Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure that uses a tooth-colored composite resin material to enhance your smile. This procedure is used to repair chips, close down gaps, or change the shape and color of a tooth. Unlike other cosmetic treatments, such as porcelain veneers, bonding is completely reversible.
What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding, sometimes called composite bonding or teeth bonding, is a cosmetic dentistry treatment used to enhance your smile. During the procedure, your dentist applies tooth-colored resin material to the affected teeth to change their shape, size or color.
When is dental bonding recommended?
Teeth bonding is used to make cosmetic improvements to your smile. The procedure uses tooth-colored composite resin material to:
- Conceal chips or cracks in your teeth.
- Camouflage tooth discoloration.
- Close gaps and spaces between your teeth.
- Make your teeth look longer.
- Change the shape of your teeth.
The same composite resin material used in bonding is also used in restorative dentistry to:
- Fill cavities.
- Replace old silver dental fillings with a more cosmetic alternative.
- Protect teeth roots that have been exposed due to gum recession.
How common is dental bonding?
Cosmetic teeth bonding is very common. In fact, it’s one of the most frequently performed procedures in dentistry today.
Dental bonding vs. veneers: What’s the difference?
Porcelain veneers are custom-made ceramic shells that adhere to the front surfaces of your teeth. To place them, your dentist typically must remove some enamel from your natural teeth. Once placed, porcelain veneers are not reversible. They’ll need to be replaced every 10 to 20 years.
Dental bonding, on the other hand, may not require significant enamel removal. As a result, bonding is completely reversible. You’ll likely need touchups every three to 10 years.
You might hear dentists use the term “composite veneers.” This is when your dentist uses composite resin material to cover the entire surface of your tooth.
What happens before teeth bonding?
Prior to cosmetic bonding, your dentist will sit down with you and discuss your cosmetic goals. They’ll also take dental X-rays and examine your teeth and gums to make sure you’re eligible for the procedure. If you have severe tooth decay, gum disease or other serious oral health problems, you’ll probably need to treat those issues first.
What happens during dental bonding?
During your dental bonding procedure, your dentist will:
Select a shade
Your dentist uses a shade guide to select a composite resin material that matches the color of your natural teeth.
Prepare your tooth
The surface of your tooth is roughened and a conditioning liquid is applied. These steps help the bonding material stick to your tooth.
Apply the composite resin material
The resin material (which is a putty-like consistency) is applied, molded and smoothed to the desired shape.
Cure the material. Next, the composite resin is hardened with a special curing light, which “bonds” the material to the surface of your tooth.
Polish your tooth
Finally, your dentist will make any necessary final adjustments and polish your tooth to a natural-looking shine.
The procedure takes about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth to complete.
Is dental bonding painful?
Teeth bonding usually isn’t painful because your dentist won’t be working anywhere close to the pain-sensing nerve inside your tooth. In most cases, anesthesia isn’t even necessary during dental bonding. Some people may experience temporary sensitivity after their dental bonding procedure. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help ease this discomfort.
What happens after teeth bonding?
After dental bonding, proper oral hygiene is essential to keep your mouth healthy and bright. Brush at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and floss between your teeth once daily. In addition, you should visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
Related / Composite Bonding vs. Veneers.