Bonding is the procedure of placing fillings into a tooth using both a bonding agent and a porcelain-type filling material. The bonding agents used are now in their seventh generation which has seen significant improvements in bonding strength over the past 30 years. The type of porcelain or composite filling materials have a wide range of strengths, sculptability and shades of colors. These materials are commonly known as “white fillings” or “tooth colored fillings” which is much better esthetically from the older self curing silicate materials of the past. The newer bonding materials require a bonding light to start the hardening process.
Bonding can be performed on front or antenor teeth, as well as, back or posterior teeth. Years ago, only silver or amalgam fillings were offered for restoring back teeth, but today the majority of posterior teeth are filled with tooth colored bonded porcelain.
How does it work?
The tooth is prepared for the procedure by lightly etching the surface and applying a bonding liquid. Once the liquid sets, a plastic resin is applied and sculpted into the desired shape by the dentist. Once set, the resin is trimmed, smoothed and polished to a natural appearance.
The bonding procedure can often be completed in a single office visit, and can improve the appearance of a tooth significantly. However, since the plastic resin used is not as strong as your natural tooth enamel, it is more likely to stain, chip or break than natural teeth. Bonding typically lasts three to five years before need of repair.