What is cosmetic bonding?
Often referred to as the “one-hour smile makeover”, cosmetic bonding is a technique that is used to correct imperfections and create a more attractive smile. Cosmetic bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) to repair or close spaces, change the color of the teeth, mask discoloration, repair chips, change the size or shape of teeth, and give crooked or uneven teeth a straight-looking appearance. Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive cosmetic dental procedure.
What to expect when having cosmetic bonding?
- The first step is to schedule a consultation with your dentist to discuss the treatment.
- Your dentist will use a shade guide to select the composite resin color that matches the color, of the tooth or teeth, most closely.
- Next, your dentist will slightly etch the surface of the tooth to roughen it. The tooth will then be coated lightly with a conditioning liquid, which helps the bonding material adhere.
- When the tooth is prepared, they will apply the tooth-colored, putty-like resin. The resin is molded and smoothed until it’s the proper shape. Then the material is hardened with an ultraviolet light or laser.
- After the bonding material hardens, your dentist will further trim and shape it, and polish the material until it matches the sheen of the rest of the tooth surface.
- The procedure usually takes 30 minutes to an hour to complete. If you’re having more than one tooth done, you may need to schedule more time or additional visits.
Maintenance for cosmetic bonding
Tea, coffee, cigarette smoke and other substances can stain the resin used in bonding. To prevent or minimize stains, avoid eating or drinking these types of foods and drinks during the first 48 hours after any composite procedure. In addition, brush your teeth often and have regular cleanings, every six months.