Dental bonding is ultimately used to restore a smile as opposed to filling cavities, which utilizes composite resins, and is best used for small cosmetic changes. A tooth-colored resin material is applied and then hardened with ultra-violet light and is chiefly used to repair decayed, chipped or cracked teeth; to change tooth shape; to improve the appearance of discolored teeth and to protect tooth roots.
The main advantage of dental bonding over veneers and crowns is the price. It is a lot cheaper than other procedures because the only a small piece of enamel needs to be removed. However, dental bondings are not as strong or as stain-resistant as crowns and veneers.
The process for dental bonding is actually fairly painless and straightforward. Anesthesia is rarely needed; only when rotten teeth need to be treated could it become painful. The tooth surface is roughened up after which a conditioning liquid is applied. This bit often stings a little but is essential for the bonding material to adhere properly. A putty-like resin is then applied and molded to the desired shape.
After this stage, an ultraviolet light is used to harden the material and the work is then trimmed and polished to match the rest of the tooth surface and other teeth. Procedure time is generally around 30 to 60 minutes to complete one tooth.
There is no recovery time after dental bondings. The tooth may be slightly numb or painful for a short time, as with any dental procedures, but you should allow at least 24 hours for the resin to gain full strength before chewing with them.
As dental bondings are not as strong as crowns and veneers, one should take special care with them and not bite into anything too hard, such as fingernails, ice, and pens. Brushing at least twice per day for two minutes at a time goes without saying. Dental bondings should then last at least three years before needing a touch up.