Bonding is a procedure available in comprehensive family dentistry through which a tooth-colored composite resin (a durable plastic) is applied to restore or improve your smile when you have chipped, fractured, decayed or discolored teeth. With exposure to a concentrated halogen light, this material actually “bonds” to the tooth for a healthy, natural-looking smile. Bonding is among the easiest and most affordable of all dental procedures. Unlike crowns or veneers, bonding usually only requires one visit. The bonding procedure removes less tooth enamel than other dental restorations and generally only takes about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth to complete.
Because the material used in bonding is not as strong as other dental restorations, bonding is usually best suited for small cosmetic changes or for restoration of teeth in areas of low bite pressure (for example, front teeth).
Your dentist will instruct you on how to protect a bonding restoration (for example, by avoiding chewing on pen caps or ice). With proper care, dental bonding usually lasts for several years, but as with most dental restorations they will someday require replacement.
Reasons for getting dental bonding:
- To repair chipped or cracked teeth
- To restore appearance of discolored teeth
- As an aesthetically pleasing alternative to amalgam (silver) fillings
- To close gaps between teeth
- To make teeth look longer or otherwise change their shape
- To protect part of the tooth’s root that has become exposed due to gum recession
Usually only one appointment is required for a dental bonding procedure. First, your dentist will apply an etching solution to roughen the tooth’s surface so the bonding material can better adhere. Next, a resin that precisely matches the shade of your tooth will be carefully applied and shaped in layers. After each layer is applied it is hardened with a concentrated halogen light or laser. Finally, your dentist will carefully trim, shape and polish the bonding material. Unless the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth, anesthesia is usually not necessary.
At Falmouth Dental Associates we use the latest technology and finest materials to provide dental bonding that offers superior fit, function and aesthetics. We will provide instructions for the care of your new dental restoration. As with natural teeth, proper oral hygiene, good eating habits and regular dental visits will help maintain the life of your new dental bonding.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about dental bonding or to schedule a smile consultation with one of our doctors.