Bonding is the term used when a tooth-colored resin is ‘bonded’ onto a tooth to repair a fractured, worn or chipped area, cover up a discoloration or close a small space or gap between two teeth. The tooth is lightly prepared to receive the resin material by etching the surface so the resin has more area to which to bond. The tooth is coated with a bonding liquid which is ‘set’ by shining a special light on it. The putty-like resin material is then added to the tooth and shaped to the desired look. It too is hardened with a special light. After the resin sets, it is trimmed and polished to a realistic luster. This can be performed in one or more appointments depending on the number of teeth involved.

Bonding usually lasts from 3 to 5 years before needing repair. Because the material is a plastic resin, it is not as strong as natural teeth and can be chipped or broken if care is not taken. The resin is porous and will eventually stain. The bonded surface will also wear and get duller unless special toothpastes are used. Proper home care and professional cleanings keep restored teeth healthy. Bonding not only restores the tooth but also helps to improve appearance and self-confidence.