Teeth Bonding: Everything You Should Know

Teeth bonding is a minimally invasive procedure to correct minor teeth issues and improve your smile. Unlike other dental procedures, bonding is completely reversible. This makes it a unique option. Let’s discuss what you need to know about teeth bonding to decide whether it’s right for you.

Key takeaways:
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    Dental teeth bonding is a versatile, non-invasive cosmetic restoration.
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    Bonding is rather simple to care for and does not require much more than proper oral care and regular check-ups.
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    Dental teeth bonding can improve your smile.

What is teeth bonding?

Teeth bonding is also called dental bonding or composite bonding. It is a cosmetic procedure available to enhance your smile. The tooth needs no prepping with a drill before placing this restoration. Instead, a tooth-colored material is placed onto the tooth's surface and bonded into place. Bonding is most common on front teeth but can be done on any tooth. Bonding can help correct discoloration, repair chipped and broken teeth, close large spaces between teeth, or change the shape of teeth.

How is teeth bonding done?

Bonding is done using a tooth-colored material called composite resin. The dentist or dental assistant matches your tooth color using a dental shade guide. The tooth is prepped with an acid agent to allow the bonding to adhere to the tooth surface better. The resin material is then placed on the tooth and molded into the desired shape. An ultraviolet (UV) light helps to harden and adhere the resin to your tooth. The dentist will check your bite with a small piece of paper, called marking paper, to make sure the restoration is not touching when you chew. A drill may be used to adjust the bite and polish the bonding. Dental bonding appointments usually last between 30-60 minutes. The bonding sets and is ready for regular activity before leaving your appointment.

Tooth care after bonding

After dental bonding, good oral hygiene is essential. Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing once daily are key to maintaining dental restorations and a healthy smile. Your dentist will also recommend a 4- or 6-month check-up and teeth cleaning. This allows the dental team to check your dental bondings and address any issues. With proper care, teeth bonding can last for many years.

Here are a few important things to note with dental teeth bondings:

  • Avoid chewing your nails, ice cubes, pens/pencils, or other hard items that may cause the bondings to chip or break.
  • Avoid chewy or tough-to-bite foods. Direct force on bondings will weaken them over time.
  • Dark drinks (like coffee, tea, and red wine) and colorful fruits (like berries) may cause discoloration or staining.
  • Tobacco and smoking stains attach to bondings more than natural teeth.
  • Charcoal and some whitening toothpastes are more abrasive, which can dull the appearance of tooth bondings.
  • Consider a night guard to protect your dental bondings if you commonly clench or grind your teeth while you sleep.

How expensive is teeth bonding?

The cost of tooth bonding varies depending on where the tooth is in your mouth, the surfaces being restored, and the type of bonding done. Typically, bondings cost between $300-$600 per tooth. Dental bondings may last 2-5 years before needing replacement. However, bondings may last longer with excellent oral care and routine dental check-ups.

While some bonding is necessary to restore proper tooth function, most are placed for cosmetic reasons only. Unfortunately, dental insurances do not usually cover cosmetic restorations. However, the dental office can help determine if bondings may be covered by your insurance plan before the procedure is done.

Alternatives to teeth bonding

Dental bonding is one of many options available to improve your smile. Bondings are very versatile and cost-efficient. However, they may not be the best choice for your smile. Here are two other types of restorations to consider.

Porcelain veneers

Porcelain Veneers are restorations that cover the whole front of a tooth. Like tooth bonding, veneers can change the tooth's color, shape, and size. These restorations are custom-made from porcelain. The dentist will often have a dental laboratory make the veneer, which can take a week or more. This requires a separate appointment to place the veneer on your tooth. Veneers usually cost $1000 to $2000. Although more expensive, they typically last 5-10 years before needing replacement.

Dental crowns

Dental crowns are permanent restorations and cannot be reversed. Crowns are most used on teeth with severe damage. This type of restoration covers the whole tooth with a porcelain cap. Some dental offices can make these crowns in-office, but many use a dental laboratory. It can take one day to 2 weeks for the crown to be completed. A temporary crown may be used while you wait for the final restoration. Once the crown is cemented, it can last more than 10 years with proper care.

Can teeth bonding benefit you?

Teeth bonding can be useful and truly enhance your smile. But is it right for you? Let’s break down the pros and cons.

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