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Home / Blog / Dental Bonding / What Is Dental Bonding?

What Is Dental Bonding?

Medically reviewed by Dr Minoo Ghamari  / Apr 17, 2024  
Medically reviewed by Dr Minoo Ghamari  
Apr 17, 2024  
What Is Dental Bonding?

Bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure that uses a tooth-coloured composite resin to enhance your natural smile. Bonding is often used to repair chipped teeth or change the size and shape of natural teeth. Dental bonding is one of the more popular cosmetic dental procedures because it's completely reversible, unlike others such as veneers.

Today we're looking at everything you need to know about dental bonding, including whether it's correct for you or not.

Why might dental bonding be recommended?

Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure, so it's not recommended for everyone. However, you might be recommended composite resin bonding if you have a following dental issue:

  • Chips or cracks in your teeth

  • Discoloured teeth

  • Gaps or spaces between your teeth

  • Short teeth

  • Obscure tooth shape

The resin material used for dental bonding is also used for restorative dentistry, and it can fix things such as cavities, old fillings, and gum recession.

What is dental bonding?

Dental bonding, otherwise known as composite bonding or teeth bonding, can enhance your smile and improve any imperfections such as cracks, chips, and gaps. We've detailed what a typical dental bonding procedure might involve for your reference:

  1. Your dentist will first match the resin colour to your natural teeth so you won't be able to tell the difference between the materials.

  2. The tooth is then prepped by roughening it up with a metal file. This allows the resin to stick to the natural tooth better so it (hopefully) won't fall off easily.

  3. A conditioning liquid is then applied to the surface of the tooth to enhance the bonding even further.

  4. Now the resin material is applied, moulded, and smoothed to the desired shape onto the tooth. This is done with a number of thin metal tools within your mouth, so your dentist can get the most natural-looking shape possible.

  5. The resin is then cured under a special light to bond the material to your natural tooth.

  6. The newly fixed tooth is then finely shaped and polished until it matches your natural teeth. You should now have a fixed tooth that blends seamlessly into your smile.

Is dental bonding common?

Yes, plenty of people are opting for dental bonding nowadays to fix common teeth issues. It's one of the most commonly performed dental procedures today, so more people might have composite resin in their smiles than you originally thought!

Dental bonding or veneers: which is best?

Many people who want to change their smile might automatically opt for veneers, which are porcelain shells that stick to the front of your teeth. Before they're fixed to your original teeth, the dentist must shave down some of the natural enamel of your teeth. This is an irreversible procedure and your veneers will need to be replaced every 10 to 20 years.

However, dental bonding is not as significant as this, so you should be able to keep your enamel. This means that the resin portion of your tooth can be removed if you want to reverse the procedure. Dental bonding might need to be touched up every 10 years, just like veneers.

It's up to you to determine whether veneers or bonding is best for what you need. Alternatively, you might also want to look into composite veneers, which is where a dentist covers the entire surface of your tooth with the resin material.

Are you a good candidate for teeth bonding?

Before you are approved for teeth bonding, you'll need to sit down with your dentist to make sure your cosmetic goals can be achieved with resin. You'll also need to sit through some dental X-rays to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy enough to withstand tooth bonding. This is a relatively simple procedure, so most people are approved. However, it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to cosmetic surgeries and your dentist will need to look for things such as severe tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. If anything is found, these problems will need to be treated before you can go ahead with the tooth bonding.

Is dental bonding painful?

The majority of people who undergo a dental bonding procedure don't find it painful since your dentist won't be working anywhere near the nerve within your tooth. Most dentists won't even offer anaesthesia since it's not a painful procedure.

However, if your tooth is already sensitive due to an existing issue like a crack or chip, this might be aggravated during the procedure, so make sure you have some over-the-counter pain relievers at home to quell any discomfort you might feel after you go home.

What's the recovery like after teeth bonding?

Dental bonding often takes no downtime, so you should be able to return to your usual daily routine as soon as you leave your dentist appointment. There is no special care needed for bonded teeth, except that you must practice good oral hygiene, which involves:

  • Brushing teeth twice a day (at least)

  • Flossing once a day (at least)

  • Keeping up with your dentist check-ups and cleanings

Bonded teeth have the potential to chip, so it's important that you prevent habits such as biting your fingernails or chewing pens from damaging your new tooth. You'll often be able to feel if there's anything wrong with your bonded tooth by running your tongue over it. If you find any sharp corners or broken pieces, call your dentist for professional advice.

Benefits and risks of dental bonding

If you're considering dental bonding, it's important to have a well-rounded view of the procedure. We've detailed the benefits and risks of composite bonding below:

Benefits of dental bonding

  • Most patients find bonding to be minimally invasive compared to other alternatives such as dental crowns and veneers

  • Dental bonding can help fix a wide number of cosmetic imperfections, including gaps, chips, cracks, and discolouration

  • The majority of dental bonding procedures are cost-effective compared to other dental procedures, so it might be best if you're on a budget

  • Most other dental cosmetic procedures take multiple appointments to complete, while dental bonding often only takes one appointment to your dental office

  • Dental bonding is one of the easiest cosmetic procedures, so it often comes with almost no risk or pain

  • Only a small amount of enamel will usually need to be removed before the tooth bonding can begin

  • Most dental insurance companies cover or partially cover dental bonding

  • You most likely won't require special dental care after the bonding procedure

  • Dental bonding can improve confidence and make you less insecure about your natural smile

Risks of dental bonding

  • Bonding material might stain, as it's not as resistant as porcelain restorations

  • Some people with bonded teeth might find the resin not as resistant as other dental options as it might need to be touched up after around ten years

  • Bonding material might chip over time

  • Dental bonding might not be suited for more dramatic transformations, such as multiple teeth fixtures

Is dental bonding good for your teeth?

Generally, dental bonding doesn't come with any risks to your natural teeth, and as long as your dentist has signed you off for having healthy teeth and gums, you should be completely fine after the procedure.

However, problems arise when you have tooth decay, gum disease, or other worrying issues that can affect your oral health. Your dentist will evaluate your teeth before beginning the bonding process to make sure you're a good candidate for the procedure.

How much does dental bonding cost?

The cost of dental bonding will depend on your dentist's individual prices. However, on average, you can expect to pay between $300 and $600 per tooth being bonded. Your bonded teeth might need replacing every 5 to 10 years, so this price will need to be paid for every reapplication.

The majority of dental insurance companies cover dental bonding, or at least partially cover it. So, you might not be paying as much as this for your new smile.

Final Thoughts

Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure that can fix a number of dental issues such as cracks, gaps, and discolouration. Bonding is a generally noninvasive procedure that can enhance your smile by fixing natural imperfections. It's not painful, simple to recover from, and generally not harmful to your teeth.

It can improve confidence and your overall oral hygiene, although they will most likely need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years. It's always best to consult a dental professional before committing to a cosmetic procedure such as dental bonding, as they'll be able to tell you whether you're a good candidate or not.

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