Bonding, or direct bonding, forms the basis of all minimally invasive dental treatments. It is mostly used as an inexpensive and effective restoration treatment for teeth that are chipped, cracked, discoloured or badly aligned.
With the advancement of materials and techniques, direct bonding has also become the treatment of choice for early erosion and even closing gaps between multiple teeth.
The relatively simple procedure involves applying multiple layers of a dental composite material that mimics the tooth’s structure onto the surface of your tooth. It is then sculpted into shape, and contoured and polished until it is practically invisible.
What are the pros and cons?
- Dental bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of all the cosmetic dental procedures.
- Veneers and crowns are customised tooth coverings that need to be manufactured in a lab, but bonding can usually be done in one office visit unless several teeth are involved.
- Less tooth enamel is removed compared with veneer and crown procedures.
- Bonding acts as a preventative measure, forming the basis of treatment for early erosion.
- Bonding also assists with providing better function and helps deter further damage to your teeth.
- Although the material used in dental bonding is stain resistant to a degree, it does not resist discoloration as well as crowns.
- Bonding materials are not as strong and do not last as long as other restorative procedures such as crowns and veneers.
How durable are they?
The lifespan of bonding materials depends on how much bonding was done and your oral habits. The bonding material can chip, so it is important to avoid things like biting your fingernails, chewing on pens, munching ice or other hard food objects, and using your bonded teeth as an opener.
Typically, however, the material lasts from three to about six years before it needs to be touched up or replaced. If you do notice any sharp edges on a bonded tooth, or if your tooth feels odd when you bite down, give us a call.
Dental bonding takes about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth to complete.
Little advance preparation is needed for dental bonding. Anesthesia is often not necessary unless the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth. We have a shade guide to select a composite resin colour that will closely match your tooth.
The bonding process
We roughen the surface of your tooth and apply a conditioning liquid to help the bonding material stick. We then put the tooth-coloured, putty-like resin on and mould and smooth it to the desired shape. An ultraviolet light or laser hardens the material. We then do a final trim, shape and polish to match the rest of the tooth’s surface.