Dental bonding is a procedure in which a plastic resin is applied to the front surface of a tooth. This procedure can improve the appearance of teeth in several ways. It can whiten stained teeth, lengthen short or chipped teeth, and fill in gaps between teeth. This method works well with brownish or grayish-tinged teeth, which do not always respond to bleaching.
First, the dentist applies phosphoric acid to the tooth to remove the shine of the enamel. This step is necessary in order for the resin to stick to the tooth. Next, he or she applies the resin to the tooth. He or she then flashes a light on the tooth to harden the resin and smooth out the enamel. Once the bonding is complete, the dentist finishes the process by polishing the tooth.
Dental bonding lasts about five to ten years. At that time, the process may have to be repeated, as plaque and other stains may have caused the tooth to lose its shine.