Cosmetic bonding is a procedure that gets its name from the material that is bonded to the tooth in the augmentation process. This method of treatment repairs teeth that are fractured, discolored, decayed, or missing pieces by attaching a resin to the affected tooth. The resin matches the color of the tooth we affix it to, polishing and shaping it so it resembles the surrounding teeth.
Bonding is most commonly used to enhance the appearance of teeth that are fractured, chipped, or stained. But we also use this method to fix spacing, lengthen teeth, protect exposed tooth roots following gum recession, and change the shape and color of a tooth.
Alternatives to Bonding
Bonding has certain advantages compared to other cosmetic dental procedures like amalgam fillings and veneers. Fillings are much more noticeable than the changes wrought by bonding. Veneers are crafted in a dental laboratory using a customized mold and often take two visits to install, but the bonding procedure usually only takes one appointment.
The Cosmetic Bonding Procedure
You don’t need to do anything to prepare for a bond, and you won’t need anesthesia unless we’re filling in a decaying tooth. Our doctor will examine the tooth to determine which shade of resin will match the color of the tooth. He will etch the enamel to make it rougher and cover it with a conditioning liquid to make it easier to apply the bonding material.
When the tooth is ready for the bonding material, our doctor will place the resin on it. He will form and smooth the tooth-colored, putty-like material until it attains the proper shape, and then use an ultraviolet light or laser to harden it. After the hardening is finished, he will continue to trim and form it. Then he will polish it so that its sheen looks like the rest of the tooth. This whole process lasts from 30 to 60 minutes, but if we need to restore multiple teeth you may need more than one appointment.
Longevity of Bonds
The amount of bonding used and how well you care for the finished product will determine its longevity. Typically, bonding won’t need a repair until quite a few years after installation, but the resin used is not as strong as real teeth.
Caring for Your Bonding
Abstain from eating or drinking anything that can stain your teeth for the first 48 hours after the procedure. This includes tea, coffee, and red wine, as well as tobacco products. You should also refrain from chewing on hard objects like ice, pens, or fingernails, or else you may chip the resin.
The most important thing to remember is to practice proper dental hygiene and maintain overall good health. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day, eat a healthy diet, and schedule dental exams and professional cleanings twice a year.
If your teeth don’t feel right for a week after the procedure, contact us. Also contact us if you find any sharp edges on the bonded tooth, if biting doesn’t feel right, or if any of the material chips or breaks off.
If you have questions about bonding, call us at (240) 981-4020.
806 W. Diamond Ave. Suite 250
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Schedule an Appointment
Monday 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tues & Wed 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Saturday: By appointment only *
*1 Sat per Month during the school year for orthodontic patients