Dental bonding, or composite bonding, is a cosmetic procedure in which a tooth-coloured composite resin material is applied to your teeth to improve your smile. Bonding can improve the appearance of teeth that are chipped, broken, cracked, stained or have spaces between them. Cosmetic dentistry will often rely on bonding to change an unsightly smile into a pleasing smile and a smile makeover will normally involve some composite bonding.
Bonding your front teeth actually requires minimal preparation of the tooth. Anaesthesia is usually not needed unless there is an old restoration or decay present and the whole bonding procedure is very often totally pain-free. The tooth is roughened with a conditioning gel to help the bonding material adhere to the tooth enamel and dentine. The composite resin is then applied and cured with a blue light. The dentist will then shape and polish the resin to its final appearance.
Tooth bonding can also be used on back teeth to replace cusps which have fractured away. This can be used as an inexpensive way to repair a tooth before it is eventually strengthened with a stronger restoration such as a crown or a Cerec onlay or inlay.
- Cost: Bonding is one of the least expensive cosmetic procedures. You may pay as little as £80 for a single tooth depending on the size of the restoration needed.
- Time: Unlike crowns and veneers, which require more time to prepare and a second visit to place them, bonding is a restorative technique which can be completed in a single visit.
- Invasiveness: Bonding requires minimal tooth removal. Frequently patients get multiple teeth bonded in one short appointment.
- Staining: Although you can achieve excellent results with bonding, the resin does stain over time. Crowns and veneers will be much more stain resistant.
- Durability: Crowns and veneers are more resistant to breaking and usually last much longer than bonding.
Dental Bonding FAQs
Dental bonding is a great option for certain cosmetic dental situations. There are some limitations with the composite resin material, so consult your dentist about the best option for you.
How long does dental bonding last?
Success of dental bonding is determined, in part, on the location of the restoration on the tooth. If the bonding is on the very edge of your tooth, it will be subjected to very high biting forces and this may lead to premature loss if you have habits such as biting fingernails, cotton or fishing line, or if you clench or grind your teeth. A tooth coloured bonding can last 4 to 8 years on average, depending on tooth location and patient’s bite and eating and chewing habits.
How do I care for my bonded teeth?
Teeth that have had dental bonding done do not need different or special home care. You should brush and floss the areas just like you would for your normal teeth. However, as stated above, dental bonding can and will stain over time. The potential for stain will be much greater (and will happen much faster) for those who consume more coffee, tea, dark cola, red wine, or tobacco products. Also, always avoid biting Sellotape, cotton or fishing line with your front teeth. As with all other dental treatments regular brushing and flossing will increase their longevity.