Bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured, discolored tooth, to make teeth appear longer, and as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings.
We use a shade guide to select the composite resin color that will match the color of the tooth most closely. Once the color has been chosen, we slightly abrade or etch the surface of the tooth to roughen it. We then lightly coat the tooth with a conditioning liquid which helps the bonding material adhere.
When the tooth is prepared, we apply the tooth-colored, putty-like resin. We mold the resin and smoothen it until it is in the proper shape. Then the material is hardened with an ultraviolet light or laser.
After the bonding material hardens, we further trim and shape it and then polish the material until it matches the sheen of the rest of the tooth surface. It usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete the procedure.
Tea, coffee, cigarette smoke and other substances can stain the resin. To prevent or minimize stains, it's essential to avoid eating or drinking foods that can stain for the first 48 hours after any composite procedure. In addition, brush your teeth often and have them cleaned regularly.