Dental bonding is something like the entry level version of cosmetic dental procedures. It is designed to improve the appearance of teeth but requires no anesthesia or major preparation. During a typical bonding procedure, the teeth are examined and cleaned. The dentist will then slightly etch the surface enamel of the tooth or teeth to be bonded.
A conditioning liquid, which allows the bonding material to better adhere, is applied. Then the bonding material, a composite resin that resembles putty, is applied to the teeth. The composite resin may be a shade that matches the teeth, or it may be whiter for a cosmetic effect. The resin is then hardened by an ultraviolet light.
After the resin has hardened, the dentist will trim the bonding material and polish the tooth so that it matches the other teeth. Voila, dental bonding. Dental bonding may be used on one tooth or many teeth.
What It's Good For
Dental bonding is generally used to improve the appearance of teeth. Bonding can mask discolored teeth, close gaps between teeth and make small teeth appear larger.
Who it works for: Dental bonding is ideal for someone who wishes to make a relatively small cosmetic change to their teeth without significant pain or large expenditure. It can be performed on any generally healthy teeth and is considered a safe procedure.
Recommended age range: Dental bonding can be performed on patients who are 13 and older. Kids in braces with spaces and gaps between their teeth can use dental bonding to make small, reversible changes.
When will I see results?: Results are immediate.
How long it lasts: Most dental bonding lasts between three to 10 years.
Key benefits of dental bonding: Dental bonding is one of the quickest and least expensive methods of cosmetically improving the appearance of discolored, gapped or too-small teeth. It can often be done in one visit, as opposed to veneers, crowns and other cosmetic dental treatments which require multiple visits. No anesthesia is needed and only a minimal amount of tooth enamel is removed.
Licensed uses: Dental bonding is used to improve the cosmetic appearance of the teeth.