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Dental bonding is a simple way to repair minor cosmetic and structural flaws. The procedure can be done quickly – typically in a single visit – and because the bonding material can be shaped and shaded to match the natural color of your teeth, nobody will ever know that you’ve had dental work done.

What Is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is a composite resin material that is applied to the tooth and then shaped to fit – kind of like putty. Some of the repairs we can make with bonding include:

  • Fixing bleach-resistant discolorations
  • Covering chips and minor cracks
  • Closing gaps or lengthening teeth that are eroded
  • Filling cavities and repairing minor decay
  • Protecting the root in the case of gum recession

The Dental Bonding Process

Unlike other solutions, bonding only requires minimal preparation of the tooth surface. When we are using bonding to fill a cavity, we do have to remove the decayed portion of the tooth, but bonding actually requires less removal of healthy tooth structure than traditional metal fillings.

Once the tooth is prepped, the material is applied and shaped according to the repair we are making. When everything is correct, the material is cured and hardened using a special light. Once the bonding is complete, you are free to go on with your day and can eat, drink, and brush your teeth as usual.

Caring for Your Teeth After Bonding

Bonding doesn’t require any special care. Continue to brush and floss your teeth according to Dr. Reber’s instructions and visit our office twice a year as directed for cleanings and checkups.

While the bonding material is durable and stain-resistant, in time it can still eventually become stained. While your teeth and the muscles of your jaw are designed to withstand incredible forces, the bonding material is not. Avoid biting and chewing on things that are not food, particularly ice, pencils, and your fingernails. These can damage the bonding and even cause it to come loose.

Feel free to enjoy the foods and drinks you love, but be aware that drinks like coffee, tea, red wine, and cola as well as foods like curry and chocolate can stain your bonding. The bonding material stains at a different rate than your natural teeth and this may make your bonding noticeable in time. To avoid this, brush your teeth after eating staining foods and drinks and don’t smoke. If you can’t brush, at least rinse your mouth.

Bonding typically lasts up to ten years. Following that point, you may need some touching up of the area. This is one of the reasons you should continue to see us for regular examinations; as part of your checkup, we’ll take a look at your dental work (including bonding), check its condition, and discuss any improvements or repairs that need to be made.

Depending on the purpose of the bonding and your insurance plan, bonding may be covered by your dental insurance. We can help you determine the extent of your coverage and the portion you will be responsible for prior to your procedure so that you know what to expect.

If you would like to discuss dental bonding and find out if it’s right for you, please call our Tustin, CA dental office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Keith Reber.