Bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. It can also be an effective way to make minor changes to their shape, size, or appearance, but isn’t ideal for large cosmetic procedures.
During dental bonding, a white filling material made of composite resin is placed on your tooth to improve its appearance. First, we use a shade guide to select the right color bonding material. Then, the surface is cleaned, and any decay is removed. Once the surface is prepared, it’s covered with a liquid bonding agent.
After that, the putty-like composite resin is applied, carefully shaped, and hardened using ultraviolet light.
After hardening, we’ll do some tests to ensure that your bite isn’t affected by the repair and may do some additional shaping to ensure the repair blends seamlessly with your existing teeth. Any sharp edges or imperfections will be smoothed out, and the surface will be polished.
Because bonding material comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades and is sculpted during your appointment, it can closely match the appearance of your natural teeth.
Tooth bonding can also be used for fillings instead of amalgam fillings. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than the silver amalgam. It also eliminates the risk of an allergic reaction, and because less drilling is required, it preserves more of your tooth.
Bonding fillings can be used on front or back teeth, depending on the location and extent of any tooth decay, and last approximately five to seven years with proper dental care.
Whether for tooth repair or fillings, bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and can usually be completed in one visit to our office. The entire process often takes less than an hour, and under most circumstances, requires no anesthesia. It’s also painless. Most patients find it no more intensive than a standard dental cleaning.
However, bonding can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments, such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, let us know. The bonding can generally be easily patched or repaired in one visit.