Dental bonding involves the application of tooth-colored resin to the tooth surface with the assistance of adhesives and a curing light. As one of the easiest and most affordable forms of cosmetic dentistry, many people choose to undergo tooth bonding to repair the look of their teeth for a more aesthetically-pleasing smile.
Individuals may decide to have dental bonding done for the following reasons:
- To restore decayed teeth
- To improve the appearance of stained or discolored teeth
- To repair cracked or chipped teeth
- To make short teeth appear longer
- To close gaps between teeth
- To alter the shape of teeth
- To protect teeth with exposed roots
- To fill cavity-stricken teeth if amalgam fillings are unwanted
The dental bonding process is relatively straightforward, pain-free, and can generally be completed in a single visit. As the treatment does not generally cause pain, a local anesthetic is not usually used. The exception is when a cavity is being filled. Before the bonding process begins, the dentist will examine the area to determine a plan of action and to match the resin material to the natural tooth surface.
Next, the tooth that is to be bonded must be properly prepared to ensure an optimal bond between the tooth surface and resin bonding material. Using a conditioning liquid, the tooth surface is roughened to create a suitable foundation for the resin. Next, tooth-colored resin is applied to the tooth surface. This putty-like resin is then smoothed and molded until it reaches its desired shape and texture.
To harden the resin material, a high-intensity ultraviolet laser or light is directed onto the bonding material. Once the material has hardened, the dentist will continue to shape and trim the material to create a natural looking tooth surface. The dentist will then finish the tooth by polishing the surface to match the sheen of the remaining tooth structure. From start to finish, the total bonding time takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes.
Dental bonding has become more and more popular in recent years due to its affordability. It is less expensive than other forms of cosmetic dentistry, such as crowns and veneers. Of course, bonding comes with a few downfalls. Bonding material is less durable than crowns and porcelain veneers, and has an average lifespan of three to seven years before it must be redone. Resin material is also susceptible to staining.
If you’re dealing with a small chip, a gap between two teeth, or permanent discoloration of your teeth, consider undergoing dental bonding. If completed by a qualified dentist, the results appear natural, allowing you to smile with confidence.