In dentistry, the process of ‘bonding’ is where a repair is made to a broken, chipped or fractured tooth. This is done using a tooth-coloured composite made from a tough plastic resin material.
Your dentist will usually use composite bonding instead of a traditional metal filling to repair a broken tooth at the front of your mouth where your teeth are more visible. As your repair will use a tooth-coloured resin it will be hard to distinguish from your natural teeth once the repair is complete.
Veneers Vs composite bonding
If you have badly chipped teeth your dentist may suggest having veneers fitted to give you back your smile. However, veneers require more detailed preparation and need to be crafted in a dental laboratory. This is because your dentist will need to take accurate measurements and a mould of your teeth for your veneers to ensure the correct fit.
Unlike veneers, composite bonding can be done on the spot in one visit. The procedure is called bonding because the composite material is bonded to your natural tooth surface.
Is composite bonding a good treatment choice?
For you as a dental patient, composite bonding is a quick and convenient solution for repairing a damaged tooth. The procedure is one of the most cost-effective cosmetic treatments you can get from your dentist.
If you have any chipped teeth or annoying gaps between your teeth where food particles become trapped easily, then your dentist can use composite resin to close these troublesome gaps, or repair chipped teeth to look and feel better.
Composite bonding or ‘white fillings’ are being used more often by dentists as an alternative to using traditional amalgam fillings, especially where a tooth’s root has been exposed and needs a layer of protection.
Is composite bonding treatment painful?
In most cases, your dentist will be able to treat you without the need for anaesthesia. However, should your dentist be treating a badly decayed tooth and using a composite resin instead of a regular filling, you will need to have the tooth numbed.
To improve the bond of the composite material to your tooth, your dentist will roughen up the surface of your tooth by using slight abrasion or an etching gel. Your dentist will then match the colour of the resin used to the natural colour of your teeth. The shade chosen will help to blend in your repair so it looks just like your natural tooth.
The resin composite material will be bonded to the surface of your tooth using a conditioning liquid which is a strong glue that helps the resin material to adhere to your tooth. Your dentist will then work on moulding and shaping the resin into the right shape and ensure that it fits correctly.
Once your dentist is happy with the shaping and fit, the resin will be hardened using either ultraviolet light or a laser light tool. Once hardened, your dentist will then polish off the surface of the composite so it feels smooth and comfortable and matches the sheen of the rest of your teeth as closely as possible.
The procedure takes between 30 minutes to an hour depending on the extent of the repair.
Your composite is made to be very tough and durable, but should it fall out or become chipped or damaged, you can book with us to have it checked and repaired or replaced.