What Is Dental Bonding?
A favored procedure for minor dental corrections, bonding (also known as composite bonding), is a quick and affordable way to correct a variety of dental flaws such as:
- Low Bite Pressure (caused by short or uneven teeth)
- Tooth Decay
If you have any of these dental issues you may be a good candidate for bonding.
How Does Bonding Work?
After inspecting the tooth in question, your dentist will select a color for the composite resin (the material used in bonding) that most closely matches your tooth. He or she will then roughen the outer layer of your tooth, removing a minimal amount of tooth enamel, and apply a strong adhesive that will help the resin stick. Your dentist will then shape the resin to fill in any cracks or gaps or change the contours of your tooth. Afterwards, a dental laser is used to “bond” the material to your tooth. A local anesthetic is generally only required when tooth decay or nerve damage is involved.
How Long Does Bonding Take?
Dental bonding can be performed in a single visit, unless you're having several teeth bonded. The procedure usually takes between an hour and two. If you're having your teeth lengthened, it might take a few days for you to get accustomed to them.
How Long Does Bonding Last?
The composite resin used in bonding can last up to 10 years before it needs to be repaired or replaced.
Is Bonding Covered By My Dental Insurance?
Most insurers will cover some or most of the cost of bonding, especially when its purpose is reconstructive rather than cosmetic.
For over 150 years, cavities were filled with a mixture of metals, including silver and mercury. It was perfectly normal to see dark grey areas in someone's mouth when they laughed.
But today, you can get your cavities, as well as any other smaller hollow areas in your teeth, filled with composite fillings. Composite fillings are made from resins that are matched to your tooth's color – so they become invisible when applied.
Composite fillings also provide an excellent seal on the affected area, so that tooth decay can be prevented. The factors that go into our decision to use composite fillings include:
- The size of the area that needs to be filled
- The location of the affected area in the mouth (i.e., a tooth that is heavily relied on for chewing)
- Allergies the patient might have
- The preference of the patient regarding the use of metals in the mouth
- Whether it is necessary cosmetically to have a tooth-colored filling