Bonding uses composite resins or porcelain/composite veneers to cover the surface of stained teeth and give a nice, even appearance to broken or misshapen teeth. There are two basic bonding techniques:
- Composite bonding
First, the front of the tooth is slightly reduced to prevent the "new" tooth from being too bulky. Microscopic grooves are then etched into the tooth surface with a mild acid. A composite resin matched to the colour of the surrounding teeth is applied to the tooth, contoured into shape, set using a curing light, and finally smoothed and polished.
- Veneer bonding
A veneer is made to match the colour and shape of your tooth. Porcelain veneers are generally stronger, while composite veneers are less expensive. With porcelain veneers, the dentist takes an impression of the tooth and sends it to the dental lab for fabrication of the veneer, usually after the front of the tooth has been reduced. With either method, the tooth is prepared for bonding by roughening the front surface with mild etching solution. The veneer can then be bonded to your tooth using a dental bonding cement.