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Cosmetic bonding is the application of composite resin material to the teeth. It is useful for repairing discolored, fractured, chipped, or decayed teeth. Cosmetic bonding is less costly and differs from porcelain veneers, which are produced in the laboratory and require a customized mold to fit properly. Cosmetic bonding can be achieved in just a single visit. The procedure is called bonding because the material bonds to the tooth.

Cosmetic bonding, also known as dental bonding or oral bonding, deals with the bonding or adhesion of resin material to the natural tooth with the main purpose of improving the smile and the overall look of the teeth.

Dental bonding offers a successful application of filling material on the original tooth enamel and dentin. Cosmetic bonding looks exactly like the original tooth and functions in a similar way. Dental bonding helps to improve your smile in an additive manner.

What is Cosmetic Bonding Used for?

Cosmetic bonding is one of the simplest and affordable cosmetic dental procedures. The composite resin material used for cosmetic bonding can be polished and shaped to fit the surrounding teeth. Why it is commonly referred to as cosmetic bonding is because it improves the appearance of a chipped tooth or discolored tooth. Cosmetic bonding can also be applied to close up the spaces in-between your teeth, so as to change the shape of your tooth or make it look longer.

Sometimes, cosmetic bonding is also applied as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings, or to protect any exposed part of the tooth’s root when gums recede.

Preparation for Cosmetic Bonding

There is no need for special preparation for dental bonding. Most times, it is not necessary to use anesthesia, unless if the cosmetic bonding is to fill decayed teeth.

How to carry out Cosmetic bonding?

Firstly, your dentist would have to choose the composite resin material color that matches your tooth’s color most closely using a shade guide. After the right color of the composite resin material had been selected, the dentist will slightly etch or abrade the surface of your tooth in order to roughen it. After this, the dentist will lightly coat the tooth with a conditioning liquid, this will help the resin material to adhere properly.

Once the tooth has been prepared, the next step is the addition of the tooth-colored, putty-like resin. The dentist will mold and smoothen the resin until it forms the proper shape. When the material has been formed into the right shape, it is hardened using a laser or an ultraviolet light. When the material is hardened, if necessary, the dentist will have to shape or trim it again. After this, the dentist will polish it until its surface shines like those of the other teeth.

The whole procedure takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour to be completed. As a result, if you need to carry out cosmetic bonding on more than one tooth, you would have to schedule multiple visits to your dentist.

Red wine, cigarette smoke, coffee, tea, and other strong substances can stain the composite resin material. But in order to minimize or avoid the stains, the patient can avoid drinking or eating any kind of food that can stain the resin material for the first 48 hours of cosmetic bonding. Also, the teeth must be cleaned and brushed regularly by a dentist or dental hygienist.

Does Cosmetic Bonding Pose Any Risk?

Actually, the composite resin material used for bonding differs from the tooth enamel and is not as strong as the natural tooth. The material can be chipped when you chew pens or ice or when you bite your fingernails. However, cosmetic bonding can last for many years before it should be repaired. The period it lasts normally depends on the oral habit of patient and how much bonding was done for the material.

Contact your dentist if your tooth feels strange or “off” whenever you bite down; if you notice any sharp edge on top of your bonded tooth, or if the bonding pieces fall out or chips.

What are the Benefits of Cosmetic Bonding?

Tooth bonding comes with some cosmetic benefits, such as closing any unnecessary gap between teeth and repairing any broken or chipped tooth without the need for undergoing any lengthy orthodontic treatment. AACD dentists can use cosmetic bonding to improve your smile in just a visit. The benefits of dental bonding can be summarized as follows:

  • Can be altered in the future
  • Can be molded and color matched to adjacent teeth
  • Can close gaps in teeth
  • Durable, lasting material
  • Ideal for developing smiles
  • Natural looking results
  • Repairs damaged or broken teeth
  • Requires less removal of tooth enamel


Repairing of Broken Teeth

Cosmetic bonding can be used in several ways. However, it is commonly used for repairing chipped teeth. The material used in cosmetic bonding is a high density, modern plastics known as composite resin and porcelain veneer are more natural in color and can be easily fashioned match the surrounding teeth perfectly. With this nature, it makes it difficult to detect if they are additions or if there had been a broken tooth.

A type of cosmetic bonding called transitional bonding can be used for a mock-up or a full mouth rehabilitation. It is referred to as transitional bonding because it makes it possible for a patient to transit into a more permanent dentistry if the treatment sequence demands or as long as the patient can afford it.

Cosmetic bonding is typically a close alternative to porcelain veneers and is very much ideal for patients who are seeking a less permanent option for improving their smile. For patients who are on a budget but seek to treat cosmetic concerns, cosmetic bonding is normally not as expensive as the dental veneers. More so, unlike with porcelain veneers, during the application of cosmetic bonding, only less tooth enamel would be removed. Cosmetic bonding makes it easier for patients to revisit their cosmetic concern later on once they are ready for permanent porcelain veneers.