Dental bonding is one of the most popular, versatile, esthetic and affordable cosmetic and restorative dental procedures performed today. In many cases, bonding is used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of the teeth. Bonding can be used to repair damaged teeth, restore cavities or change the shape or color of teeth to create a more harmonious smile and surface of the tooth.
What is Dental Bonding (Teeth Bonding)?
Dental bonding, or teeth bonding, is a procedure performed at Deer Park Dental to restore, reshape and rejuvenate the appearance of teeth, improving both their function and appearance. Our dentists apply a thin layer of tooth-colored resin that is sculpted and hardened to the tooth using a special light, which ultimately “bonds” the material to the tooth to restore and improve the patient’s smile.
Problems Dental Bonding Can Address
- Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth
- Stained teeth
- Fill the gaps between teeth (black triangles)
- Improve function
- Restore areas of decay
- Replace discolored fillings
- Restore areas of erosion
- Correct slight rotations or areas that are uneven
- Create a more harmonious natural smile
What material is used for Bonding?
The material used for bonding is made of a composite resin, or plastic, that hardens and fuses to the tooth when the dentist shines a special light on it. Once in place, the bonding material is shaped to correct the specific defect, colored to match the patient’s natural tooth and polished until it is smooth.
Tooth Bonding Procedure
There is a three-step process when applying bonding to a patient’s teeth. After the tooth is numb, prepped and isolated with a rubber dam or barrier:
- The tooth is etched with phosphoric acid for about 13 seconds and then rinsed and lightly dried. The enamel should look frosty. (Dentin needs less etching whereas enamel, if no dentin is exposed, can be etched from 20-60 seconds).
- A primer is placed on the dentin for 30 seconds and lightly dried until glossy and light cured.
- An adhesive is applied and rubbed into the dentin for 20 seconds, the enamel for a shorter time, and then thinned and light cured.
Now the filling can be placed in small increments and light cured. Once it is to full form it is finished and polished and the bite is checked for high spots. A newer technique, developed by Bioclear ™ uses special custom fitted forms around the tooth to shape the tooth and heated resin can be placed in the void and cured. This is especially helpful for filling black triangles and cavities between the teeth.
Dental Bonding Before & After
Faster Bonding Options
There are adhesives that are all in one (etch, primer, bond, all in one bottle). These are a little bit faster but generally have a lower bond strength to the tooth. The 4th generation bonding materials are still the “Gold Standard”. This is where the etch, primer and bond are applied separately.
How long does the Teeth Bonding procedure take?
At Deer Park Dental, the teeth bonding procedure typically takes 45 – 60 minutes per tooth for larger fillings. Small one surface fillings sometimes take less time.
How long does Dental Bonding last?
Dental bonding in general lasts half as long as silver fillings, but with good oral hygiene and good diet, they can last many years longer. Newer techniques are showing promising results of much longer lasting resin fillings.
Resin Fillings vs Silver/Amalgam Fillings
The dental bonding is more esthetic. Also the tooth does not have to have as much drilled away to do the filling. The preparation can be confined to just the area of the decay. Therefore, the preparation does not need to be enlarged to provide the filling with retention and strength as with a silver filling. Also, since the composite filling is bonded to the tooth, there is less of a chance of the tooth cracking as the preparation can be smaller and does not have to traverse the whole length of the tooth.
Tooth Bonding Options for Dark Teeth and Dark Fillings
If the teeth are dark, sometimes bleaching can be done first and then the resin bonded over the teeth. If very dark, it may take a crown to cover the darkened tooth.
If you have darker fillings that matched your teeth prior to bleaching, the fillings and or crowns may need to be replaced after bleaching to match the new shade of the teeth. The fillings do not bleach like the enamel often can. If you are having new dental bonding (resin fillings) done, you might consider whether you want to bleach your teeth first as the fillings will be matched to your existing teeth.