What is Dental Bonding?

by Patricia Woloch - Date: 2008-11-18 - Word Count: 407 Share This!

The dental bonding procedure utilizes a tooth-colored, naturally-looking resin (a durable plastic) to improve the patient's smile. A dentist places the material on the tooth, and hardens it with a special light. The light bonds the resin to the tooth.

For what purposes is dental bonding used?

· Dental bonding is one alternative for the following tooth problems:

· Filling cavities in decayed teeth

· Repairing chipped or cracked teeth

· Helping to make teeth appear longer

· Improving discolored teeth

· Altering the shape of teeth

· Protecting the tooth's root when gums recede

· Filling spaces between teeth

What does the dental bonding procedure involve?

Prior to the procedure - Not much preparation is needed prior to the procedure. Often, anesthesia is not needed unless a decayed tooth is being filled. The dentist will carefully match the bonding resin to the color of your teeth.

The bonding procedure itself - Several steps are involved in the procedure itself:

· The tooth's surface will be made rough, and a liguid conditioner will be applied.These procedures make sure the bonding resin will adhere properly.

· The resin is then applied and shaped. .

· An ultraviolet light or a laser hardens the resin.

· Once the resin is hard, further molding occurs, and the dentist polishes the tooth to ensure it has the same sheen as the other teeth .

Procedure length - Bonding requires approximately 30-60 minutes per tooth.

What are Dental Bonding's Pros and Cons?

On the plus side, bonding is uncomplicated and inexpensive. The procedure usually requires one office visit unless multiple teeth are involved. Also, the least possible amount of tooth enamel is removed. And, unless the bonding resin is used for a cavity, anesthesia is typically not required.

However, there are a few disadvantages to dental bonding. Though bonds are somewhat stain-resistant, bonding resin does not resist staining as well as crowns. Also, bonding resin is not as durable as materials used in other restorative procedures, such as veneers or crowns, and it is more subject to breakage.

How do I best maintain my dental bond?

Though bonded teeth require no special care, patients should adhere to these practices to increase the bond's life:

· Maintain good oral hygiene, including regular dental check ups and professional cleanings

· Avoid habits such as nail-biting or chewing ice, pens, etc.

If your bond's appearance changes, or your tooth feels strange or hurts when you bite, contact your dentist. With good general care, your bond should last at least three to 10 years.

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