What is tooth bonding?
A little chip in your tooth from that fall so many years ago, a small gap between your front teeth that came back after the braces came off, or that stain you’ve never been able to brush away. They’re not major dental issues, but they’re enough to get on your nerves every time you look in the mirror or at a picture of your smiling self. You might think there’s nothing you can do about it. You don’t need a major procedure done like a dental crown or an implant, and you certainly aren’t going back to braces any time soon.
If any of this sounds like you, a minor cosmetic dental procedure called tooth bonding (or sometimes referred to as dental bonding) could be what takes your smile from good to great. It could be what finally gets rid of that pesky gap, chip, or stain, and it’s a procedure that won’t take all day or break the bank.
Tooth bonding uses a malleable, tooth-colored resin material that adheres to and molds seamlessly to your teeth, filling in chips, cracks, and gaps. The out-patient procedure is quick, painless, and typically doesn’t even require local anesthesia. And unlike crowns and implants, only one procedure is required. No need for multiple appointments or recovery time in between.
What is the teeth bonding procedure like?
A tooth bonding procedure is pretty simple. After selecting a resin color that matches your teeth, your dentist will prepare your teeth for the bonding material by filing them to make them rough. This rough texture will help the resin adhere to the tooth. After the resin is applied and molded to the affected area, your prosthodontist will use an ultraviolet light to harden the resin.
This only takes a few seconds and then your teeth are polished and ready to go. Some prosthodontists add a layer of porcelain over the resin for extra strength and shine. The entire procedure usually only takes about 45 minutes, depending on how many teeth are being restored.
How long does tooth bonding last?
Tooth bonding is not as permanent as dental crowns or dental implants (also, All-On-4 dental implants), but it can last anywhere from five to 15 years or more. Because dental bonding is such a simple and painless procedure, many people simply have it done again if their initial bonding wears off.
Teeth Bonding Advantages
Teeth Bonding Disadvantages
Not suitable for structurally compromised teeth
Faster wear and tear than dental implants or veneers
Will tooth bonding affect what I can eat?
No. But use caution when eating hard, chewy, or crunchy foods, especially when biting into them with the teeth that have dental bonding. This will make your procedure last longer because these foods can cause the resin to come loose. Just like your teeth, tooth bonding can stain over time, so be aware of how often you consume red wine, coffee, dark soda, tea, and other beverages known for staining teeth.
"If you’re annoyed by your slightly imperfect smile but feel major dental work like dental crowns, dental implants, and other surgical procedures aren’t necessary, tooth bonding might be your ideal solution."
--- DR. MAMALY RESHAD, DDS, MSC, PROSTHODONTIST
How much does tooth bonding cost?
The cost of a teeth bonding procedure depends on your prosthodontist, insurance, and how many teeth you are getting done. Insurance doesn’t typically cover teeth bonding because it’s a cosmetic procedure but check with your insurance provider to make sure. The average out-of-pocket cost for dental bonding is about $150-400 per tooth.
If you’re annoyed by your slightly imperfect smile but feel major dental work like dental crowns, dental implants, and other surgical procedures aren’t necessary, tooth bonding might be your ideal solution. Talk to your prosthodontist to see how they approach the procedure, what it would cost, and how soon you can make an appointment. You don’t have to live with that chip in your tooth forever.