Bonding is useful for improving small irregularities but is less successful than veneers in the treatment of some problems. The tooth is prepared by etching its surface with gel. The surface is then painted with binding liquid that sets firmly when special light is shone on it. A putty-like resin is moulded onto the tooth and shaped. The light is again used to harden it. Finally, the set resin is trimmed and polished.
Taking care of your bonding
Brush and floss regularly: avoid sweet or starchy foods. Regular maintenance by a dentist is recommended. Rough or snagged areas can be smoothed it treated early.
Some commercially available toothbrushes and toothpastes are too hard on bonded teeth. Your dentist will discuss the best teeth – cleaning materials to purchase. Stress on bonded teeth (such as biting into hard foods. For example, boiled lollies or carrots) may lead to breakages. If the front teeth have bonded edges, bite onto foods using the side teeth. As alcohol can cause deterioration of the resin, it should be taken in moderation.
Advantages of bonding
- Bonding is often a satisfactory alternative for small blemishes.
- Tooth preparation is not normally required.
- Only one visit to the dentist is usually needed.
- An excellent colour match can usually be achieved.
- Bonding may be a less expensive option than veneers in selected cases.
- Bonding can be used as a conservative, temporary measure if more permanent treatment requiring tooth preparation is planned for a later stage.
Disadvantages of bonding
- As bonding material is made of a bonded resin, it is not as strong as veneers and more prone to chipping or breaking, but is easily repaired.
- Bonding may need regular touch-up work in some cases.