What is it?
Bonding is a procedure to repair the appearance or structure of a tooth. A tooth-colored composite resin (durable plastic) is applied to the tooth then hardened with a curing light. Bonding is preferred by patients who would like a quick solution to fix the appearance of their teeth. Dental bonding can be completed in a single visit whereas veneers, which are engineered in labs and need a customized mold for a proper fit, take much longer to implement. The bonding procedure also removes the least amount of tooth enamel compared to veneers and crowns.
Patients should consider bonding if they have the following conditions:
- Decayed teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Spaces between teeth
- Short teeth
- Unusually shaped teeth
The appearance of the composite resin can be matched to the shape and color of the surrounding teeth. If a patient has receding gums, bonding can be used to protect the exposed root. Bonding can also be used as an alternative to amalgam fillings. Patients should consider bonding for its ease and affordability.
If you think bonding is right for you or if have any questions call Dr. Heather Darcey at Clear Lake Dental 281-488-6862
Little to no preparation is necessary for dental bonding. Anesthesia will not be used unless the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth, the tooth needs to be drilled to shape it, or the chip is near a nerve.
How it’s Done
The dentist will use a shade guide in order to select the composite resin color that matches the patient’s teeth. The tooth’s surface will then be carefully abraded or etched to roughen it. A conditioning liquid will lightly coat the tooth, helping the bonding material adhere. A tooth-colored putty-like resin will be prepared by the dentist. After the resin is applied it will be molded and smoothed. An ultraviolet light or laser is used to harden the material. Once the bonding resin hardens, it will be further trimmed, shaped and polished.
Expect to be at the dentist’s office about half an hour to a full hour to finish the procedure for one tooth. If more than one bonding procedure, multiple visits may be necessary.
Avoid substances that can stain the resin including tea, coffee, cigarette smoke, especially in the first 48 hours. The resin used in bonding does not resist stains as well as crowns and it is not as strong or lasts as long as other restorative procedures. Hard foods, biting fingernails, chewing on pens, ice, or using teeth as an opener can chip the composite resin.
Bonding is best used for small cosmetic defects, temporary correction and correction of teeth in low bite pressure (front teeth). Bonding material should last for several years without touch up or replacement with good oral habits.
The dentist should be notified if there sharp edges on the bonded teeth, or if the teeth feel strange when biting down. Make sure to call the dentist if the bonding chips or pieces fall out.
If you think bonding is right for you or if you have any questions call Dr. Heather Darcey at Clear Lake Dental, 281-488-6862.