Composite bonding is a thin layer of filling made from composite resin. This can be bonded to teeth at the front or back, with the ability to build up teeth worn down by decay, fill small gaps and cosmetically correct such imperfections as stains and crookedness. It is a relatively long lasting treatment and the bonding is accomplished quickly for maximum effect within one or two appointments.
The presence of minor gaps or small but noticeable unevenness between teeth can be irritating for many people, and they may not wish to consider braces or other slow-working aligners to treat these problems. Cosmetic bonding is a simple way to close small gaps and cover imperfections, including chips, gum recession, discoloration and grooves or pits in the teeth, to boost confidence and create a more attractive smile. The treatment also boasts discretion and naturalness, as the colour of the material is matched to the patient’s teeth.
A thin coat of etching solution is carefully applied to the front surface of the imperfect teeth. This makes tiny rough dips in the enamel and thus enables the resin to bond properly. The dentist then adds the composite resin bonding substance over the top and uses a strong light to fix the bonding to the teeth, hardening the material in minutes. When all necessary layers are complete and hardened, the dentist skilfully sculpts for the best and most natural looking results. The teeth are finished with polishing, and the procedure should last between 1 and 2 hours.
The bonding material is porous, which means that air can move freely through the material. In time, smokers who have undergone this procedure will find that these bonds are likely to turn yellow in colour. This may not be a problem if the surrounding teeth match this colour, but if aesthetic considerations are important then smokers should first talk to their dentists about this issue.
Regular silver fillings generally last for approximately 7 years, but the resin composites are designed for strength and so endure general wears and tears. The bonding should last between 7 and 11 years, though it is important to note that, as with all cosmetic dentistry treatments, maintaining your own oral hygiene habits is paramount in keeping the bonding in the best condition.