If you need a chipped tooth repaired or want a fast and relatively affordable way to change the look of your smile, dental bonding is the solution. Most people are familiar with dental bonding as a procedure to repair a chipped tooth after an accident, but it can be used for cosmetic purposes too.
Dental bonding is when the dentist permanently bonds a white or tooth-colored composite material to one of your teeth. First, the dentist will use a chemical to slightly roughen the surface of the tooth that needs the bonding. This will help the material stick better. Then the dentist will apply the composite, which starts out as a malleable putty. The dentist will sculpt and shape the composite into the appropriate shape, then cure it with a high-powered light. This light-curing makes the composite hard, like your real teeth.
Dental bonding can be used to replace the missing part of a tooth that has been chipped due to an accident or broken due to tooth decay. In these cases, tooth-colored composite replaces the missing part of the tooth, restoring it to its original shape and function, while also protecting the exposed soft inside of your tooth from further damage.
Dental bonding can also be used as a purely cosmetic procedure to change the way your smile looks. For example, if you have a tooth that is smaller than the others (sometimes called a peg tooth), dental bonding can be used to make it bigger. If you have gaps between your teeth but don’t want to invest in braces, material can be added to widen your teeth
slightly so the gap is reduced. Dental bonding can also be used to lengthen teeth that look too short or are not even with your other teeth.
While cases involving tooth decay may include other treatments as part of a larger treatment plan, dental bonding is generally a quick procedure that takes about an hour. Because it is non-invasive, dental bonding doesn’t require anesthesia and doesn’t cause any post-procedure pain or recovery time.
Teeth that have had dental bonding don’t need any specialized care after the fact, just keep up a good oral health routine and treat them like regular teeth. If you’re interested in bonding as a way to improve or repair your smile, start a conversation with the dentist next time you visit us!