Bonding is tooth-colored plastic or filling material, called composite, that is applied to the tooth to replace worn areas or to build up areas. Bonding can be used to fill in chips or broken parts of a tooth or gaps between your teeth. It is also good for replacing old fillings and reducing sensitivity at the gum line due to recession.
Bonding is a one appointment treatment with good cosmetic results. First, the dentist carefully chooses a color of composite to match your teeth.Then the tooth needs to be prepared. Sometimes this requires numbing with a local anesthetic, but that isn't always necessary. A mild acid is applied to etch microscopic finger-like crevices in the tooth. A clear plastic is painted into the crevices and then the tooth-colored composite filling is molded to the proper shape. A blue wavelength light hardens the material, then it is shaped and polished., The whole process typically takes about one hour per tooth.
Bonding is a less expensive cosmetic treatment than porcelain veneers or crowns and can be completed in one visit. However, bonding can stain and wear over time, so it no longer looks as natural.