Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. Unlike veneers and crowns, which are customized restorations that must be manufactured in a laboratory, bonding usually can be done in one office visit. Another advantage, compared with veneers and crowns, is that the least amount of tooth enamel is removed. Also, unless dental bonding is being performed to fill a cavity, anesthesia is usually not required.
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 significantly improve the appearance of a tooth. However, because 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 repair is needed.