What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured or discolored tooth, to make teeth appear longer, and as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings. Bonding can be done in a single visit to your dentist.
When should dental bonding be considered?
- To repair decayed teeth (composite resins are used to fill cavities)
- To repair chipped or cracked teeth
- To improve the appearance of discolored teeth
- To close spaces between teeth
- To make teeth look longer
- To change the shape of teeth
- As a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings
- To protect a portion of the tooth’s root that has been exposed when gums recede
Is dental bonding right for me?
Dental bonding isn’t for everyone. If your smile is crooked as the result of an over- or underbite, this treatment won’t serve to correct it. Instead, speak with your dentist to determine if more in-depth work is needed, like adjusting your bite or any complex chips or gaps between your teeth. Bonding is primarily for those who seek a cosmetic solution for teeth that are otherwise healthy.
What can you expect during your visit?
Composite bonding is a safe and effective technique that was developed more than 50 years ago, and has been widely available for over three decades, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). The fillings and processes today are very efficient, making it easier for both you and your dentist.
The treatment itself often starts with the removal of some surface enamel, allowing the dentist to best shape the composite resin to your tooth, followed by the application of the bonding agent. Your dentist will then add the composite resin, cure it with a special light and finish by polishing your teeth. Because the process involves a high level of technique for a natural mold and shape, it’s best to work with a dentist who has experience and specialty in this area.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of dental bonding?
- Dental bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures.
- Bonding can usually be done in one office visit unless several teeth are involved.
- Dental bonding involves the removal of less tooth enamel than veneers or crowns.
- Anesthesia is usually not required.
- While composite resin is somewhat stain resistant, it’s not as stain resistant as a crown or veneer.
- Composite resin may eventually chip or break off the tooth after three to ten years.