What is bonding?
Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-coloured filling material, also known as “composite resin”, is applied to a tooth and hardened with a special light.
What is it used for?
Bonding is used to repair chipped, cracked, or decayed teeth. It is also used to improve the appearance of discoloured teeth, to change the shape of teeth, or to close spaces between teeth. It is a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to using silver amalgam fillings especially on teeth that are quite visible when you smile.
How is it done?
The surface of the tooth is roughened and a conditioning gel is applied. This allows a bonding liquid to adhere to the tooth. A tooth-coloured putty-like resin is applied, molded and smoothened to the desired shape. An ultraviolet light is then used to harden the material. It is then trimmed and polished.
How long does it last?
The lifespan of bonding materials depends on oral hygiene, clenching, grinding, or other oral habits, the type of foods that are normally eaten, and the size and location of the filling. Typically, bonding material lasts from 3 years up to 10 years before needing to be touched up or replaced.
What are the alternatives?
Alternative filling materials are silver fillings, porcelain, and gold fillings.