Dental Bonding–To Improve and Restore Your Smile
Often your teeth will need some help to restore them or to fix a defect. Some of these reasons are:
- Cavities or decay
- Chipped or cracked teeth from sports, accidents or just plain living
- Cosmetic reasons, such as fixing discoloration, correcting gaps or spaces in a smile, adjusting the shape or length of a tooth or even to use as a filling (as amalgam fillings can be dark and ugly)
- For filling in exposed portions of the teeth due to gum recession
Dental bonding is an effective method to directly fix these problems, right in the dental office. For this reason, it is often called “chairside bonding.” It is a relatively simple procedure that uses a composite resin to repair the problem. The resin can be mixed for a natural color that matches your teeth. It is then applied to the problem area, hardened with a special light and finally trimmed or contoured to fit.
A very strong, long-lasting bond to the tooth is created that is extremely lifelike and natural in appearance.
Dental Bonding is as Easy as 1-2-3
For a trained professional, dental bonding is a straightforward proposition. It doesn’t require any advance planning or preparation, so it can be done “on the spot” as the dentist sees fit.
The first step is to mix the composite resin materials, using a shade that will match your teeth. Rarely is there a need for the use of painkillers, unless the dentist is working on a decayed tooth or cavity.
Next the tooth is prepped in order for a good bond with the resin to occur. This means a bit of roughing of the enamel and the application of a chemical liquid to to increase the bond strength. The doctor then applies the resin mix to the tooth and works to shape it as needed.
Now a special light is used to harden the composite and to fix the bond. This usually only takes a few minutes. Then, once it has hardened, the doctor will do some final shaping and polishing for a smooth and seamless match to your existing teeth.
Just like that, the tooth is fixed, the smile is restored and the entire procedure normally takes less than an hour–often only 30 minutes or so.
Dental bonding is a versatile technique. It has a number of positives, such as its ease, its rapidity and its comparatively low cost. The bonding resins are less stain-resistant and somewhat weaker than veneers or crowns but they don’t require multiple visits and don’t rely upon fitted, custom items from a lab.