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Bonding involves the direct application of tooth-colored composite resin and is typically used to create a more attractive smile.
Tooth-colored fillings are an alternative to traditional metal fillings and fall into two categories; direct and indirect. Direct restorations are composite resin applied in one appointment. Indirect restorations (inlays or onlays) are made of porcelain or composite resin materials fabricated by a dental laboratory. These restorations usually take two appointments.
Bonding can be employed to change the size or shape of your teeth, creating a smile that appears more symmetrical and space free. This single-visit procedure provides a fast solution for a more attractive smile and may eliminate the need for orthodontic treatment in some cases.
Tooth stains and discolorations that resist professional tooth whitening procedures may also be masked by bonding. Although bonding may not be as long lasting as porcelain veneers or crowns, it can last for a number of years with proper care.
The advantages of tooth-colored fillings are:
Bonding the front teeth typically requires one appointment. The dentist may remove a very minor amount of tooth structure to maximize adhesion of the composite resin to the tooth, depending on the dentist’s bonding technique. A tooth conditioning agent may be applied to the prepared tooth, followed by the application of an adhesive agent and the tooth-colored resin. The dentist will contour the resin to produce the desired aesthetic appearance and expose it to a special laser or curing light to harden the resin.
For indirect tooth-colored inlays or onlays, after tooth preparation, impressions are taken of your teeth and a replica of your mouth is created for the dental laboratory. A temporary filling is placed onto the prepared tooth for protection. At the second appointment, the temporary filling is removed and the inlay or onlay is secured with an adhesive agent.
Teeth bonded or filled with composite resin or restored with inlays or onlays should receive the same meticulous care as natural teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, tongue scraping, and professional preventive treatments to maintain proper health and appearance are all very important.
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