Bonding refers to the procedure of permanently attaching dental restorations to the teeth using special dental adhesives with a high intensity curing light. There are two kinds of dental bonding that dentist’s use: direct composite bonding and adhesive bonding.
Direct Composite Bonding
With direct composite bonding, tooth-colored composite material are used to repair chips or cracks, fill cavities, seal gaps between your teeth, and restore the wear of teeth. Usually, your dentist will perform the direct composite bonding procedure within a single dental visit. Your dentist will determine the exact placement of the composite material and apply it either within or on the surface of the tooth. Additional visits may be needed if your treatment is more complex or extensive.
Smile makeovers can also be performed with direct composite bonding. The material is directly applied and molded to the surfaces of the front teeth, referred to as direct composite veneers. It is an ideal and less costly procedure that usually requires minimal preparations and waiting times.
It is important that the artistic skill and accuracy of your dentist is of a high standard, since this will influence how the direct composite veneers are shaped. Some dentists make an impression of the patient’s teeth, as well as a model of the smile to be achieved, so that they have a better idea of where to place the composite.
In adhesive bonding, the dentist attaches a restoration to your tooth using a bonding agent, a dental adhesive, and a high intensity curing light. Adhesive bonding may be used to attach dental crowns, veneers, inlays/onlays, and bridges.
The Dental Bonding Procedure
Regardless of which type of bonding your dentist chooses to use for your treatment, he or she will first seclude the teeth using a rubber dam, in order to avoid interference from moisture. Anesthetic injections may be given if the treatment is more extensive.
The next step involves applying a gentle phosphoric acid solution to the surface of the natural tooth. The acid solution is removed after 15 seconds. This will help the composite adhere to the tooth surface. A liquid bonding agent is then applied.
For a direct composite restoration:
Your dentist will position a moldable composite resin in phases on the surface of the tooth, then conform it to its desired appearance. A high intensity light will solidify the layer of composite. Your dentist will repeat the molding and solidifying process until the filling or direct composite veneer has attained its final shape. Your dentist also will make sure that the filling or veneer is set appropriately, such that it does not easily move or cause tooth sensitivity.
For a restoration from a laboratory:
Your dentist will place the suitable adhesive into the restoration, fix the restoration on the tooth, and set it using a high intensity light.
You may experience sensitivity in your tooth after it has been bonded, especially if it has been filled or treated with a crown or inlay/onlay. This minor sensitivity should not last long, but if it persists, see your dentist.
It is not easy to assess the cost of dental bonding, because the term refers to two procedures that dentists perform routinely and in conjunction with other treatments. For instance, if you require a crown on your tooth, the cost will include the fee for the crown as well as the bonding procedure used to fix the crown in place. In the case of direct composite veneers, which are usually cosmetic in nature, the cost will vary according to the dentist’s experience and training, as well as where you are located.