How Dental Bonding Can Alter the Look and Feel of Your Teeth

Dental bonding can be an economical solution for stained, broken, or chipped teeth and other minor cosmetic dentistry issues.

Have a chipped, broken, or stained tooth? Dental bonding can make it look like new again without causing too much damage to your budget.

“Bonding is a relatively inexpensive way to make minor dental repairs,” says Kimberly Harms, DDS, a dentist in Farmington, Minn. and consumer advisor for the American Dental Association (ADA). Plus, dental bonding is sometimes covered by insurance.

What Is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is a cosmetic dentistry procedure in which a tooth-colored composite material is applied to a tooth, sculpted into shape, hardened, and polished. It’s called bonding because the material bonds to the tooth. Dental bonding is ideal for small cosmetic dentistry work, such as fixing a broken or chipped tooth or closing small gaps between teeth. Dental bonding is also used as a tooth-colored filling for small cavities because it’s more cosmetically appealing than silver fillings.

What Does Dental Bonding Involve?

Your dentist will first apply a gentle phosphoric acid to the surface of your teeth, which etches and roughens the surface to help the bonding material stay in place. This process doesn’t hurt. The putty-like bonding material is then placed on the tooth’s surface, shaped, and sculpted. A special light is used to help the material harden and set. Finally, the composite is polished and buffed for a smooth finish.

Pros and Cons of Dental Bonding

“Dental bonding is less expensive than veneers, but it also has drawbacks,” notes Dr. Harms.

Advantages of dental bonding include:

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