What is Dental Bonding?

Woman after dental bonding

If our dentist has recently discovered a chipped or cracked tooth, they may have suggested that you undergo a process called bonding. Bonding is one of the most effective and commonly used techniques to fix these issues, so it may be an ideal fit for you. If you want to know your options for repairing that tooth, our dentist may also discuss veneers or extraction and replacement with an implant. Fortunately, bonding is the least invasive and generally, the most cost-effective method to fix a cracked or broken tooth.

Bonding uses a plastic resin that is shaded to look like your natural tooth. This resin can then be applied to the tooth to cover and repair the damage. Once the plastic hardens, it looks, acts, and feels like your natural tooth. In fact, unless you tell somebody, it is unlikely that they will ever know that you have had a bonding completed, and over time you may forget too!

When is Bonding Used?

While bonding is commonly used to repair or hide chipped and cracked teeth, it can also be used for other cosmetic procedures. Bonding can be used to hide stained or discolored teeth, close gaps between teeth, and even be added to increase the appearance of tooth length. Teeth that have irregular surfaces can also be smoothed out with bonding. This reduces the areas that bacteria can hide and can improve your overall oral health.

How does it work?

Typically, bonding doesn’t require any anesthesia unless our dentist is using bonding to fix a decayed tooth. Additionally, there is usually no tooth preparation that is needed either. Our dentist will select the appropriate resin to most closely match your tooth and review that choice with you.

After the color is selected, the tooth will be etched or abraded to give the bonding a better surface to adhere to. Then a conditioning agent is applied to the tooth. This material helps to strengthen the bond between the tooth and the resin so that failure or detachment of the resin is less likely.

The resin is then placed on the tooth. Our dentist will take some time to make sure that the resin is applied in the proper area and then smoothed to give the tooth a finished appearance. Once our dentist is satisfied with the resin, they will use ultraviolet light or laser which hardens and cures the resin.

The entire process should take around 30 minutes, and generally, there is no pain, discomfort or recovery time required for the procedure.

Other Issues

While bonding is a safe process that does not involve many risks, there are some things that you should watch for. The resin is not as hard as your natural teeth, so it is more prone to additional cracking and breaking. This means that you should avoid chewing hard objects on that tooth and discontinue chewing fingernails, ice or pens.

The resins may also be prone to additional staining from coffee, teas, tobacco; especially during the first 48 hours. You should make sure that you are brushing your teeth regularly to help remove any of these materials that can stain teeth with prolonged exposure.

Care After the Procedure

You can treat your teeth just the same as before. You should brush regularly, floss, and visit with our dentist twice a year. You should also watch the bond for any signs of failure or detachment and schedule an appointment with our dentist as soon as you notice a change. However, bonds can last for several years with proper care and oral hygiene practices.


Bonding offers a safe and simple procedure to help hide or repair damage or discoloration to your teeth. If you think that you may need bonding for your teeth, contact us and schedule an appointment with our office today.