitening becoming more popular?

Absolutely! A bright, beautiful smile can make a big difference. In Office Whitening  makes the process easier and faster than ever before.


Is tooth whitening safe?

Yes, research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe. In fact, many dentists consider whitening the safest cosmetic dental procedure available. As with any tooth whitening product, it is not recommended for children under 13 years of age and pregnant or lactating women.


Do the results last a long time?

By following some simple post whitening care instructions, your teeth will always be lighter than they were before. We recommend flossing, brushing twice daily! Whitening Toothpaste, and touch-ups are available along with  take-home gel. These are professional formula products designed specifically to keep your teeth their brightest. They are available through our office.


Is there any difference between over-the-counter tooth whiteners and in office whitening!?

Yes! Consulting Dr. Sowmya is always the first step to whitening your teeth safely. Over-the-counter tooth whitening strips, brush-on gels and toothpastes take weeks or months to whiten your teeth just a few shades. 


How does the  In-Office System work?

Light-activated whitening gel’s active ingredient is Hydrogen Peroxide. As hydrogen peroxide is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin, bleaching any colored substance while keeping the structure of the tooth unchanged. Certain aids are used in activating the hydrogen peroxide and helps it penetrate the surface of the tooth.


Is the In-office procedure painful?

No. During the procedure, patients can actually watch television or listen to music. Many fall asleep.

Are there any side effects?

Some people experience temporary increased tooth sensitivity to cold during treatment. These symptoms disappear within 1-3 days after interruption or completion of the treatment.


How long is the procedure?

The entire procedure takes just over one hour. The procedure begins with a preparation period followed by one hour of bleaching. A five-minute fluoride treatment completes the procedure (we recommend a cleaning prior to the actual  Whitening session).


How long does  Take-Home Whitening take?

Take-home gel is designed to be worn between four and eight hours per application. Dr. Sowmya will advise you on how long you should wear each application. A recent study showed that you can achieve an average improvement of six shades* after just three nights of use. Dr. Sowmya will help you determine how many applications are right for you.


How is the Take-Home System different from the  In-Office System?

The main difference between the two systems is that you use the Take-Home System in the convenience of your own home over a few nights. The In- ZOOM! Office System is performed entirely in the office.

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