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Home / Blog / Dental Bonding / How Long Does Dental Bonding Last?

How Long Does Dental Bonding Last?

Medically reviewed by Dr Minoo Ghamari  / Apr 03, 2024  
Medically reviewed by Dr Minoo Ghamari  
Apr 03, 2024  
How Long Does Dental Bonding Last?

Dental bonding can be an effective method of fixing minor dental issues such as cracks and chips. It's one of the more cost effective dental procedures, and therefore the most commonly carried out by dentists. But how long will your bonded teeth last? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the lifespan of your composite bonding.

What is dental bonding?

Bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure that involves fixing a tooth with a portion of resin that's bonded to your tooth and cured with a special light. This can be done to add shape or volume to your tooth, improving the shape, size, or overall appearance of the tooth. The material is tooth-coloured composite resin, so once the procedure is done, you shouldn't be able to see where the resin starts and the natural tooth ends.

Dental bonding is a popular cosmetic dental alternative to veneers and crowns. It is also known as composite bonding and tooth bonding.

What can you fix with dental bonding?

Dental bonding is used for a number of smaller dental issues, such as fractures in the teeth, chips, gaps, and discolouration. Resin is used to restore your teeth to their original appearance, which is often enough for people to become happier with their smile enough to improve their confidence.

Some patients opt for composite veneers, where the dentist puts composite resin over the entire tooth surface, which is often a less invasive alternative to porcelain veneers. However, others opt to fix single teeth to enhance their natural smile.

What does composite bonding involve?

Composite bonding is a simple procedure that usually won't take longer than one visit to the dentist's office. Generally, there's a six-step procedure that will be followed to make sure your tooth is fixed as quickly and effectively as possible.

We've outlined what will usually happen during dental bonding below.

  1. Your dentist will match the shade of resin to your natural teeth to make sure you can't notice the bonded material once cured

  2. The tooth is then prepared by roughening its surface with a metal file

  3. A conditioned liquid will be smeared over your tooth's surface to help the resin form a stronger bond

  4. The resin is then applied in small pieces, being shaped and moulded to your tooth until the dentist achieves the desired shape

  5. The resin is cured under a special light, bonding it to the surface of your natural tooth

  6. The fixed tooth is then filed and shaped to look as natural as possible, and finally finished with a good polish for a lasting shine

Of course, all dentists will have their own process of bonding teeth so you might find that your dental bonding experience goes a little differently than this. However, these six steps are often the backbone of the majority of composite bonding experiences.

How long does dental bonding last?

The lifespan of your dental bonding depends greatly on how you take care of your oral health after your appointment. The composite material usually lasts between 3 and 10 years, which is quite a large time span! To look after your teeth properly and help your bonding last as close to a decade as possible, follow our advice below:

  • Clean your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day

  • Use a soft-bristled brush and a non-abrasive toothpaste

  • Avoid bad habits like chewing on ice and other hard materials, such as pens and fingernails

  • Don't smoke or use tobacco products

  • Take care when eating and drinking staining substances, as these might discolour the composite material differently to your natural teeth

  • Wear a nightguard if you grind your teeth

  • Keep up to date with your dental appointments to make sure your composite bonding is still healthy and secure

Your dentist will be able to tell you when they think it's best to have your composite bonding redone at your regular appointments. No matter how well you look after your teeth, you will need to have your bonded teeth redone after 10 years anyway. This is one of the drawbacks of composite bonding as it might not last as long as other cosmetic dental procedures.

Dental bonding vs veneers: which is best?

Dental bonding is a popular alternative to porcelain veneers, but why? Which is best for your personal situation?

Dental bonding requires very little of your natural tooth to be removed or influenced before curing the resin to it. This means that the resin can be removed if you want it to be, making the procedure completely reversible. However, veneers require a dentist to shave down your natural tooth material before fitting the porcelain shells that will act as your new teeth, making it irreversible.

Veneers are designed and created for your mouth in a laboratory, creating fewer structural defects and therefore stronger teeth. This means that veneers are often more durable than bonded teeth, so you don't have to worry so much about breaking bad habits and watching what you eat.

However, veneers are much more expensive than dental bonding and it takes longer to complete. Most people prefer to opt for dental bonding if they have a small defect they want to fix, such as gaps or cracks in their teeth. Veneers are often more for aesthetic purposes.

Factors affecting the lifespan of tooth bonding

While tooth bonding can last up to 10 years with proper care, there are certain factors that might affect the lifespan of your composite tooth. We've detailed some of the most common below for you to be aware of.

Your bite and alignment

Composite bonding is suitable for fixing things such as gaps and chips, but it isn't a suitable treatment for orthodontic issues. If your teeth are damaged due to a misaligned bite or overcrowding, your bonded teeth might break again due to the pre-existing issue. To avoid this, you'll need to undergo treatment to fix your orthodontic issues before dental bonding.

Your dentist should be able to inform you of any issues that need to be fixed before undergoing dental bonding. However, on a slim chance that something is missed beforehand, this might affect the lifespan of your composite tooth.

The quality and quantity of composite resin used

Much like most things, the quality of bonding material used within your procedure will affect the lifespan of your new tooth. Using too much or too little resin can cause issues when curing the material to your tooth, so it's important to use a qualified and trusted dentist to carry out your composite bonding procedure.

Your pre-existing oral hygiene and habits

We all have bad habits that are difficult to break, so there is no judgement here. However, some habits, such as fingernail biting and chewing on pens can increase the likelihood of breaking your bonded tooth earlier than expected. You should try your best to break these habits before your teeth are bonded so you're less likely to continue them when it matters most.

Oral hygiene is also an important factor because this can affect the strength of your teeth. Healthy teeth should be able to create a strong bond between your natural tooth and the resin, which unhealthy teeth might not be able to hold on as long. It's also vital that you keep up with excellent oral hygiene after your procedure.

How much does dental bonding cost?

Every dental office will charge a different amount for dental bonding, however the average cost is between $300 and $600 in Australia. This is per tooth, so if you have multiple issues to fix the price will add up quickly. However, composite bonding is often still a more cost effective alternative to veneers or crowns.

Your bonded teeth will need to be replaced every 3 to 10 years, so you'll need to repay the original price every time you need them redone. Comparatively, veneers often need to be replaced every 10 to 20 years and crowns need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years.

Final thoughts

Tooth bonding can be an excellent fix for minor dental issues such as cracks and gaps in your teeth. Composite teeth can last between 3 and 10 years depending on how you look after the tooth and your habits. Other factors might also influence the lifespan of your bonding material, such as your bite and alignment, the quality of the resin used, and how qualified your dentist is. It's vital that you use a dentist that you trust to give your bonded teeth the best chance at lasting close to a decade. This will also save you time and money in the long run, so don't overlook the importance of shopping around!

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