Bonding is a process in which an enamel-like material is applied to a tooth`s surface, sculpted to an ideal shape, hardened, and then polished for an ideal smile. This procedure usually can be accomplished in a single visit and the results last for several years.
Bonding is more susceptible to staining or chipping than other forms of restoration such as veneers. When teeth are chipped or slightly decayed, bonded composite resins may be the material of choice. Bonding also is used as a tooth-colored filling for small cavities and broken or chipped surfaces.
Inlays & Onlays
When more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged a dentist will often use an inlay or onlay. They are similar to a composite filling but it is fabricated in the laboratory. An inlay is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth where as an onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.
Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth.
Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, decay is removed and the tooth is prepared for the inlay/onlay restoration. An impression will be taken by Dr. Kent and sent to the lab for fabrication. At the second appointment, Dr. Kent will make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly. If the fit is satisfactory, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and polished to a smooth finish.