Dental Care

Dental Teeth Bonding

Probably someone has suggested that dental teeth bonding might be right thing for you.  Here you will learn all about the dental bonding process and find answers to the questions most often asked about it.

Dental teeth bonding is the application of a tooth-colored plastic adhesive that your dentist shapes and polishes so that a damaged tooth will once again match the teeth surrounding it. 

This plastic, also known as resin, is applied to the tooth and then an ultraviolet or laser light is used to harden it to the tooth.

Dental teeth bonding can be used when you have a tooth that's cracked or chipped.  It is also used when teeth are severely discolored. 

If you have teeth that are uneven in spacing or length -including a sizeable gap between your two front teeth- then bonding will give all your teeth a uniform appearance.  It's also used for a person who has a very uneven gum line.

Some people request dental teeth bonding instead of amalgam fillings because bonding simply looks better.  The bonding process especially helps when the dentist has to repair one of the teeth that show when you smile or talk. 

Some people, in fact, prefer it in place of silver amalgam fillings even in the back teeth because they just don't like the look of the darkened silver color.  

It's good to know that the bonding process is painless, and it doesn't take long.  You won't need any kind of anesthetic for the process unless your dentist is applying the bonding to fill a cavity.  And in most cases, it can be accomplished in one visit.

The bad thing about bonding is that it does not bear up well under dental pressure.  It is liable to crack or chip if you're in the habit of chewing on things like pencils or ice, or if the bonding is applied on a tooth that's heavily involved in biting. 

It works better on front teeth, which generally are not involved in the chewing process -but, again, you have to watch those pencils!

The dental teeth process begins when your dentist roughens up your tooth enamel so that the bonding will adhere to the tooth.  Then he applies a special liquid to prime the tooth surface. Next, he applies the actual bonding material, which initially appears to be putty-like.

Before he applies the bonding, the dentist ensures that it has the same tint as your natural teeth.  Once he begins, he shapes it and molds it to fit the tooth. 

Once the plastic, or resin, is in place the dentist uses the special light to bond it to your tooth.  After that he will probably apply another layer of bonding.  At the end he will file and polish it.

The entire application process, making certain that the newly bonded tooth looks natural and fits well within your natural bite, takes between one and two hours.

If you have a very large filling, the dentist might make the actual filling itself from porcelain and then apply it to your tooth with the bonding material.  This type of work takes two visits; on the first visit the dentist gives you a temporary filling, and on the second he inserts the permanent filling and the bonding. 

Those types of fillings generally withstand more pressure and are a little more stain resistant than bonding alone.   

When you leave the dentist's office, you've got to avoid any foods or drinks that could stain the bonding for up to 48 hours.  In fact, throughout its life on your tooth your bonding will be more susceptible to staining than natural teeth or even crowns, veneers, or bridges. 

Things To Consider

If you are a smoker, then bonding might not be your best option because your tooth will turn yellow. 

As long as you take care not to subject the bonding to the heavy pressures of biting and chewing that we mentioned above, you can expect it to last somewhere between five and ten years.

The best way to maintain dental teeth bonding is to clean bonded teeth as carefully and regularly as you clean your natural teeth.  You can brush and floss bonded teeth as part of your normal oral care routine.


Check with your dental insurance company to find out whether bonding is covered. 

The insurance company will want to know whether the purpose of the bonding is strictly cosmetic.  If there is a structural need for the bonding, the insurance most likely will pay for at least part of it. 

Expect bonding to cost from $200-$600 per tooth.


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