Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored
resin material (a durable plastic material) is applied and hardened
with a special light, which ultimately "bonds" the material
to the tooth to restore or improve person's smile.
For What Conditions Is Dental Bonding Considered?
Dental bonding is an option that can 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
What's the Procedure for Having a Tooth Bonded?
Preparation. Little advance preparation is needed
for dental bonding. Anesthesia is often not necessary unless the bonding
is being used to fill a decayed tooth. Your dentist will use a shade
guide to select a composite resin color that will closely match the
color of your tooth.
The bonding process. Next, the surface of the tooth
will be roughened and a conditioning liquid applied. These procedures
help the bonding material adhere to the tooth. The tooth-colored,
puttylike resin is then applied, molded and smoothed to the desired
shape. An ultraviolet light or laser is then used to harden the material.
After the material is hardened, your dentist will further trim and
shape it, and polish it to match the sheen of the rest of the tooth
Time-to-completion. The procedure takes about 30
to 60 minutes per tooth to complete.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Bonding?
Advantages: Bonding is among the easiest and least
expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. Unlike veneers and crowns,
which are customized tooth coverings that must be manufactured in
a laboratory, bonding usually can be done in one office visit unless
several teeth are involved. Another advantage, compared with veneers
and crowns, is that the least amount of tooth enamel is removed. Also,
unless dental bonding is being performed to fill a cavity, anesthesia
is usually not required.
Disadvantages: Although the material used in dental
bonding is somewhat stain resistant, it does not resist stains as
well as crowns. Another disadvantage is that the bonding materials
do not last as long nor are as strong as other restorative procedures,
such as crowns, veneers, or fillings. Additionally, bonding materials
can chip and break off the tooth.
Because of some of the limitations of bonding, some dentists view
bonding as best suited for small cosmetic changes, for temporary correction
of cosmetic defects, and for correction of teeth in areas of very
low bite pressure (for example, front teeth). Consult with your dentist
about the best cosmetic approach for your particular problem.