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How Composite Bonding is Done: A Step-by-Step Guide

composite veneers

Composite bonding is a popular dental procedure known for its ability to enhance the appearance of your smile and repair minor dental issues with minimal invasiveness. For more information on composite and the term "composite bonding" click here. Here’s a detailed look at how this procedure is performed:

Step 1: Consultation and Examination

This is the most important part of it all!

  • Discussing your dental concerns and aesthetic goals.

    • We evaluate the teeth and discusses their goals and expectations, is it the length, color or shape to be changed and where on the tooth?

    • We typically take Macro photos and Impressions for the first visit and have a discussion on the computer screen where you want to add the composite.

  • Evaluating the overall health of your teeth and gums.

  • Evaluating your bite (some bites will encourage more composite failure)

  • Evaluating any irregular habits such as tooth grinding

  • Taking X-rays or other imaging if necessary to plan the treatment accurately.

Step 2: Treatment Planning

We confirm via molds previously taken of your teeth where the composite is to be added (this is done typically using wax and is called a wax up). We will confirm again the specific teeth that will be treated and the desired shape, color, and appearance of the composite resin (taken with a shade guide).

Step 3: Tooth Preparation

Preparation for composite bonding is minimal compared to other dental procedures. Here’s what typically happens:

  • Cleaning: The tooth surface is thoroughly cleaned to remove any plaque or debris.

  • Etching: A mild acidic gel is applied to the tooth's surface to create tiny pores. This etching process helps the composite resin adhere better to the tooth.

  • Rinsing and Drying: The etching gel is rinsed off, and the tooth is dried.

Step 4: Application of the Composite Resin

The actual bonding process involves several steps:

  • Adding the bonding layer: Dentists will vary slightly in their technique due to brand preference, essentially the bond is the "glue"

  • Layering: The composite resin is applied to the tooth in layers. Each layer is carefully sculpted to the desired shape.

  • Curing: After each layer is applied, a special curing light is used to harden the resin. This process is repeated until the desired thickness and shape are achieved.

Step 5: Shaping and Polishing

Once the composite resin is fully hardened we do the following:

  • Shaping: Use various dental tools to trim and shape the bonded material, ensuring it blends seamlessly with your natural tooth.

  • Polishing: The final step involves polishing the composite to give it a smooth, shiny finish that matches the rest of your teeth.

Step 6: Final Adjustments and Evaluation

Once finished:

  • We will check your bite to ensure the bonded tooth aligns properly with your other teeth.

  • Any necessary adjustments are made to ensure comfort and functionality.

  • We will give you aftercare instructions to maintain the bonded teeth (typically to avoid hard foods).

  • In most cases I like to do a follow up a week after

For more information on "composite bonding" and why some dentists seemingly do not offer or get confused by the term, click here


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