Sensational Smiles
6301 S. Minnesota Ave. Sioux Falls, SD 57108
(605) 610-2829

What is Dental Bonding?

in Dental Health

Bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure.  Dental professionals consider it one of their least expensive cosmetic procedures. 

Uses of Bonding

When bonding, dentists shape and polish a composite resin to match a patient’s surrounding teeth.  This is a treatment most often used for:

  • Repairing a decayed tooth
  • Fixing tooth chips or cracks
  • Correcting the look of discolored teeth
  • Closing gaps between teeth
  • Making teeth appear longer
  • Changing the shape of teeth
  • Serving as an alternative option to amalgam fillings
  • Protecting an exposed tooth root after gums recede

What the Procedure Involves

Patients seeking dentistry in Sioux Falls usually need little if any advance preparation for bonding.  The first step a dentist takes is selecting a composite resin shade that most closely matches the patient’s teeth. 

The actual bonding process begins with roughening the surface of a targeted tooth and applying a conditioning liquid that helps bonding material adhere.  Next, the dentist applies, molds and smoothes a resin that looks like putty.  This bonding material hardens after application of an ultraviolet light or a laser. 

The final step is additional trimming and shaping, then polishing the resin to make it more closely resemble the remainder of a tooth.  Each tooth takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes to bond.  Most bonding material has a life expectancy of three to 10 years before needing replacement or repair.

To avoid staining the resin, for 48 hours, patients should avoid eating or drinking substances like coffee and tea. Cigarette smoke can also stain.  It is important to brush bonded teeth frequently and to get regular dental cleanings.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The two biggest advantages of dental bond are the fact that it is a relatively inexpensive cosmetic procedure and that one tooth can normally be bonded in an office visit.  This is primarily because there is no need to manufacture a device such as a crown or a veneer in a laboratory before completing the procedure.  Bonding also requires removing less of a tooth than placing veneers or crowns does.  Dentists seldom use anesthesia unless they are doing the procedure to fill a tooth that has decayed. 

One disadvantage is that while bonding material has some stain resistance, crowns resist stains better.  Also, resin is not as strong and does not last as long as the results of restorative procedures like veneers, fillings and crowns.  If resin chips, it can break off a tooth.

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Mary did a great job of cleaning my teeth and explaining everything along the way! - Laurie M.