What is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin, much like a plastic, to the teeth. It is applied to repair decayed, chipped, fractured or discolored teeth. Bonding can be done in a single dentist visit as it does not need to be manufactured in a laboratory or need a customized mold.
What is Dental Bonding Used For?
It is an easy and inexpensive cosmetic dental procedure, which can improve the appearance of discolored or chipped teeth. It is also used to fill in gaps between teeth, and can be used to modify the shape or length of teeth for cosmetic purposes. The composite resin can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth for the perfect finish.
Dental bonding has also been used as an alternative to amalgam or metal fillings since the composite is able to blend in with the rest of the patient’s natural teeth for a more appealing smile. Another use is the application to protect a portion of a tooth’s root that has been exposed as a result of receding gums.
How is Dental Bonding Applied?
Anesthesia is not necessary in this process unless the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth. There is no extra preparation that needs to be done before this dentist appointment.
In the appointment, your dentist will use a color guide to select the composite resin that will match the natural color of your teeth. The dentist will then slightly etch the surface of the tooth to make its surface rough and then coat the tooth in a conditioning liquid. This is so the composite resin will stick to the tooth.
When the tooth is prepared, the tooth-colored, putty-like resin will be applied. The resin is molded and smoothed into its proper shape. An ultraviolet light or laser is then used to harden the material. Your dentist will further trim and shape the bonding once it has hardened. The tooth will then be polished until the bonding matches the natural sheen of your teeth.
The whole process can take between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the amount of work that needs to be done. If you’re having more than one tooth done, you may need to schedule different appointments.
What to Avoid After a Dental Bonding Procedure
Substances, such as tea, coffee and cigarette smoke can stain the dental bonding resin and should be avoided to maintain the resin’s original color. To prevent or minimize stains, avoid eating or drinking foods that can stain for the first 48 hours after any composite procedure. Patients should continue to brush their teeth twice a day, maintain a good oral hygiene regime and have their teeth cleaned regularly by a dental hygienist to ensure the dental bonding lasts as long as possible.