An alternative to veneers, bonding can be used as a restorative procedure for teeth that are chipped, cracked, discolored, or misaligned. Bonding can be great to fix holes in teeth, to repair a broken tooth, or to close a small gap. They are not good to add length on to a tooth, to correct a large rotation, or when a tooth needs additional strength. The costs of these restorations are not as much as a veneer but generally are rather expensive if used as a alternative to a veneer.
How Does It Work?
The tooth is prepared for the procedure by lightly etching the surface and applying a bonding liquid. Once the liquid sets, a plastic resin is applied and sculpted into the desired shape by the dentist. Once set, the resin is trimmed, smoothed, and polished to a natural appearance.
The bonding procedure can often be completed in a single office visit, and can significantly improve the appearance of a tooth. However, since the plastic resin used is not as strong as your natural tooth enamel, it is more likely to stain, chip, or break than natural teeth. Bonding typically lasts one to three years before a repair is needed. If it is a small area on a tooth the bonding is the restoration of choice. Larger restorations normally are done with Veneers or Crowns.