Dental bonding is a procedure in which your dentist applies a tooth-colored resin material to your tooth and hardens it with a special curing light, which ultimately “bonds” the material to your tooth. Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. Dental bonding is an option for the following:
- To repair decayed teeth (composite resin fillings)
- 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 (silver) fillings
- To protect exposed root surfaces that have been exposed due to recession.
Your dentist will use a shade guide in order to select the appropriate composite resin color that will match your teeth. The procedure involves preparing the tooth surface by roughening or abrading and then applying a special gel to condition the tooth surface. A primer/bonding agent is then applied so the resin material will adhere to the surface. The last step is to place the resin material on the tooth and harden it with a special curing light. The resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish.
It’s important to know that composite resin used in bonding isn’t nearly as strong as natural tooth; therefore, it is important to avoid such habits as biting fingernails, chewing on pens or ice, or using your bonded teeth as an opener. Dental bonding is somewhat stain resistant, but it doesn’t resist stains as well as porcelain veneers, inlays, onlays, or crowns. Therefore, porcelain veneers, inlays, onlays, and crowns are better options for larger chips and to replace larger fillings or cavities.