Tooth bonding is a dental procedure where a composite resin is used to repair decayed, fractured, chipped or discoloured teeth. The bonding procedure is quick, with most treatments only requiring one visit to the dentist. The composite material used is bonded to the existing tooth, hence the term “bonding”.
What is Bonding used for?
As a cosmetic dental procedure, bonding is one of the simple and least expensive to enhance the look of your teeth. The composite material used in the procedure can be matched to your existing teeth, both in terms of colour and shape. Bonding is most commonly used to repair chipped or broken teeth, but it can also be used to close gaps between teeth, particularly those teeth visible when you smile.
From the patient’s perspective, there is no preparation needed for a bonding procedure, and it’s not necessary for the patient to be anaesthetised.
How is the Bonding procedure carried out?
First, a colour match needs to be made so that the resin used is the closest match to the tooth it will be applied to.
Once the colour has been chosen, the area of the tooth in which the resin will be applied is scraped to create a rough surface. This is so the resin will adhere to the tooth more effectively.
When the tooth is ready, the resin will be applied to the area intended and then molded into shape. At this point, the resin is still soft so need to be hardened. This is acheived by shining an ultraviolet light or laser on the resin for a few minutes.
Once the resin has hardened, there is usually a little trimming and shaping still left to which the dentist will perform. The final step in the procedure is to polish the affected area so that it blends in with the existing tooth that it’s been applied to.
The whole bonding procedure usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes to perform, although this will depend on individual needs. More than visit may be needed if you need to have multiple bonding procedures.
If you’ve had bonding procedures then you need to be aware that the resin used is susceptible to staining from certain food and drinks. These include red wine, tea, coffee. Cigarette smoke will also cause staining over time.
The resin used is bonding is far less strong than a natural tooth so be aware that the resin can be chipped through habits such as biting your fingernails, biting on hard foods (even ice) and chewing pen tops. The lifespan of a bonded area is several years before a repair will be needed. Regular check ups at the dentist are recommended to an eye on the bonded areas. Your lifestyle, habits and food and drink intake will all have an effect on how long the bonding will last for.