Tooth bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure in which your dentist applies a special tooth-colored resin to all or part of a tooth to improve its appearance. This resin is the same used in tooth-colored fillings and provides a natural-looking way to restore the aesthetics of your smile.
Bonding is commonly used to resolve a wide range of minor to moderate problems that affect how your smile looks, feels, and functions, such as:
Dental bonding is a versatile and affordable option for fixing small cosmetic problems because it can be used on one tooth to hide small imperfections or on several to address larger issues. Dental bonding does not require your dentist to remove any of your existing tooth enamel, making it a good alternative to veneers with fewer risks and potential side effects. The process itself is fast, simple, and painless, and can be performed right in your dentist’s office, often without the need for any local anesthetics or numbing agents.
Dental bonding is generally safe for patients of all ages, but it may not be the best solution for all cases. While bonding can restore the general appearance of discolored or chipped teeth—especially on the front teeth, which don’t experience much impact—the structural support it provides is limited. If you have severe chips or cracks that compromise the strength and integrity of a tooth, your dentist may recommend a crown instead. A crown provides more support for teeth and protects damaged teeth from getting worse.
Tooth bonding is also limited in the extent to which it can fix spacing or orthodontic issues. If your teeth are significantly misaligned as a result of gaps, or teeth need to be pulled down for function, not just appearance, then you may need more in-depth treatment like braces or clear aligners.
If you have only slight discoloration on one or more teeth, you may not need bonding; you may benefit from additional teeth cleanings or teeth whitening treatments instead.
A consultation with a dentist from Bright Now! Dental can help you determine if you are a good candidate for tooth bonding.
Dental bonding does not present any serious risks or side effects. You may experience some sensitivity in the days following a procedure to fix a crack or chip, but the discomfort should be minimal and easily managed by over-the-counter pain relievers.
There is a slight chance the resin does not adhere properly to the tooth and becomes dislodged while chewing or brushing. However, if this happens, your dentist can simply replace it with more.
Dental bonding is a simple procedure that is typically performed right in your dentist’s office. While anesthesia is rarely, if ever, required, you may be given a local numbing agent if the area of the tooth being treated is very sensitive, located near a nerve, or damaged.
The dentist will select a resin color that is closest to that of your natural tooth color, then apply a solution to the tooth that roughens the enamel, making it easier for the resin to adhere to the tooth’s surface. This is sometimes referred to as “etching the enamel.” Once the tooth is prepared, your dentist will mold the putty-like resin into the desired shape, press it onto the tooth, and reshape it again as necessary. When the resin is properly placed and shaped, the dentist will harden it by shining a special blue UV light into your mouth for a few seconds.
When the resin has hardened, your dentist will use a power file to further shape it and make sure there are no sharp edges. Finally, the resin is polished to help it blend in well with the rest of the natural tooth.
Although dental bonding is a long-lasting, durable solution—bonds can last up to 10 years or more with proper care—it is not permanent, and resin is not as strong as your natural tooth enamel. You’ll want to avoid biting down on hard things like plastic, nut shells, and ice, since this can cause the bond to break or fall out. If you grind or clench your teeth, you may want to talk to your dentist about a mouth guard to protect your dental bond from the excessive pressure and strain.
You also need to care for your bonded tooth just like you do your natural teeth, with twice-daily brushing and flossing and regular dental cleanings and exams every 6 months. Good oral hygiene helps ensure the tooth around the bond stays healthy and helps stave off stains. Bonds can be especially susceptible to staining from dark and acidic beverages or food like coffee and red wine, and their color will not change with either at-home or in-office teeth whitening.
Bright Now! Dental offers comprehensive dental services for everyone in your family, including cosmetic dentistry like dental bonding. From flexible financing to flexible scheduling, we’re your local partner for convenient, affordable, and personalized dental care. Our retail locations make it easy for you to get in, get out, and get on with your day, while our extensive list of accepted dental insurance plans ensures you receive the treatment you need without straining your budget.
Find out if dental bonding is right for you by scheduling an appointment at the Bright Now! Dental location nearest you.