Teeth Bonding

Teeth Bonding image

Bonding is a procedure that uses a tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) to repair a tooth. Bonding can be used on teeth that are decayed, chipped, broken or discolored. The procedure is called bonding because the material bonds to the tooth. Unlike veneers, bonding can be done in a single visit. Veneers are another way to repair some teeth. They are made in a laboratory and require a customized mold to achieve a proper fit.

 

 

 

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What It’s Used For

Bonding is one of the easiest and least costly cosmetic dental treatments. The resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the other teeth. Most often, bonding is used to make a discolored or chipped tooth look better. It also can be used to close spaces between teeth, to make teeth look longer, or to change the shape or color of teeth.
Sometimes, bonding also is used to protect a portion of the tooth’s root that has been exposed when gums recede.
Preparation
Little or no preparation usually is needed for bonding. Anesthesia often is not necessary.

 

How It’s Done

Your dentist will use a shade guide to select the composite resin color that will most closely match the color of the tooth. Then he or she will slightly scratch or etch the surface of the tooth to roughen it. The tooth will be coated lightly with a conditioning liquid. This helps the bonding material to stick.
When the tooth is prepared, your dentist will apply the resin. It is tooth-colored and resembles putty. The dentist molds and smoothes the resin until it’s the proper shape. Then it is hardened with an ultraviolet light or laser.
Once the bonding material is hard, your dentist will further trim and shape it. Then he or she will polish it to match the sheen of the rest of the tooth.
The procedure usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour. If you’re having more than one tooth done, you may need several visits.

 

Follow-Up

Tea, coffee, cigarette smoke and other substances can stain the resin used in bonding. To prevent or minimize stains, you must to avoid eating or drinking anything that can stain for the first 48 hours after bonding is applied. In addition, brush your teeth often and have them cleaned regularly by a dental hygienist.

 

Risks

The composite resin used in bonding isn’t nearly as strong as a natural tooth. Biting your fingernails or chewing on ice or a pen can chip the material. Bonding usually lasts several years before it needs to be repaired. How long it actually lasts depends on how much bonding was done and your habits.

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