What is Bonding?

Bonding2.jpg Bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured or discolored tooth. Unlike veneers, which are manufactured in a laboratory and require a customized mold to achieve a proper fit, bonding can be done in a single visit. The procedure is called bonding because the material bonds to the tooth. The crown restores the tooth and protects it from further damage. A tooth that has been fixed with a crown looks and works very much like a natural tooth.  The crowns will look and feel close to your real teeth and will blend seamlessly with your teeth. They will return the strength that you need for comfortable oral function, and to maintain your all-white smile.

When is it Used?

Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. The composite resin used in bonding can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth. Most often, bonding is used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of a discolored or chipped tooth. It also can be used to close spaces between teeth, to make teeth look longer or to change the shape or color of teeth. Sometimes, bonding also is used as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings, or to protect a portion of the tooth's root that has been exposed when gums recede.  


No preparation is needed for bonding. Anesthesia often is not necessary, unless the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth.

The Process

teethshades.jpg We use a shade guide to select the composite resin color that matches the color of the tooth most closely. Once we have chosen the color, we 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 to stick. When the tooth is prepared, we apply the tooth-colored, putty-like resin. The resin is molded and smoothed until it's the proper shape. Then the material is hardened with an ultraviolet light or laser. After the bonding material hardens, we will further trim and shape it. Then we will polish the material until it matches the sheen of the rest of the tooth surface. It usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete the procedure.

Combination of Procedures

Bonding.jpgTo obtain that unforgettable smile sometimes requires the use of several procedures. For example some teeth will benefit more from an orthodontic treatment, while others will benefit more from a bonding while others from a veneer. For example the picture below depicts a situation where both veneers and bonding are used. At Riverpark Dental our cosmetic dentist will asses and recommend the procedure(s) that would be most beneficial to you.