What is teeth bonding?

Teeth bonding is a procedure where your dentist repairs imperfection by applying a tooth-colored composite resin to one or more of your teeth. The damage could include chipped, cracked, or discolored teeth. It’s considered a cost-effective fix because it tends to be less expensive than other cosmetic dental procedures, such as crowns and veneers.

How teeth bonding works?

Teeth bonding is a basic cosmetic dental procedure that doesn’t typically require anesthesia unless the dentist is filling a cavity, and it can be done in one appointment. To begin, the dentist uses a shade guide to choose a composite resin color that matches the color of the natural teeth. The dentist will roughen the surface of the tooth, and then apply a bonding agent to ensure the composite sticks to the tooth. Once bonded, the dentist applies the composite resin, shapes the tooth, and then hardens the material with a curing light. After the resin is set, the dentist might adjust the tooth even more. Some patients will consider whitening their teeth before pursuing teeth bonding since resin can’t not be lightened.

When is teeth bonding considered?

Teeth bonding is a great option that can be considered:

  •  To repair decayed teeth
  •  To fix chipped or cracked teeth
  •  To improve the aesthetics of discolored teeth
  •  To close spaces between teeth without orthodontic treatment
  •  To make teeth look longer
  •  To change the shape of teeth
  •  As a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings
  •  To protect teeth after gums recede
dentist checking teeth bonding

Are there any risks?

Teeth bonding doesn’t have any major risks, however, it is important to keep in mind that the composite resin used isn’t as strong as natural teeth. It’s possible for the material to chip or become discolored. A bonded tooth might chip when eating hard foods or ice, chewing on pens or pencils, or even with nail-biting. Resin also isn’t as stain-resistant as other dental materials such as full surface crowns. It isn’t uncommon to develop some discoloration over time if not properly taken care of.

Is it permanent?

Teeth bonding is not considered a permanent treatment, but it does last a long time. With proper care, patients can make their resins last for more than ten years. However, it is not uncommon for them to need to be replaced after five years depending on a patient’s personal habits. How long teeth bonding will last is also dependent on the size and location of the resin. A small resin at the gum line may last longer than a resin that covers the entire biting surface of a tooth because it will not come in contact with hard food or the opposing teeth.

cartoon tooth

Did you know?

The dental bonding revolution began in 1955 when Dr. Michael Buonocore published his paper “A Simple Method of Increasing the Adhesion of Acrylic Materials to Enamel Surfaces.”

How to care for bonded teeth

When you leave the dentist after teeth bonding, it is important to know that the resin is not as strong as natural teeth. Understanding how to care for your teeth increases longevity in your teeth bonding. Self-care tips include:

  •  Brushing and flossing daily
  •  Avoiding hard food, candy, and ice that may encourage teeth to chip
  •  Eliminating personal habits such as biting nails or pen caps
  •  Avoiding coffee, tea, and tobacco as much as possible after the procedure to avoid stains
  •  Scheduling regular dental cleanings
  •  See a dentist if the bonding material chips or breaks, or if there are any sharp edges after the procedure.

How much does it cost?

The cost of teeth bonding varies depending on location of the office, the amount of tooth structure that needs to be repaired, and the dentist’s expertise. Typically, someone can expect to pay between $200 to $600 per tooth. Resin may need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years, depending on how well the patient takes care of them. The best way to know the cost is to check your insurance company and contact your dentist to schedule an appointment.