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When you think of a beautiful smile, you probably think of bright, white, straight teeth. Maybe your own smile doesn't fit that description; but that doesn't mean it never will. In fact, with dental bonding, you have one of the easiest, fastest and most affordable cosmetic dental treatments at your disposal. Dental bonding can repair stained, cracked or chipped teeth.

During a dental bonding procedure, a cosmetic dentist applies a tooth-colored resin to your tooth and then uses a special light to harden or "bond" the material to the tooth. It may seem simple, but the ability to bond restorative materials to enamel has, in fact, revolutionized your dentist's ability to prevent and prepare cavities, as well as improve the overall appearance of your smile.

Dental bonding is commonly used to restore decayed, cracked and chipped teeth; improve the appearance of stained teeth; close spaces between gapped teeth; and change the shape of teeth.

Bonding vs. Dental Crowns and Veneers

Dental bonding, dental crowns and veneers are all cosmetic dentistry procedures that can boost your smile from average to brilliant. Bonding, however, is a less expensive, less complicated alternative to a dental crown or dental veneers.

Some dentists feel that dental bonding is best suited for small cosmetic changes, temporary corrections of cosmetic defects and teeth with little bite pressure (especially front teeth).

Another benefit of dental bonding is the time it can save you. Unlike veneers and dental crowns, which are custom-made in an off-site laboratory and require multiple visits to complete, a dental bonding procedure is performed in your dentist's office and generally takes just one visit!

Dental bonding does have limitations, however. While the material used in dental bonding is somewhat stain-resistant, dental crowns have proven to resist stains better. Bonded teeth are also more vulnerable to chipping and breaking than dental crowns, dental veneers or dental fillings, so you should refrain from chewing on ice, pencils and your fingernails.