Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic material) is applied and hardened with a special light, which ultimately “bonds” the material to the tooth to restore or improve person’s smile.
For What Conditions Is Dental Bonding Considered?
Dental bonding is an option that can be considered:
- To repair cavities
- To repair chipped or broken teeth
- To change the color of discolored teeth.
- To close gaps between front teeth.
- To make teeth look longer
- As an alternative to silver fillings.
- To protect the roots of teeth when gums recede
What’s the Procedure for Having a Tooth Bonded?
- Preparation. Usually, anesthesia is applied to the area being bonded. The area is then carefully isolated using gauze, cotton rolls or a dental dam.
- The bonding process. The tooth surface is then roughened and any decay or discoloration is removed. Any old silver fillings are also removed. The surface of the tooth is treated with various products to help the bonding material stick to the tooth surface. The tooth-colored, putty-like resin is then applied, molded, and smoothed to the desired shape. An ultraviolet light or laser is then used to harden the material. After the material is hardened, we will further trim and shape it, and polish it to match the sheen of the rest of the tooth surface.
- How long does it take? We typically ask our patients to set aside 1-2 hours for their bonding appointment depending on the number of teeth being bonded.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Bonding?
- Advantages: Dental bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. Unlike veneers and crowns, which are customized tooth coverings that must be manufactured in a laboratory, bonding usually can be done in one office visit unless several teeth are involved. Another advantage, compared with veneers and crowns, is that the least amount of tooth enamel is removed.
- Disadvantages: Because bonding is not as strong as other options such as crowns or veneers, our patients are advised to be very careful with their bonded teeth. Also, dental bonding typically has to be repaired or replaced every few years as it will chip and discolor easily. In some cases, the cavity or the broken area may be simply too big to repair with bonding alone.