Dental Bonding and How It Works

Sometimes, you bite down on something too hard, fall, or otherwise suffer impact to your mouth. The result? Pain, swelling, bleeding, and quite possibly, a cracked tooth.   Perhaps you have a space between your teeth that you want fixed for cosmetic reasons, and or a tooth that’s misshapen. Maybe you have a discolored tooth that is causing you issues when you need your photo taken.

Dental bonding, also known as tooth bonding, sounds complicated but bonding is a straight forward procedure.  Your dentist simply repairs a tooth that’s chipped, cracked, or slightly broken with tooth colored composite, also known as a resin. Sometimes, your dentist can use this procedure to fix mild tooth decay, or make your teeth look better if you suffer from any of the problems above. Here’s how it works.

What Will Your Dentist Do to Prepare?

The great news about tooth bonding is that there’s often not a lot of work that needs to be done before your procedure. Sometimes, your dentist won’t even have to numb you for smaller issues such as cracked teeth, chips, and cosmetic procedures such as fixing a discolored tooth.  However, since this resin is sometimes used for fillings, a simple injection may be necessary to keep you comfortable during your procedure. This injection may also be used if the chipped area or damage is near a nerve that may be irritated during the procedure, or if any drilling will be needed to shape your teeth. If needed, you’ll get a type of local anesthetic, which wears off after a few hours and takes effect within minutes. This type of injection causes very little pain, and if you wish, you can have a numbing gel applied to your gums beforehand.

The Procedure

Once any preparation is done, your dentist will then prepare your tooth and apply a liquid that will help the resin bond properly to your teeth. Once that’s completed, your dentist will add the resin itself, molding and sculpting it to fit your tooth. Then, a curing light will be used to set the resin, and your dentist may make further adjustments such as polishing.  Bonding will take anywhere from half an hour to about an hour, but may take longer if more than one tooth needs to be done. If bonding multiple teeth, more than one appointment may be needed.


Tooth bonding is less involved than procedures such as crowns, and also less expensive. Bonding is a great alternative to crowns for small areas and front teeth, which don’t suffer as much wear and tear as your molars. However, tooth bonding won’t be enough to solve larger problems such as large cavities, extensive tooth decay, or fully broken teeth. It’s best used for smaller, cosmetic changes.

Don’t Hesitate with Your Questions and Concerns. At Seven Lakes Dental, we want to make sure you have the most relaxing and comfortable visit with us as possible, no matter which procedure you’re getting. If you live in the Marysville, WA or Smokey Point areas, reach out to us today.