Dental bonding is the use of a resin material –such as a composite- for cosmetic or therapeutic dental procedures. While not nearly as durable as amalgam fillings or other tooth restoration techniques, composite resin can last up to 10 years with proper care and good oral hygiene. It may seem like an expensive technique for improving your smile, but composite resins are not only relatively affordable, they’re also often at least partially covered by most dental insurance plans.
Bonding is most commonly used for these types of dental work:
- Repair of decayed teeth (You will often see composite resins used as an alternative to amalgam fillings.)
- Repair of chipped or cracked teeth
- Improving the appearance of permanently discolored teeth
- Closing spaces between teeth
- Protecting the roots of a tooth if the gums have receded
- Making the teeth look longer
- Changing the shape of the teeth
Dental bonding generally takes between 30-60 minutes per tooth. When a tooth will be undergoing dental bonding, you should expect your dentist to take the following steps:
- If anesthesia is required (for example, if decayed teeth are being repaired), it will be administered first.
- Your dentist will use a shade guide to determine the resin color that most closely matches your teeth.
- The tooth surface will be roughened up, and a conditioning agent will be applied to the roughened surface to allow the composite resin to properly adhere to the tooth surface.
- The resin is applied, smoothed, and shaped to fit the tooth.
- An ultraviolet or laser light is used to set the resin.
- After the material has hardened, your dentist will continue to shape it to match the rest of the tooth. Once finished, it will be polished to match the surrounding enamel surface.
Because composite materials are not as durable as other materials, most dentists only use them to make small repairs, or on areas that see low bite stress. If you have questions about dental bonding that are specific to your oral health, contact Southfield Family Dental Center today.