Bonding is an alternative to veneers, and can be used as a restorative procedure for teeth that are chipped, cracked, discolored or misarranged.
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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.
We are a mercury-free practice. However, many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Porcelain inlays and Tooth Colored Restorations (composite and onlays) create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable) but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are both esthetically pleasing and very strong due to new bonding technologies.
Disadvantages of Silver Fillings:
Silver fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and lets cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split.
Silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. They can corrode, leak and cause stains on your teeth and gums.
Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with tooth colored restorations.
Advantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations
There are many advantages to tooth colored restorations. Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and stronger.
Since the resin used in tooth colored restorations contain fluoride this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums!
The result is a beautiful smile!
Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth Colored Restoration
Composite Filling – One Appointment
•1. The old filling, any additional decay, and weakened tooth structure are removed.
•2. A conditioning gel followed by a bonding resin are placed
•3. A high intensity blue light cures the bonding resin.
•4. The appropriate shade of composite resin is sculptured in multiple layers to achieve the color and contours of a natural tooth.
•5. Each layer of composite is cured by the blue light.
• 6. The filling is finished and polished to a high luster.
You are now ready to show your smile in its natural color.
Inlays or Onlays – Two Appointments
For tooth colored inlays and onlays, the procedure is different.
Your First Appointment
•1. The old filling is removed and any additional decay is removed.
•2. An impression is made of your teeth. A model of your teeth is made and sent to the lab.
•3. A temporary inlay or onlay is placed on the tooth.
At the Lab: A resin or porcelain is carefully placed into the model of your teeth. It is then designed to look natural.
Your Second Appointment:
•1. The temporary inlay or onlay is removed.
•2. A conditioning gel is placed on your tooth to prepare it for the new onlay.
•3. Bonding cement is placed on the tooth and a high intensity blue light bonds the resin to the tooth.
•4. The tooth is then finished and polished.
Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!