Dental bonding is a form of cosmetic dentistry that can help improve the overall appearance of your smile. There are two types of a bonding, both of which can drastically improve the look, feel, function, and health of teeth.
One type of dental bonding is adhesive bonding, which applies another object to your teeth. An example of this is bonding porcelain veneers or a bridge to your teeth. The bonding agent adheres the object to your teeth with the help of a light that molds and hardens to create a bond.
Another type of bonding is direct composite bonding, where a bond is made directly on the tooth for procedures such as cavities, closing gaps, or fixing chipped or broken teeth.
What Can Dental Bonding Fix?
Above, we mentioned a few ways dental bonding is used to repair your smile. Here are some other ways that dental bonding is frequently used:
- To repair decayed teeth (such as filling 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 gums recede
Bonding is a highly useful way to repair teeth or to improve the overall aesthetic of a smile. Dr. Moore uses bonding in a variety of ways, and may use this technique in other ways, if your treatment requires it.
How is a Tooth Bonded?
- Step 1: Preparation
Very little preparation is needed for dental bonding, and anesthesia is not usually necessary. Dr. Moore will prepare you if anesthesia is needed (an example is when bonding is used to fill a decayed tooth). To get you prepared, Dr. Moore will use a shade guide to select a composite resin color that will closely match the exact color of your tooth.
- Step 2: The Bonding Process
Next, the surface of the tooth will be roughened and a conditioning liquid applied, which will allow the bonding material adhere to the tooth.The tooth-colored, putty-like resin is then applied, molded, and smoothed to the desired shape. An ultraviolet light is then used to harden the material. Once the material has hardened, Dr. Moore will further trim and shape it, and polish it to match the sheen of the rest of the tooth surface.
- Step 3: Finished!
The entire process should last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes per tooth. Depending on the type of bonding and treatment you receive, Dr. Moore may schedule a follow-up appointment to check in on you and your smile.
What are the Pros & Cons of Dental Bonding?
The Advantages of Dental Bonding
Dental 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 lab, 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.
The Disadvantages of Dental Bonding
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.
Is Dental Bonding Right for Me?
Because of some of the limitations of dental bonding, some dentists view it as best suited for small cosmetic changes, for temporary correction of cosmetic defects, and for correction of teeth in certain areas.
Consult with Dr. Moore about the best cosmetic approach for you; schedule your appointment today to learn more!
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