Composite bonding (also known as tooth bonding or dental bonding) offers a solution for minor damage or gaps in teeth.
Bonding is usually used for filling chips, fractures or gaps between teeth, or for fixing discolouration. A composite resin is attached to a tooth and shaped to restore its original appearance. The colour of the resin is matched to your teeth, so it will appear as though it is a natural part of the tooth.
Composite bonding can help you achieve a smile you’re happier with.
What are the benefits of composite bonding?
Composite bonding can usually be carried out in just one visit to the dentist. It’s a fast and effective way to fix minor cosmetic issues. The composite is hardened using UV light as soon as it’s applied, resulting in a tooth that can comfortably bite down by the end of the appointment.
Bonding is also a non-invasive procedure. With alternatives such as crown and veneers, part of the tooth is permanently removed. For composite bonding to be applied, the surface of the tooth only has to be roughened to help the resin to bond, meaning the structure of the tooth remains intact.
Composite bonding can make cosmetic improvements to your smile quickly, without causing further damage to your teeth.
Composite bonding can be a cheaper alternative to crowns or veneers. It’s also a less invasive process and can be completed in just one appointment. And with regular brushing and good oral hygiene, your composite bonds should last for years.
What are the alternatives to composite bonding?
The usual alternative options to composite bonding are:
- veneer – A veneer is a thin moulding custom-made from porcelain, which is bonded to the front surface of a tooth. They can also be used to cover gaps in teeth where orthodontic treatment may not be suitable.
- crown- A crown is a tooth-shaped ‘cap’ that’s placed over the entire visible portion of your tooth. A crown will feel and function just like any of your other teeth. And if you choose to have a porcelain crown, it will be virtually indistinguishable from your other teeth.
Both of these alternatives cause some damage to teeth. Veneers are a popular option which can last for many years but as they are made from porcelain, the tooth has to be cut down to fit them, which causes some permanent damage. Similarly, for a crown to be fitted, a dentist has to remove some of the healthy part of your tooth.
Bonding is a quick, less expensive and non-invasive procedure, and it can be easily repaired if damaged or broken.
Talk to your dentist about your options. They will be able to advise you on whether composite bonding is the right treatment for you
How can composite bonding work with teeth whitening?
Composite bonding can also be a solution for staining in teeth and fillings. It can be used alongside teeth whitening treatments to help you achieve a brighter, whiter smile.
If you are planning to have composite bonding, the dentist will typically recommend that you have any teeth whitening treatments first. The composite resin will be selected to match your teeth colour, so it is advisable to get them to your preferred shade before treatment for bonding begins. Once the composite bond has been placed, it is not possible to whiten it further.
What is the treatment process?
Your dentist will start by choosing a resin colour that matches your tooth best so that the resin attachment looks natural. Your tooth will then be prepared for treatment by slightly roughening the surface. It will then be coated with a liquid which helps the resin to adhere smoothly.
The resin will then be applied and moulded into the required shape. It is hardened with a UV light before being shaped again and polished by your dentist until it matches the rest of the tooth.
How do I care for my composite bond?
Here are a few tips for ensuring your bond stays strong and unstained:
- Avoid tea, coffee, smoking and food which may stain for 48 hours after having the procedure done.
- Brush your teeth often and see the hygienist regularly to maintain good oral health. This will help your composite bond stay clean and unstained.
- Avoid biting nails or chewing items such as pen lids, which may chip the material. Bonds aren’t as strong as a normal tooth so it’s important to take precautions to avoid damage.