Like veneers, bonding and fillings can help rejuvenate your smile by changing the shape and color of teeth, and eliminating unattractive spaces. This procedure uses tooth-colored dental resins and composites to repair chipped or broken teeth and cover up unsightly stains. Unlike crowns or caps, direct bonding requires only a minimal amount of tooth reduction, thus making it a very conservative procedure.
How it Works
The procedure usually requires only one visit and is pain-free. After slight preparation, the tooth is etched with a weak phosphoric acid solution to create a porous surface for increased bonding strength. Next, a composite (plastic) resin is placed on the tooth and shaped, contoured, and hardened with a special curing light. It is then shaped and highly polished creating a very natural appearance.
How Long it Lasts
The bonded composite has an average life of four to eight years, and often lasts longer depending on how and where in the mouth it is applied and how it is maintained. The area can be touched up and even re-bonded over time as necessary.
Tooth Colored Fillings
Natural tooth-colored fillings have become widely accepted and are often used in place of metallic restorations where aesthetics are a primary concern. There are even studies that show that in some cases, use of certain tooth-colored materials can strengthen a tooth, making it a better choice than its metallic predecessor—amalgam.
How Are Tooth Colored Fillings Applied?
Once the tooth has been prepared and all decay removed, chemicals and materials are placed on the tooth to increase bond strength and protect the tooth. Next, the composite material is placed incrementally into the tooth and is hardened by exposure to a special curing light. The restoration is first contoured to fit the bite and then it is highly polished. These fillings require a bit more time than the silver fillings because of the number of steps involved. Initially, composite fillings can be a bit more sensitive to extreme hot and cold and they may discolor over time if the patient smokes or drinks a lot of coffee, tea, or cola. They can also be more expensive, and some composites may wear faster than silver fillings; however, they yield a much more natural-looking result.
Matching the color of your natural teeth to crowns, veneers, or other dental restorations is now accomplished effortlessly using the Shade Scan system!