What is composite dental bonding, how does it work and what are the costs involved?

21 March · 5 minutes

If you want to improve your confidence and the aesthetic appearance of your teeth, teeth bonding is an effective cosmetic treatment to do so.

Read this article to find out what dental bonding, or teeth bonding is, what it is used for and how the procedure works. You can also compare the pros and cons of dental bonding and take a look at the costs involved so that you can determine whether this might be the right treatment for you.

Keep reading to find out how composite dental bonding can enhance the appearance of your teeth and improve your confidence.

What is dental bonding for teeth?

If you’re wondering what teeth bonding is, otherwise known as composite dental bonding, it’s a cosmetic dental treatment that can be used to treat a range of concerns with the aesthetic appearance of the teeth. The treatment involves bonding composite resin directly to the patient’s teeth in a way that’s personalized to their needs and aesthetic goals. Composite resin comes in a variety of shades, which allows the patient to select a shade that mimics their tooth color for a natural and seamless appearance.

What is dental bonding used for and how does it work?

Dental bonding can be used to improve the functionality and appearance of the teeth for patients affected by a variety of concerns. Below we’ll outline what specific cases dental bonding is used for.

Dentist showing a patient shades for teeth bonding.

Dental bonding for enamel loss

Experiencing enamel loss can weaken the teeth and make them more prone to sensitivity and even further damage. Adding a layer of composite resin to the areas with weak enamel means we can add a protective layer to the teeth to prevent further damage. Therefore, dental bonding can be an effective solution for enamel loss.

Dental bonding for crowded teeth

For patients experiencing mildly crowded teeth, dental bonding can be used to slightly modify the shape of some of the teeth, which can help to conceal some of the crowding and crookedness. That being said, teeth bonding is not an ideal solution for crowded teeth as it only covers up the problem rather than correcting it. If you have teeth crowding, you should schedule an evaluation with an orthodontist so that they can assess the severity of your specific case and determine the best solution for you.

Dental bonding for teeth gaps

Teeth bonding can be an effective solution for those who have gaps in their teeth, otherwise known as diastemas. Many patients prefer dental bonding for gaps over other treatments as it’s less invasive and less time-consuming as it provides immediate results. Your dentist will fill the gap using a composite resin which mimics the natural color of your teeth, allowing the composite to blend in seamlessly.

However, it’s best to schedule an evaluation with an orthodontist before proceeding with a dental bonding treatment so that they can determine what treatment would be most suitable for your specific case. Teeth bonding may not be the optimal solution for every type of diastema.

Dental bonding for crooked teeth

Dental bonding can create the appearance of a more uniform smile for some very mild cases where one or a few teeth are only slightly crooked. Nevertheless, if you have crooked teeth, your case should be assessed by an orthodontic expert so that they can determine whether dental bonding is a feasible solution for you. In cases where crookedness is more severe, your orthodontist may recommend an aligner treatment to straighten your teeth, rather than simply masking the issue.

Dental bonding for a chipped or broken tooth

Dental composite bonding is a popular treatment for patients who have chipped or broken a tooth. Composite resin can be used for repairing minor chips or fractures, which can improve both the appearance and functionality of the teeth, as well as provide a protective layer against further damage.

As with many other cases, it’s important to first have a dental examination with a dentist before proceeding with teeth bonding so that they can ensure that there is no further damage on the teeth which may require additional treatment.

Dental bonding for receding gums

Dental bonding can be used as a treatment for receding gums, but generally only in mild cases where the issue primarily lies with the appearance of the teeth, rather than with oral health. Gingival recession, or receding gums, refers to when the gums start to pull back from your teeth or wear away. Since this exposes the root of the teeth, it makes them more prone to further damage like tooth decay or sensitivity. Adding a layer of composite resin can not only add further protection to the area, but can improve the appearance.

However, if you notice you have receding gums, you should arrange a check-up with your dentist so that they can assess your case and determine whether dental bonding is the right treatment for you.

Dental bonding for teeth discoloration

Where teeth have mild staining or discoloration, dental bonding can be used to cover the surface area. However, teeth bonding should only be used in cases where other treatments were not able to treat the discoloration.

Soft bristle toothbrushes.

What is the procedure for dental bonding?

The following steps are usually involved in the dental bonding procedure:

  1. You’ll have a consultation and evaluation with your dental specialist regarding dental bonds.
    First, your dentist will assess your specific case to determine whether or not teeth bonding is feasible and suitable. If it has been determined as the most appropriate solution for you, a color of composite resin that closely matches your natural tooth color will be chosen so that the results are seamless.
  2. The teeth will be prepared.
    The next step in the dental bonding procedure is to prepare the teeth so that composite bonds adhere to them correctly. Usually your dentist will lightly roughen or etch your teeth so that the composite resin can bond effectively.
  3. The composite resin will be applied to the teeth.
    The composite resin will then be applied to the teeth where it’s needed, whether it’s to fill in gaps or chips in teeth, cover discoloration, or apply a layer to areas where the enamel has worn down. Your dentist will mold the composite resin in a way that achieves the desired result.
  4. The composite resin will be cured.
    The composite resin that has been applied to the teeth needs to be cured with a UV light for it to harden and bond to the teeth correctly.
  5. The dental bonds will be polished and shaped.
    The final step in the process, once the composite resin has hardened, is to shape the bonds and polish them so that they look more uniform and appear like natural enamel. The goal of the dental bonding procedure is to create a smile that’s uniform and natural looking.

Pros and cons of dental bonding

If you’re unsure whether composite dental bonding is the treatment you’re looking for, it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons. Here are the benefits and drawbacks of dental bonding to help you make a decision.

The benefits of dental bonding

  1. It is minimally invasive.
    One of the key benefits of dental bonding is that compared to some other cosmetic dental treatments like veneers or dental implants, it is a gentle and minimally invasive treatment. Preparation for the procedure generally only involves some light etching of the teeth.
  2. The procedure is quick.
    For those who don’t want a long treatment and are eager to see immediate results, teeth bonding is a convenient option as it usually only requires 1-2 appointments with your dentist and no recovery time.
  3. It is an economical option.
    Dental bonding is relatively cheap compared to some other procedures in cosmetic dentistry, which makes it ideal for those who are on a budget when it comes to their teeth.
  4. It’s a versatile solution for a range of cosmetic issues.
    Dental composite bonding is fairly versatile as it can treat a variety of cosmetic concerns including chipped or broken teeth, discoloration and diastemas.
  5. The treatment can be reversed.
    For those wondering if dental bonding can be removed, the answer is yes. The treatment can be reversed if you decide you want to remove your composite bonds, given that the procedure is not very invasive. That being said, you should discuss the possibility of removing your dental bonds with a dental expert before doing so, since removing them can weaken the structure of your natural teeth.

The cons of dental bonding

  1. Composite resin can stain easily.
    One of the cons associated with dental bonding is that the composite resin used can stain quite easily when certain foods or drinks are consumed. This means great care is required to maintain the original color of the bonds.
  2. Dental bonds are not as durable as other treatments.
    In comparison to the likes of veneers or crowns, dental bonds are not always a very durable option. The composite resin used in teeth bonding can wear down or become chipped over time, which means they’ll need repair or replacement.
  3. It is not a long-lasting option.
    Dental bonds last on average between 5-10 years, meaning they’ll likely require more frequent replacement or maintenance when compared with options like veneers.
  4. Teeth bonding is only suitable for minor cosmetic issues.
    In cases where the cosmetic issue is more severe, like with large diastemas or greater damage, dental bonding is not a suitable option. You’ll likely have to resort to crowns or veneers which are a more expensive and invasive option.

How to care for your dental bonding

Caring for your dental bonds in the correct manner is essential for ensuring the bonds last and to maintain the improved aesthetic of your teeth. While your dentist will give you personalized advice on how to care for dental bonding, here you’ll also find some useful aftercare tips:

  1. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice each day and use fluoride toothpaste with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  2. Schedule regular dental cleanings and check-ups with your dentist so that they can review your dental bonds and make sure any issues like chips, damage and discoloration are addressed promptly.
  3. Avoid consuming food or drinks that can stain your teeth bonds. Foods like soy sauce or curry, and drinks like coffee and red wine can stain the composite resin used in dental bonding.
  4. Additionally, avoid any hard or sticky foods that can cause the composite resin to break or chip off.
  5. When playing any contact sports, make sure to use a mouthguard to protect your teeth.
Dental patient smiling.

Dental composite bonding vs veneers

If you’re seeking a cosmetic dental treatment and you’re not sure whether dental bonding or dental veneers are the best option for you, it’s a good idea to first arrange a consultation with a dentist. This way they can assess your needs and expectations, and discuss any additional factors like your budget.

We’ll address some key points such as cost and procedure when it comes to comparing and understanding the differences between composite dental bonding vs veneers.

  • Function:
    Dental bonding can be used in cases where there are minor cosmetic issues such as small chips, gaps or minor discoloration. On the other hand, veneers are more suitable for more severe cosmetic issues such as damage to more than one tooth or large gaps.
  • Material used:
    Composite resin is the material used in dental bonding and is matched to your natural tooth color. Veneers can be made from either composite or porcelain. While porcelain is more durable and less susceptible to staining, composite resin can stain overtime is they aren’t cared for correctly.
  • Procedure:
    Another way in which we can compare composite dental bonding vs veneers is by their procedure.
    Teeth bonding is minimally invasive as it only requires some light etching of the teeth prior to the composite resin being added. Additionally, it’s a relatively fast treatment, taking place within 1-2 visits, and has immediately visible results. Composite veneers usually follow a similar process to composite dental bonding. However, with porcelain or ceramic veneers, your dentist will often have to remove a thin layer of enamel and contour the teeth slightly in preparation, but this depends on the size and position of the teeth, as well as the style of veneer chosen. You usually need to attend at least two dental appointments for porcelain veneers.
  • Longevity:
    Composite dental bonds typically last between 5-10 years but may need maintenance or repair sooner. Composite veneers have a similar lifespan whereas porcelain veneers tend to last longer - between 10-15 years. However, the longevity of both dental bonds and veneers depends on how well you care for them.
  • Cost:
    The cost of dental bonding vs veneers is one of the key considerations patients make when deciding which cosmetic treatment is best for them. Teeth bonding in the US typically costs between $100 and $500 per tooth, while porcelain or ceramic veneers can cost between $400 and $2,500 per tooth. However, you should note that veneers usually come in sets of 6, 8, or in a full set, so you’ll likely pay a higher sum. It’s best to arrange a consultation with your dentist so that they can give you an accurate price for your treatment.

Even with the above comparisons of dental bonding vs veneers, you should arrange an appointment with a dental professional so that they can examine your individual case and discuss what options will work best for you.

How much does dental composite bonding cost?

If you’re wondering how much composite dental bonding is, here we’ll outline the average costs so you can have an idea before you decide on your treatment. The cost of dental bonding in the US typically falls between $100 and $500 per tooth but can vary according to a variety of factors such as the technique used and the size of the area of the tooth that needs to be repaired or covered.

Gain the confidence to show your teeth with a treatment at Impress

At Impress, we specialize in a variety of treatments designed to improve your oral health and the appearance and alignment of your teeth, thus boosting your confidence. We specialize in clear aligners which serve as a long-term solution for the likes of diastemas and crooked teeth.

If you want to find out whether a treatment at Impress is for you, you can book a complimentary evaluation with our professional team in your nearest Impress clinic. You can also schedule an appointment online, via email at careteam@uniformteeth.com, or by phone on 888.490.1421.

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Frequently asked questions about teeth bonding

How long does dental bonding last?

When considering if dental bonding is the right treatment for them, many patients want to know, ‚Äúhow long does dental bonding last?‚ÄĚ The answer is that teeth bonding lasts on average between 5 and 7 years. That being said, as mentioned previously in this article, how long your dental bonds last depends on how well you look after your teeth after your treatment.

Does dental bonding hurt?

Dental bonding does not hurt or cause discomfort to the patient as it is a minimally invasive treatment that only requires some light etching on the surface of the tooth, and not near the root.

Can dental bonding be whitened?

Teeth with dental bonding cannot be whitened as composite resin does not respond to whitening treatments. If you’re unhappy with the color of your teeth and want a whiter smile, your dentist can discuss carrying out a whitening treatment before your composite dental bonding so that the composite resin can be matched to your tooth color. Your teeth should be whitened at least 2 weeks before your bonding treatment.

Can you get composite dental bonding if you have bruxism?

Patients with bruxism can have a dental bonding treatment, but should consult a dentist beforehand so that they can assess their individual case and the severity of the bruxism. In most cases, it’s recommended that the bruxism is treated before a teeth bonding treatment, as clenching and grinding teeth can wear down the composite resin and impact the longevity of the dental bonds. Your dentist may also recommend porcelain veneers instead of composite bonding, as the material is more durable and long lasting.

Can dental bonding be removed?

If the patient wishes to do so, dental bonding can be removed. However, while your dentist removes the dental bonds as carefully as possible, in some cases, the structure of the natural tooth may be weakened slightly. As a result, you should make sure that you discuss removing your dental bonds with your dentist prior to proceeding with the removal, so that you can understand what might be involved in doing so and whether you have any alternative options.

Can you have dental bonding if you have gum disease?

If you have gum disease, you should consult with your dentist before arranging a dental bonding treatment so that they can assess your teeth and gums and determine whether dental bonding is suitable for you. If your level of gum disease is severe, you should have it treated before having teeth bonding.

How long does dental bonding take?

If you’re wondering how long dental bonding takes, it can typically be done within 1-2 visits to the dentist, but this does depend on how many teeth require dental bonds. Dental bonding takes roughly 30-60 minutes per tooth, so if you need bonding for several teeth, you may require several appointments.

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