Dental bonding is a procedure that involves the application of a composite resin to a tooth in order to remedy decay, chips, fractures or discoloration. The color of the resin is carefully matched to the color of the tooth in order to provide a natural-looking cosmetic elimination of the problem.
Bonding is most commonly used for cosmetic purposes, to restore the original appearance of a tooth that is discolored or has been chipped. However, it can also be used as a cosmetic dental filling, to eliminate gaps between teeth or to cover the root of a tooth that has been left exposed due to gums receding.
The bonding process is surprisingly effective and does not take much time to complete - typically between 30 minutes and an hour.
The dentist will first prepare the area of the tooth, first by abrading the location in order to make a surface rough so that the bonding material will adhere well to the tooth. He or she will then apply a liquid conditioner to the area to facilitate the bonding process.
Your dentist will then choose a color for the resin that most closely matches the color of your tooth, and apply the bonding material to the tooth. The resin will then be shaped and trimmed to achieve the desired shape and aesthetic result. Once it has been properly placed and formed, the bonding will be hardened using a laser or ultraviolet light.
Once hardened, the dentist will perform final shaping of the material and polish it until it matches the natural luster of the rest of your teeth. And voilà - you now have a tooth that looks complete and natural.
Although resins can last for years, dental bonding is not a permanent solution. Also, the resins used in dental bonding are not as hard as the natural materials of the tooth. Because of this, dental bonding is typically used in areas of the mouth that do not have high bite pressure, and patients are cautioned against biting objects that may damage the bonding material, like fingernails and ice.
In summary, dental bonding is a quick, economical and effective way to correct minor cosmetic dental issues.
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