Dental bonding is one of the easiest, least expensive cosmetic dentistry procedures in the dentist’s arsenal. Your dentist can shape and polish the composite resin used in bonding to seamlessly match your adjacent teeth. Most often, a dentist uses bonding for cosmetic purposes to improve the look of a discolored or damaged tooth. Bonding can also be used to close gaps between teeth, make teeth appear longer or change their overall shape and color.
Sometimes we use bonding as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings or to protect the exposed portion of a tooth’s root, such as when gums recede. No preparation is required for bonding, and anesthesia is typically unnecessary unless we use bonding resin to fill a decayed tooth where there might be some discomfort involved for the patient.
Your dentist uses a dental shade guide to choose the composite resin color that matches your tooth color most closely. Once your dentist has chosen the color, he or she will slightly abrade, or etch, the surface of the tooth to roughen it. The tooth will be coated lightly with a conditioning liquid, which helps the bonding material adhere. After the tooth is cleaned and prepped, your dentist will apply the tooth-colored, putty-like resin. He or she sculpts the resin until it reaches the proper shape, then hardens the material with an ultraviolet light or laser light.
Once the bonding material hardens, your dentist will trim and shape it, then polish it until it matches the luster and sheen of the remaining tooth surface. It usually takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete a cosmetic bonding procedure. If you need more than one tooth bonded, you may need to schedule several visits.
Coffee, tea, cola drinks, medications, and cigarette or cigar smoke can stain the bonding resin. To prevent or minimize stains, you should avoid eating foods or drinking liquids that can stain teeth for the first 48 hours after your bonding procedure. You should also brush your teeth often and have a dental hygienist clean them regularly after you have had cosmetic bonding.
We welcome patients from Santa Barbara, Centennial, Englewood, Denver, Parker and the Denver Tech Center, and close-by locations.
Besides providing dental bonding to patients in the Santa Barbara area, our team also offers the following cosmetic dentistry services: teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, Invisalign and complete smile makeovers.