What is cosmetic bonding?
Cosmetic bonding uses composite resin to conservatively repair chipped, worn, and/or discolored teeth. It can also correct small spacing issues. Composite resins come in a variety of tooth colors and can blend seamlessly with natural teeth. Often times, little to no tooth preparation (drilling) is required.
What is the bonding procedure like?
Cosmetic bonding can usually be completed in a single visit without dental anesthesia. First, the tooth to be bonded will be cleaned so it is free of plaque and debris. Next, acid etch is applied to microscopically roughen the tooth surface and open small channels. After the etch is rinsed off, bonding agent (adhesive) is painted on and activated with a special curing light. The composite resin is then applied in a thin layer, filling in the channels to create a strong micromechanical bond with the tooth. This layer is also light cured to allow it to fully set. Additional increments are added in layers and sculpted until the proper size is reached. Finally, the resin is shaped and polished to remove any excess and to achieve a smooth, shiny, and natural surface.
My bonding chipped. What should I do?
Since the composite resin used for bonding is not as strong as your natural teeth, it is possible for the material to chip or loosen from the tooth. If you accidentally chipped or fractured your dental bonding, we can usually repair it in a single visit.
How do I care for cosmetically bonded teeth?
Cosmetically bonded teeth, like natural teeth, should be brushed and flossed daily and professionally cleaned at least twice per year at the dental office. It is important to note that composite resins and natural teeth can absorb stains. Additionally, composite resins cannot be made lighter. Therefore, if you are considering whitening your teeth, it should ideally be done before tooth bonding. In this way, a composite shade can be chosen to match the lighter tooth color. If you whiten your teeth after bonding, the bonded tooth may not match the surrounding teeth. Finally, it is best to avoid biting your nails, chewing on hard objects, or placing excessive forces on your teeth that could result in chipping of the bonding material.