Cosmetic bonding: what is it? - Southampton Aesthetic Dentistry

Cosmetic bonding: what is it?

photo close up smiley patient at appointment

Cosmetic bonding, also known as dental bonding, is a dental procedure used to improve the appearance of teeth. This technique involves the application of a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic) to the tooth surface and then shaping, hardening, and polishing it to match the surrounding teeth. The primary purpose of cosmetic bonding is to enhance the appearance of teeth and improve the patient’s smile.

Cosmetic bonding can be used to address a variety of dental imperfections, such as:

  • Chipped or cracked teeth: Bonding can help repair minor chips and cracks by rebuilding the damaged area and restoring the tooth’s appearance.
  • Discolored teeth: The tooth-colored resin can be used to cover stains and discolorations on teeth that may not respond well to traditional teeth whitening treatments.
  • Gaps or spacing issues: Bonding can help close small gaps between teeth or make teeth appear more evenly spaced.
  • Tooth shape and size: If a tooth is too small or has an irregular shape, bonding can be used to modify its appearance and create a more aesthetically pleasing result.
  • Dental cavities: Cosmetic bonding can also be used to fill cavities with a tooth-colored resin material, providing a more natural-looking alternative to traditional amalgam fillings.


How long does dental bonding last?

The longevity of dental bonding can vary depending on several factors, such as the location of the bonding, the patient’s oral hygiene habits, and the skill of the dental professional performing the procedure. In general, dental bonding may last between 3 to 10 years before requiring replacement or repair.

To ensure the dental bonding lasts as long as possible, maintaining good oral hygiene practices is crucial. These practices include brushing your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily to eliminate plaque and food particles from between teeth and under the gum line, and scheduling regular dental checkups and cleanings to keep both your teeth and bonding in good condition.

It is also important to avoid or limit the intake of staining foods and beverages, like coffee, tea, red wine, and berries, as the bonding material is more prone to staining compared to natural teeth. Additionally, refrain from biting or chewing on hard objects, such as ice, pens, or fingernails, which could cause the bonding material to chip or break. It is also advisable to avoid using your teeth for non-eating tasks, like opening packages.

If dental bonding becomes damaged or discolored over time, it can usually be repaired or replaced with relative ease. Consult your dentist if you observe any issues with your bonded teeth, and they can help determine the most suitable course of action.

Cosmetic bonding is a less invasive and more affordable option compared to other cosmetic dental procedures like veneers or crowns. However, the bonding material is not as strong or stain-resistant as other restorative materials, and the procedure may need to be repeated or touched up over time.

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