What Exactly Is Dental Bonding?

Of course, it's a personal choice, but you might believe that many forms of cosmetic surgery are unnecessary, or at least totally elective—as in, a person elects to have the surgery performed. Cosmetic dentistry is different. Sure, it improves the aesthetics of a person's smile, but it also offers a practical and necessary solution for many dental problems, such as misshapen or damaged teeth, or teeth that are completely missing. Although dental bonding can be thought of as cosmetic dentistry, it's a fantastic way to quickly and efficiently improve the overall appearance and health of your teeth. 

What It's Used For

Dental bonding can be used when teeth have minor structural issues (such as cracks and chips), or when they have become discolored. It can also be used to correct misshapen teeth (such as teeth that are naturally larger or smaller than they perhaps should be). What does the process involve?


The first step is generally a thorough scaling (professional cleaning). Plaque and tartar are removed, which also removes surface bacteria, preventing it from becoming trapped under the bonding compound where it can cause further damage. 

Surface Preparation

The next step might sound counterproductive, but your dentist will strategically roughen up the surfaces of your teeth (which is your dental enamel). This is intended to increase the surface traction of your teeth, meaning that the bonding compound will better attach. This roughening process is usually performed with an acidic solution designed specifically for the purpose.

The Resin

The composite resin is then applied to your prepared teeth. The resin itself is generally a chemical compound known as bisphenol A-glycidyl methacrylate. This often has ultrafine granules (such as quartz) added to it, to achieve bulk and mimic your dental enamel once the resin has dried.

Shaping and Molding

Before it dries, your dentist will shape the composite resin to achieve the desired result. Your dentist will either manually shape the pliable resin, although sometimes a mold is required to replicate the perfect shape for the tooth (or teeth) in question.

Drying and Hardening

Once you and your dentist are satisfied with the preliminary shaping, ultraviolet light is directed into your mouth, heat curing the composite resin. Once it has dried, the resin will be rigid and the work is complete. Quite quick and easy, isn't it?


Like natural dental enamel, composite resin bonding can be affected by wear and tear, and so occasional touch-ups will be needed in the years to come. This will be assessed as part of your regular dental checkups. You will also need to be mindful of staining the composite resin, which might require some extra care (such as thoroughly rinsing your mouth after consuming something that could discolor your dental bonding).

For more information, contact a cosmetic dentist.