Dental bonding is a non-invasive cosmetic dental procedure that can help improve the appearance of your smile. Here, our dentists at Toothworks Sterling Dental provide some facts about how dental bonding can be used to repair discoloured, gapped teeth and restore your smile.
What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding is a safe, effective and non-invasive cosmetic dental treatment. Your dentist applies tooth-coloured composite resin to your teeth, then shapes and polishes it to match the teeth surrounding it so that it blends in, creating a natural-looking smile.
We call the process 'dental bonding' because the composite resin bonds to the tooth.
Why would I need dental bonding?
Dental bonding is most commonly used for cosmetic reasons, such as improving the appearance of chipped or discoloured teeth, making teeth appear longer, changing their shape or colour, or closing gaps between teeth.
Bonding is also sometimes used as an alternative to silver (amalgam) fillings, or to cover exposed tooth roots due to receding gums.
What happens during a dental bonding procedure?
When your dentist performs a dental bonding treatment, the dentist applies composite resin to your tooth in layers. A light is used to harden each layer.
After the last layer is hardened, the dentist shapes and polishes it to fit your tooth, resulting in a smooth, natural-looking tooth that complements the rest of your smile.
How long does dental bonding take?
Dental bonding usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes per tooth. Unlike veneers, which are custom-made in a dental lab and thus take more time, bonding can usually be completed in a single visit.
How much does dental bonding cost?
Often, patients we see for dental bonding procedures are concerned about cost. Fortunately, dental bonding is an effective, relatively long-lasting cosmetic procedure. Your specific cost will depend on several factors, including:
- Scope of work, where in the mouth your procedure is taking place and the size of the area to be bonded
- Insurance coverage - how much of the procedure will your insurance cover? (May depend on whether your issue is primarily cosmetic or structural)
- Your local area - costs may vary depending on which city your dentist is in, and which dental practice completes the procedure
How long does dental bonding last?
The composite resin your dentist will use during the bonding process will likely have a lifespan of between 4 and 8 years, and potentially up to 10 years.
How long the effects of dental bonding last can vary depending on your specific case (where in your mouth it’s applied) and how it’s maintained (excellent oral hygiene and attending your regularly scheduled dental visits is key).
To keep your smile as long as possible, avoid sugary or acidic foods, which can wear down your teeth. Though fruit is good for your health, don't forget to brush and floss your teeth right after eating it to prevent bacteria and plaque from growing. Also, avoid chewing hard candy or ice, biting down too hard, or grinding your teeth, as these can all chip the bonding material.
Your dentist can touch up the composite resin and re-bond it over time if required.