Bonding refers to two separate techniques used in modern dentistry. The first technique in which the term bonding is used is during the cementing of dental fixtures such as veneers, crowns, or bridges. In fact, the word cementing and the word bonding are synonymous. The other technique for which the term bonding is used is to simply reference the placing of a filling on a tooth. This can be completed on the back teeth to remove a silver amalgam filling or on the front teeth.
Bonding is generally used for aesthetic reasons when installing white filling materials. It is applied to the surfaces on the front of teeth to fix fractures or chips, to close gaps, to alter the colour of teeth, or to replace older fillings.
The Bonding technique is performed in situations when the treatment needs a more conservative approach. In a situation the damage to the tooth is very minimal a crown or veneer may not be suitable in this kind of scenario. Another situation may be if a patient is far too young to have a tooth reshaped. In this case bonding offers very little tooth reduction and can still provide a natural appeal. Also, situations in which change needed is not extensive. This means that small jobs like closing small gaps with bonding, eliminating white spots with bonding, and periodontal tissue recession can be covered with bonding. If the client has periodontal disease but the status of the existing teeth are fair the bonding can be used to enhance those existing teeth. Situations where the veneering process since the lifespan of the teeth will be short would not be wise to invest in veneering, crowns, or bridges and bonding might be used instead. Finally, if the patient has limited finances but still wishes to enhance their smile, bonding can be a reasonable alternative to porcelain veneers.
During a dental bonding treatment local anesthetic may be needed depending on level of restoration planned. The teeth are reshaped so that the decay or an old filling can be removed. The colour of the tooth will dictate the colour of the filling which is blended and matched to look indistinguishable.
After all the material is set in position, it is then hardened with a special light. The bite can then be assessed and the tooth is polished smooth. This simple treatment can be accomplished in just one oral health visit. More appointments may be needed if more than one tooth is involved.