They say, “Nothing you wear is more important than your smile.” And it is true that a beautiful smile can make a huge difference on how a person looks – it can brighten up a face; make one look younger; make one look kinder; it can convey love and affection; it expresses confidence.

Not everyone feels confident about their smile, however. A chipped or oddly-shaped/sized tooth; a very noticeable gap between teeth; a discolored or even decayed tooth – any one of these is enough to discourage a person from lifting the corners of their mouth, even if just slightly. Fortunately, there is a simple and affordable cosmetic dental procedure that will definitely improve one’s smile and, of course, their confidence!

This procedure is called cosmetic resin bonding, also more commonly known as composite resin bonding. Cosmetic dental procedures will, more often than not, cost you an arm and a leg. Cosmetic/composite resin bonding is the least expensive treatment option for you if you want to improve the appearance and/or condition of your teeth.

The dental procedure, which can be done in a single visit, is usually recommended to repair a tooth that is discolored, chipped, fractured, or decayed; teeth that need to be “elongated” to match the others and to improve bite; to change/improve the shape or color of a tooth; to fill gaps between teeth; as protection for a tooth’s exposed root; and as a cosmetic substitute for amalgam fillings.

Bonding involves the application of a composite resin, or plastic, to the problem tooth. A shade guide will help your dentist ensure that the color of the composite resin will match that of the rest of your teeth. Prior to bonding, your dentist will slightly “roughen” the surface of the tooth through light etching. And then, a conditioning liquid will be applied to help the composite resin to successfully bond with the tooth’s original enamel.

During application, the resin will still have a putty-like consistency, and it will be molded over/with the tooth and smoothed to achieve the desired shape. The resin is then hardened using an ultraviolet light or laser. Once this is done, the bonded resin will again be trimmed, polished, and shaped some more until it matches the color and look of the original tooth, as well as those of the surrounding teeth.

Depending on the complexity of the work, the procedure may last between 30 minutes and an hour. During the first 48 hours after composite resin bonding, the patient will have to avoid substances that will stain the newly bonded resin, such as coffee, tea, and cigarettes.

In the hands of a skilled and experienced cosmetic dentist or orthodontist and with proper maintenance, cosmetic/composite resin bonding can be a long-lasting solution to cosmetic dental problems. And it is definitely a lot cheaper than the popular and very costly porcelain veneers. For some patients, tooth bonding can also serve as a temporary cosmetic treatment prior to and in preparation for a more permanent dental restoration. Needless to say, the cosmetic benefits of tooth bonding will be worth the cost.