Cosmetic bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured, discolored tooth, to make teeth appear longer, and as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings.
Dental bonding can be considered to fix the following dental issues:
- 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
Dental bonding takes little to no preparation, and the use of anesthesia if often not necessary unless the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth. Our specialist will match the shade of your existing teeth to select a composite resin color that will closely match the color of your tooth.
There are two forms of dental bonding: direct composite bonding and adhesive bonding:
- Direct Composite Bonding- Direct composite bonding is the process where our dentists use tooth-colored composites (white or natural-looking materials) that they have in their offices to fill cavities, repair chips or cracks, close gaps between your teeth and build up the worn-down edges of teeth. The composite materials may also be directly applied and sculpted to the surfaces of teeth that show most prominently when you smile, for minimally invasive smile makeovers. In the dental world these are called direct composite veneers but generically known by most to be called “bonding.”
- Adhesive Bonding- Adhesive bonding as opposed to direct composite bonding is the process of attaching a restoration to a tooth. This method is commonly used for esthetic crowns, porcelain veneers, bridges and inlays/onlays. After our specialist has chosen a color that matches the shade of your teeth, he/she will roughen the surface of the tooth using a gentle phosphoric acid solution. Soon after the roughing agent is removed, a liquid bonding agent is applied. The tooth-colored putty-like resin is applied to the tooth, then molded and smoothed until it’s in the desired shape. The material is then hardened with an ultraviolet curing light, and the previous step is repeated until the filing or direct composite veneer has reached its final shape. Your dentist will then polish the material until it matches the sheen of the rest of the tooth surface.