Cosmetic bonding is a procedure that improves the appearance of teeth that are chipped, have discoloration or are decayed. In other cases, bonding treatment is used to improve tooth shape, to close the gaps between teeth, to cover exposed roots and to replace amalgam fillings. Bonding can be completed in one appointment and is less expensive than crowns or veneers.
The first step in the bonding process is a discussion with the dentist regarding the best color of composite material. When this has been selected, the procedure is done in the following stages:
- Abrasion: This makes the surface of the tooth rough and prepares it for etching solution to be applied.
- Bonding agent: This adheres the bonding material to the tooth.
- Composite resin: The dentist will use this material in small amounts while shaping it. It will then be exposed to a special curing light for hardening.
- Trim and polish: The composite material is trimmed and sculpted until the desired result is achieved. The dentist will then polish the tooth for smoothness and luster.
- Occlusion check: The dentist will check the patient’s bite and make any necessary adjustments.
Bonding Procedure After Care
While bonding is an effective restoration method, the resin used has porous qualities and will not last for the lifetime of the patient. The procedure will need to be repeated periodically due to wear and staining. To extend the life of composite material, the patient should follow a regular routine of flossing, brushing and professional cleanings. Certain lifestyle habits, such as drinking coffee, tea and red wine, will need to be adjusted in order to preserve the bonding. Ice chewing and fingernail biting are bad habits that may cause the bonding to crack or even fall off the tooth. A patient’s oral habits will determine how long the bonding will last and how frequently it will require replacement.
Bonding is a fast and cost-effective way to improve a smile. Those who are interested in exploring their options should consult with a dentist to determine if bonding is the right procedure for their needs.
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