Dental bonding, completed with a tooth-colored resin composite material painted directly onto the tooth surface, is an excellent way to repair both cosmetic and structural flaws in the teeth. The material used in dental bonding is similar to that used for tooth-colored fillings, and can be custom-crafted by a skilled cosmetic dentist to closely match the color of surrounding teeth for a natural-looking result. Many patients can achieve their desired look through cosmetic dental bonding, without investing the time and money necessary to complete more complex treatments such as porcelain veneers.
The first step in the dental bonding process is the preparation of the tooth or teeth to be treated. To do this, the cosmetic dentist will gently roughen the surface of the tooth to allow the resin to adhere. He or she then applies the resin to the tooth and sculpts it to closely match surrounding teeth in shape and size. Once the desired appearance is achieved, a high-intensity laser is applied to dry and harden the resin. During the final step of the dental bonding process, the dentist will gently buff and polish the treated tooth to give it the most natural appearance possible.
With cosmetic dental bonding, less tooth preparation is required so patients are able to maintain more of their natural tooth structure. Furthermore, less tooth preparation means that cosmetic dental bonding can be completed in just one visit to the cosmetic dentist's office, rather than the two to three visits required for porcelain veneers or dental crowns or bridges. While resin bonding may not be as durable as porcelain veneers or other cosmetic treatments, many patients find that the lower cost and instant results make cosmetic dental bonding the right choice for them.