To improve the appearance of teeth that are chipped, gapped, or stained – in both teeth and fillings – composite bonding can be an effective solution. In this procedure, a dental material, in this case, composite resin, is shaped and molded on your teeth to improve its appearance. Unlike veneers, composite bonding can be completed in one appointment. Compared to other treatments, bonding may be a more affordable option, though it may or may not be covered by dental insurance.
The procedure for composite bonding starts with etching the tooth enamel. This allows the dentist to better shape the composite resin to the tooth. Once the surface of the tooth is ready, a conditioning liquid is applied to help the bonding material adhere to the tooth. Your dentist will then add the composite resin to the surface of the tooth, mold and smooth it to the desired shape, and cure it with a special light. The process is finished by polishing the tooth.
The procedure takes 30-60 minutes to complete and usually does not require anesthesia. Composite resin is not as strong as natural teeth, so special care should be taken, especially when chewing hard or crunchy foods, but bonding can last up to ten years with proper care.