The term bonding is used to describe procedures where tooth-colored dental resins and composites are used. Direct bonding techniques can be used to change the shape and color of teeth as well as to close unattractive spaces. It can also be used to repair chipped or strengthen broken teeth, improve the shape, size and color of a tooth or even to cover up unsightly stains.

Bonding can be an alternative to veneers and is a very conservative procedure and requires only a minimal amount of tooth reduction.


After slight preparation, the tooth is etched with a weak phosphoric acid solution (a bonding liquid) to create a more porous and rougher surface for increased bonding strength. Once the liquid sets a composite resin is placed on the tooth and shaped, contoured and hardened with a special curing light. It is then further shaped and highly polished creating a very natural appearance. The procedure usually requires only one visit, is painless and can improve the appearance of a tooth significantly.

The bonding procedure is not as strong as natural tooth enamel and the possibility of breaking, chipping and staining does exist. Typically after three to five years the bonding may shows signs of needing to be replaced or repaired.

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