Dental bonding is a special procedure used to restore, reshape and rejuvenate teeth, improving both their function and appearance. Dentists apply a thin layer of tooth-colored plastic to the front of the tooth and sculpt it to perfect the patient’s appearance. Dental bonding is used to repair chipped, cracked, broken, misshapen teeth or stained teeth or to fill in the spaces between teeth.
Dental Bonding Material
The dental bonding material is made of a composite resin, or plastic, that hardens and fuses to the tooth when the dentist shines a special light on it. Once in place, the bonding material is shaped to correct the specific defect, colored to match the patient’s natural tooth and polished until it is smooth.
The Dental Bonding Process
Applying bonding to a patient’s teeth requires a three-step process.
An etching solution is applied to the tooth or teeth to prepare them to receive the bonding material. This solution gently roughens the surface of the tooth for a stronger bond between the tooth and the plastic.
A thin layer of the bonding resin is placed on the surface of the tooth and is sealed in place using a special light. Several layers of resin may be added and hardened in turn. Each layer takes only a few minutes to harden.
The bonding material is sculpted to the desired shape and colored to match the shade of the natural teeth. Finally, the bonding material is polished until it is entirely smooth.
The dental bonding procedure takes 1 to 2 hours, and its results may last for up to 10 years before any restoration is necessary.
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Dental tooth fillings are a restorative treatment, used to improve the appearance and functionality of teeth affected by damage or decay. The filling materials, which can be made from several different substances, help to even out tooth surfaces for more efficient biting and chewing. Dental fillings can last for many years and help keep the tooth looking and functioning at its best.
Types Of Dental Fillings
Composite fillings are made of a glass or quartz filler within a resin medium that produces a tooth-colored material. Also known as filled resins, composites are often used in small to mid-size restorations, as they provide strength, durability and resistance to fracture. In addition, the shade of composite fillings is made to closely match the patient’s actual teeth, so that other people will not be aware that dental work has been done.
Glass ionomers are also tooth-colored fillings that are made of a mixture of acrylic and glass, and are most often used in young children, because they release fluoride. This material is weaker than composites and usually lasts less than five years before a replacement is needed.
Amalgam fillings have been used for many years and are considered strong, durable and relatively inexpensive compared to other materials. Although strong and effective, many patients do not choose to use amalgam fillings because the silver color can be visible while eating, speaking or smiling.
The Dental Filling Procedure
During the filling procedure, the tooth is prepared by removing any decay or damage in the area with a dental hand piece or laser. The surface of the tooth is cleaned and prepared for filling. The filling material is placed in the targeted area, where it will be finished and polished to match the appearance of the natural teeth. Dental fillings are placed during a single visit to a dentist’s office.
Some patients may require additional support after their filling procedure, such as the placement of a crown, implant or bridge. A root canal may be needed for severely damaged or infected teeth.
The dentist will discuss the filling materials and options with each patient before the procedure to determine the best option.
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