The term "dental bonding" describes a dental procedure that is used for various purposes. Tooth-colored composite resins are applied to teeth for cosmetic reasons, to repair cracked and chipped teeth, protect exposed tooth roots against decay, or restore decayed teeth.
Usually the process is completed during one visit to your cosmetic dentist and doesn't require drilling or anesthesia. First, your tooth is prepared with an etching solution to help the dental bonding materials adhere.
Next, the resin is applied and contoured to the proper shape, then cured with either a special light or chemical treatment. The tooth is then polished for a natural-looking appearance. A follow-up appointment with your dentist may be recommended for additional polishing.
While the dental bonding materials are very durable, they still can chip and may need to be replaced periodically. Avoid excessive pressure such as chewing ice, hard candy or unpopped popcorn kernels. Dental bonding materials are susceptible to staining from tobacco, coffee, tea and berries. Alcohol and acid-containing foods such as vinegar, tomatoes or pineapple can damage the resin.
Regular dental check-ups are important for maintaining good dental health and natural-looking teeth.
By Danine M. Fresch, DDS