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In some situations, a procedure called ‘bonding’ is used in place of or to supplement veneers. When teeth are chipped, uneven, stained, show gaps, or are worn then bonding may be the preferred technique to restore your mouth to its natural beauty. Bonding involves applying a high-tech resin to your teeth. This resin is then shaped to correct the imperfections. This bonding material can be used to repair chipped teeth, close gaps, and even change the shape of your natural teeth.
The dentist may select either of two approaches to dental bonding:
- Direct Composite Bonding
- Adhesive Bonding
With direct composite bonding, the dentist applies a natural tooth-colored material to the teeth and then shapes the material to correct the imperfection. The material is putty-like and must be sculpted and shaped by the dentist to get just the right shape. The color selected matches your other teeth so when the bonding material sets, the new material looks exactly like your natural teeth.
When the dentist uses the adhesive bonding technique, the tooth surface is roughed, and a bonding agent is applied. Then, a tooth-colored resin, colored to match the shade of your natural teeth, is applied to the damaged tooth. This resin is then molded and shaped to correct the imperfection. Once the tooth’s appearance is right, the resin is exposed to a special high-intensity ultraviolet light, “curing” the resin and converting it to a hard material with a natural look and feel While more economical than veneers, bonding does not last as long but is a good alternative in many cases. Check out some before and after pictures.