A bonding, or a ‘white filling’ is an excellent way to repair or change the shape or color of teeth, particularly front teeth. Bonding is usually a one-appointment procedure that starts with a careful matching of the color of the bonding materials to your tooth color.
Next, your teeth are lightly roughened and a gel is applied to ensure that the bonding materials will adhere. Then the bonding material is applied, sculpted and hardened with a high-intensity light. The final step is a careful polishing of your new teeth.
[ribbon toplink=”true”]For What Conditions Is Dental Bonding Considered?[/ribbon]
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 gums recede
To demonstrate, a short video about closing a gap between your front teeth is below:
[ribbon toplink=”true”]What’s the Procedure for Having a Tooth Bonded?[/ribbon]
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, putty-like 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 surface.
Time-to-completion. Dental bonding takes about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth to complete.
[ribbon toplink=”true”]What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?[/ribbon]
Advantages: 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 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 used to correct the shape of a tooth may not last as long or be as strong as other restorative procedures, such as crowns and veneers. Bonding materials can chip and break off the tooth easier.
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 areas of very low bite pressure (for example, front teeth).