Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (a
durable plastic material) is applied and hardened with a special light, which
ultimately "bonds" the material to the tooth to restore or improve an
For What Conditions Is Dental Bonding Considered?
Dental bonding is an option that can be considered:
What's the Procedure for Having a Tooth Bonded?
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
Preparation. Little advance preparation is needed for dental bonding.
Your dentist will use a shade guide to select a composite resin color that will
closely match the color of your tooth.
The bonding process. Next, the surface of the tooth will be roughened and a
conditioning liquid applied. These procedures help the bonding material adhere
to the tooth. The tooth-colored, puttylike resin is then applied, molded and
smoothed to the desired shape. An ultraviolet light or laser is then used to
harden the material. After the material is hardened, your dentist will further
trim and shape it, and polish it to match the sheen of the rest of the tooth
Time-to-completion. The procedure takes about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth to
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Bonding?
Advantages: Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental
procedures. Unlike veneers and crowns , which are customized tooth coverings
that must be manufactured in a laboratory, bonding usually can be done in one
office visit unless several teeth are involved. Another advantage, compared
with veneers and crowns, is that the least amount of tooth enamel is removed.
Also, unless dental bonding is being performed to fill a cavity , anesthesia is
usually not required.
Disadvantages: Although the material used in dental bonding is somewhat stain
resistant, it does not resist stains as well as veneers or crowns. Another
disadvantage is that the bonding materials do not last as long nor are as
strong as other restorative procedures, such as crowns, veneers, or fillings .
Additionally, bonding materials can chip and break off the tooth.
Because of some of the limitations of bonding, some dentists view bonding as
best suited for small cosmetic changes, for temporary correction of cosmetic
defects, and for correction of teeth in areas of very low bite pressure (for
example, front teeth). Consult with your dentist about the best cosmetic
approach for your particular problem.
Do Bonded Teeth Require any Special Care?
No. Simply follow good oral hygiene practices. Brush your teeth at least twice
a day, floss at least once a day and see your dentist for regular professional
check-ups and cleanings.
Because bonding material can chip, it is important to avoid such habits as
biting fingernails; chewing on pens, ice or other hard food objects; or using
your bonded teeth as an opener. If you do notice any sharp edges on a bonded
tooth or if your tooth feels odd when you bite down, call your dentist.
How Long Does Bonding Material Last?
The lifespan of bonding materials depends on how much bonding was done
and your oral habits. Typically, however, bonding material lasts from 3 years
up to about 10 years before needing to be touched up or replaced.