You can think of bonding as a simplified version of a veneer or a crown. While dental bonding can’t withstand the kind of abuse that a veneer or crown can, bonding is a versatile solution that works well in a variety of situations. Bonding improves the aesthetics of your teeth and strengthens damaged or overly exposed teeth.
Bonding is a process in which a tooth-colored resin material is used to repair chips and cracks on teeth as well as to change the shape of a tooth or to close gaps between teeth. It can also be used to repair a decayed tooth or to fully restore badly damaged teeth. It’s called bonding because the resin is literally bonded to the surface of the tooth. The resin that is used is matched closely with the color of your teeth so that it looks exactly like your natural teeth when the process is done. In this way, it’s a simple, comfortable solution for minor damage or discoloration to the teeth, restoring individual teeth to a natural look and feel.
The procedure typically takes from thirty to sixty minutes per tooth and begins with slightly roughening the surface of the tooth and applying a conditioning liquid. Then the putty-like resin is put on the tooth surface and molded to create the desired result. Once the tooth repair or correction is done, a special light is used to harden the resin and bond it to your tooth. Bonding materials usually last from three to ten years before needing to be touched up or replaced.
Dentists generally choose dental bonding for places with minor damage, especially on the front teeth. Because front teeth don’t experience as much direct pressure as molars, they are a good option for bonding, which tends to be just a bit weaker than other restoration options. Also, because it’s a minor process, bonding is a good option for places of minor concern, where aesthetics are the greatest issue.