What Is Dental Bonding Exactly?

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Looking for a way to enhance your natural smile? Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure using a tooth-coloured composite resin in order to give you a more beautiful smile. 

Usually, dental bonding is used to alter the size and shape of or even repair natural teeth that have been chipped. Since its invention, dental bonding has become an incredibly popular cosmetic dental procedure. Why? Unlike other procedures like adding veneers, it’s completely reversible. 

Before you decide to take the plunge and invest in dental bonding, let’s take a look at exactly what dental bonding is and if this is the right option for you. 

Why should you consider dental bonding?

While dental bonding does give off impressive results, it is a cosmetic procedure, so it’s definitely not necessary for everyone. However, dental bonding may be a recommended procedure should you have:

Tooth discolouration

Gaps or spaces between your teeth

Chips or cracks in your teeth

Obscure tooth shape

Short teeth

The wonderful thing about the resin material used for dental bonding is that it can also be used for restorative dentistry, fixing cavities, old fillings, and even gum recession.

What is the procedure of dental bonding?

Dental bonding, or composite bonding, is a procedure dentists can use to enhance your natural smile and improve those little imperfections such as chips, cracks and gaps. Here, we’ve laid out what to expect when undergoing the procedure of dental bonding. 

At your consultation, your dentist will match the resin colour to your natural teeth in order to find the most natural and appealing tint

Next, the dentist will prepare your tooth by roughening it up with a metal file, which allows the resin to stick to the natural tooth

A conditioning liquid is applied to the surface of the roughened tooth to enhance the bonding 

The resin is then applied, moulded, and smoothed to the desired shape onto the tooth using a number of thin metal tools to achieve the best result

Once in place, the resin is cured, usually under blue light, to bond the material to the natural tooth

To ensure your newly shaped tooth matches your natural teeth, it’s continually polished until the dentist reaches the desired result

Composite bonding or veneers: which is better?

Before you do a little digging, you may think that veneers are the only option to get your desired smile. However, after realising that getting veneers is an irreversible process and will need to be replaced every 10 to 15 (sometimes 20) years, it’s understandable that one might have second thoughts.

Dental bonding, on the other hand, is not such a drastic process. It doesn’t require your enamel to be shaved down, and it’s reversible, so it might be the more agreeable option. However, as with veneers, dental bonding might still require a touch-up every ten years.

Ultimately, whether you’d prefer to choose composite bonding or veneers is completely up to you. You’d need to decide if the fact that composite bonding is irreversible is a big enough benefit for you. 

Is dental bonding a painful procedure?

Most people who undergo dental bonding find it’s not a painful procedure as dentists don’t work close to the nerve of the tooth. However, sensitive teeth with existing issues might cause you to experience slight aggravation throughout the procedure. 

Most of the time, dentists don’t need to offer anaesthesia for the procedure, but if you do suffer from tooth sensitivity, ensure you have some painkillers, just in case. 

Pros and cons 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:

Pros of dental bonding

Dental bonding can help boost your confidence

Dental bonding is considered a minimally invasive procedure and does not require multiple dentist visits in comparison to dental crowns and veneers

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

Dental bonding can potentially help fix a wide range of cosmetic imperfections, such as chips, cracks, gaps and discolouration

Dental bonding is sometimes completely or partially covered by most health insurances

Cons of dental bonding

The bonding material might stain due to it not being as resistant as porcelain veneers

Dental bonded teeth might need to be touched up after around ten years, which can be less appealing to clients

What can I expect to pay for dental bonding?

Dental bonding costs usually 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 noninvasive, cosmetic procedure used to fix a number of dental issues including cracks, gaps, and discolouration. It’s quite a painless way to help improve your confidence and overall oral hygiene, even if they need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years. For those considering dental bonding, it’s best to consult your dentist to get the best advice and determine if you are an eligible candidate. 

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