Dental Bonding is a wonderful and safe technique for fixing cosmetic flaws in teeth and even replacing damaged tooth structure. It is a fast and affordable way to conceal stains and cracks, fill gaps, and restore chipped or broken teeth. Here at Artisan Dental of Burke, VA and Chevy Chase, MD we use a moldable plastic, called resin, to cover existing teeth or replace missing part of the tooth structure. Once the resin hardens and bonds to the existing tooth, it blends in and looks very natural.
Bonding can quickly and painlessly solve a number of dental problems. It can:
- Change the color of teeth
- Whiten teeth that are too dark or stained
- Hide cracks in teeth
- Close spaces between teeth
- Lengthen small teeth
- Restore chipped or broken teeth
- Restore decayed teeth
- Restore worn teeth
- Protect teeth from further damage
Bonding is typically a one-appointment process, but like most dental procedures your visit will probably start with an examination and any necessary cleaning. At Artisan Dental, Dr. Ghannam or Dr. Annoni will then prepare the particular tooth or teeth by applying a very mild etching solution. This solution slightly roughens the surface of the teeth so the resin bonding material can attach with a very strong bond. A conditioning gel may be applied at this time.
The bonding material is actually soft and flexible, and can be molded like putty or clay. It is a composite resin that will be colored to match the natural shade of your teeth. Either Dr. Ghannam or Dr. Annoni will mold and sculpt the resin to cover the affected teeth or replace the missing tooth structure. A high intensity light will be aimed at the sculpted bonding material, quickly turning it hard and durable. Often they will repeat this procedure, applying multiple thin layers, so the entire procedure could take more than an hour. Once hardened, the bonded restorations are very strong, and will look and feel very much like your natural teeth. Finally, all new surfaces are smoothed and carefully polished.
Basically, bonding is a composite resin that is molded to replace tooth structure or is applied in a thin layer to cover part of an existing tooth. This resin is a soft putty-like material that can be colored and shaped according to the patient’s needs. A high intensity light turns the flexible resin into a hard durable material that looks like natural tooth.
Bonding is considered a permanent tooth restoration, but that does not mean it will always last forever. Estimates on average lifespan vary from five to twelve years. Often new bonding can be used to repair a damaged portion of the bonding restoration, and the entire restoration can always be replaced if necessary.