When Can Bonding Be Used to Repair Tooth Decay?

Bonding is a general term that many dentists use to describe a type of plastic resin product that can be bonded directly onto a patient’s tooth. According to Dr. Paul Krech of Centerpointe Dental, a cosmetic dentist in Lakeville, MN, bonding can be used to restore smiles and repair all types of tooth-related flaws.

At Centerpointe Dental, Dr. Krech uses bonding for many types of cosmetic procedures. Although bonding is most commonly known as the process dentists use when putting in new fillings to repair cavities, Dr. Krech explains that bonding can also be used for placing porcelain veneers. Increasingly, bonding is being used to repair slight flaws in patients’ front teeth as well.

The type of bonding that a cosmetic dentist is most likely to use is a resin plastic system. When done properly, this system can recreate tooth structure almost perfectly, says Dr. Krech. In fact, Dr. Krech goes on to explain that bonding itself is actually a fairly amazing process. There are very few man-made materials that can be put onto living structures—teeth, in this case—without any limitations. The plastic resin bonding material will bond directly onto anyone’s teeth, even in the wet, hot, and sometimes cold environment inside the mouth. Not only that, but the bonding will hold its position in this environment even under intense pressure and varying chewing forces.

From the patient’s point of view, Dr. Krech says that most people think of the plastic resin bonding material simply as a white filling. Whereas most dentists once favored silver fillings, bonding changed the game as far as dental fillings were concerned. Once it was introduced, dentists began flocking to this material. While silver fillings simply sit on a tooth, white bonding material actually bonds directly to the tooth and seals it off from bacteria and further decay. This white plastic resin forms a mechanical bond to the tooth that is difficult to destroy.

Dr. Krech says that most dentists will tell patients that these white bonded fillings will last between seven and 10 years, however in reality they can—and oftentimes will—last much longer. Bonding material can last as long as 25 years in the right conditions, depending on how much the patient uses the tooth with the bonding on it and how large the filling is to begin with. The bigger the filling, the less tooth structure there still is holding it in place, and the greater the chances that the filling will fail in fewer than 25 years.

At its core, bonding is simply a resin system that bonds directly onto the teeth without any extra fillers having to be put in. Whether a cosmetic dentist is putting in a filling, placing porcelain veneers, or simply doing bonding on a patient’s front teeth to make them look better, there is seemingly no limit to the uses that can be found for this interesting material.

*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.

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