Bonding is an alternative to veneers and can be used as a restorative procedure for teeth that are chipped, cracked, discolored or misarranged.

How does it work?

The tooth is prepared for the procedure by lightly etching the surface and applying a bonding liquid. Once the liquid sets, a tooth-colored, putty-like plastic resin is applied, molded and smoothed into the desired shape by Dr. Coffey.  An ultraviolet light or laser is used to harden the material.  Once set, the resin is trimmed, smoothed and polished to a natural appearance.


Dental bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. Unlike veneers and crowns, which are customized tooth coverings that must be manufactured in a lab, bonding can improve the appearance of a tooth significantly and is usually completed in a single office visit unless several teeth are involved. Another advantage, compared with veneers and crowns, is that the least amount of tooth enamel is removed. Also, unless dental bonding is being performed to fill a cavity, anesthesia is usually not required.

Although the material used in dental bonding is somewhat stain resistant, it does not resist stains as well as crowns. Another disadvantage is that the bonding materials do not last as long nor are as strong as other restorative procedures, such as crowns, veneers, or fillings. However, since the plastic resin used is not as strong as your natural tooth enamel, it is more likely to stain, chip, or break than natural teeth.  Bonding typically last three to five years before need of repair.

Because of some of the limitations of dental bonding, Dr. Coffey views it as best suited for small cosmetic changes, for temporary correction of cosmetic defects, and for correction of teeth in areas of very low bite pressure (for example, front teeth). Consult with Dr. Coffey about the best cosmetic approach for your particular problem.

If you would like to schedule a FREE consultation for bonding (x-rays not included) with Encinitas Dentist, Edward B. Coffey, DDS MS – Encinitas Dental Art, please call us at (760) 942-7272.  Hablamos Español.