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Bonding, White Fillings

2124 State Highway 35, Holmdel, NJ 07733

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What You Need to Know About Bonding, Sealants and Fillings

Bonding, sealants and fillings offer different cosmetic treatment options for some of the most common dental concerns. Bonding can correct cosmetic imperfections such as chips or discolorations, sealants work to prevent decay in your back teeth and fillings can repair cavities caused by decay. Each of these procedures uses a composite resin that is carefully matched to your tooth’s color, giving you a natural looking smile.

When it comes to caring for your teeth, there are safe and effective treatment options available for every problem. Bonding, sealants and fillings offer one-time visit solutions to some of the most common concerns: correcting cosmetic imperfections and preventing and treating tooth decay. The applications for these procedures vary, but each option uses composite resin, a sturdy plastic material that can be matched to the color of your teeth, ensuring that your smile is both healthy and radiant.

Tooth Bonding

Bonding is used for correcting small areas of a damaged tooth by altering its shape or color. It is a more temporary solution than veneers or crowns, lasting from five to 10 years. However, because it does little damage to a tooth’s structure and is less destructive to enamel than veneers or crowns, bonding is an excellent alternative to consider. 

Conditions that bonding can correct include:

  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Discolorations
  • Short or small teeth
  • Decayed teeth

The bonding process begins with examining and cleaning the tooth that will be treated. Next, the tooth is abraded to create an uneven surface to ensure that the resin will adhere properly, after which a conditioning liquid is applied. Your dentist will then attach the resin to your tooth in layers, molding and forming it to the desired shape. A special UV light is used on each layer to “cure” the resin and harden it. The result is a healthy-looking tooth that blends in naturally with your smile.

Dental Sealants

Sealants are a preventative treatment that protects teeth against decay. The procedure works by coating the chewing surfaces of your back teeth with a strong resin seal that prevents food and plaque from collecting in the bumps and crevices where toothbrush bristles cannot reach. Because of their higher risk of tooth decay, children and teens are often recommended to receive dental sealants, but this treatment can also be beneficial for adults as part of a regular dental regimen. Sealants are relatively inexpensive, last several years and can be reapplied as necessary during regular dental visits.

The procedure works similarly to tooth bonding, wherein a composite resin is bonded to the natural depressions and grooves of your teeth. After teeth are cleaned, they are coated in an acid solution to prepare the surfaces to adhere to the resin, which is then painted onto each tooth, where it bonds and hardens. Similar to the process of bonding, a UV light is often used to help set the resin. Each tooth takes only minutes to treat, making this a quick and easy process that can make a vast difference in keeping your teeth healthy and strong.

Composite Fillings

Fillings, most often used to treat cavities, have traditionally been made of a silver-colored metal alloy called amalgam. Amalgam is highly resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive. However, amalgam fillings require the removal of large portions of healthy tooth and do not blend in with your tooth’s natural color. A less destructive alternative to amalgam is to fill the cavity with composite resin. Though composite resin fillings are generally used for small- to mid-size reparations on teeth with low chewing pressure, according to the American Society for Dental Aesthetics, recent advances have strengthened the material and can now also be used for back teeth.

The process for applying composite fillings is also similar to bonding. Prior to affixing the resin, your dentist will anesthetize the tooth and remove any decay. The composite resin is then placed into the tooth in layers and hardened with the help of a UV light. The resin will closely match your tooth, leaving you with an aesthetically pleasing smile and no unsightly metal fillings.

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