Dental bonding is the process through which a dentist applies a tooth-colored, plastic-based composite resin to the enamel of the teeth and then hardens it with a specific light. It is an easy method of improving the appearance of chipped, broken, stained, or otherwise aesthetically damaged teeth.
The process can also be used to fix gaps between teeth or to make the teeth look longer or better-shaped. If a patient has a problem with gum recession, dental bonding can be used to cover the exposed portion of the teeth. When treating cavities, dental bonding is an alternative to amalgam fillings.
Dental bonding differs from veneers in that it can be applied in one visit. Veneers are also made in a dental lab (depending on the type of veneer), and must be custom-molded to the teeth. Bonding does not require that a patient wait for custom-molding.
Dental bonding is the process through which a dentist applies a tooth-colored, plastic-based composite resin to the enamel of the teeth and then hardens it with a specific light.
To apply dental bonding, the dentist will lightly etch the surface of the tooth. This does not generally require anesthesia, unless the tooth is decayed. A tooth shade guide will be used to pick the composite resin that will most closely match the color of the surrounding teeth.
Next, a conditioning liquid will be spread over the tooth, which will help the bonding resin stick more firmly. The resin is then applied and molded to the shape desired, and hardened with the special light. Once it is hard, the dentist will shape it further and polish the surface so it will reflect light like a natural tooth.
The whole process usually takes less than one hour. It is also the aesthetic process that requires the least amount of removal of enamel to prepare the tooth (when compared to crowns and veneers).
Once the bonding is in place, patients should avoid common tooth-staining foods for 48 hours. Composite resins are especially susceptible to staining during this period. If properly cared for, they can last for years, at which point they can be repaired or replaced.
To learn more about the benefits of dental bonding, contact the office of Drs. Patel and Strickland, serving Las Colinas and the surrounding areas, to schedule your professional consultation.