Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a putty on a damaged tooth that can be colored, molded, hardened, and etched to match surrounding teeth.

See how bonding can fix teeth that are broken or spaced out, even just discolored.

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Uses of dental bonding

Is it for you?

Dental bonding can:

  • repair chipped or cracked teeth
  • close spaces between teeth
  • repair decayed teeth
  • improve discolored teeth
  • lengthen or reshape teeth
  • fill holes or cavities
  • protect tooth's root exposed by receded gums

Tooth bonding is versatile also in its ability to adjust the material to the cosmetic goal.

Pros & Cons

Versus dental crowns or veneers

Compared to dental crowns or veneers, tooth bonding has pros and cons:

  • Pros - Dental bonding is quick (30-60 minutes), inexpensive, comfortable and conservative of tooth matter. In contrast, veneers and crowns take two longer office visits, cost multiples, and remove more of the tooth.
  • Cons - Bonded teeth stain more easily, last less (3-10 years), and break more easily than dental crowns.

Dental bonding, thus, is best to correct non-chewing teeth largely free of tooth-staining habits. (Consumption of coffee, tea, wine, or tobacco is forbidden for 48 hours). A bonded tooth should not chew finger nails, pens, ice and so forth.

Teeth whitening treatments do not whiten a dental bond, so you may wish to whiten your teeth before dental bonding, as it would match whiteness.

Dental Bonding Procedure

Quick & painless

The dental bonding procedure is quick and painless:

  • Preparation - The dentist selects a shade for the composite resin to match your tooth's color. Anesthesia typically is not needed.
  • Bonding - The dentist etches the tooth's surface, applies a gluing liquid, then places the tooth-colored resin. The resin is molded, smoothed, then hardened with an ultraviolet light.
  • Artistry - The dentist trims, polishes, and etches the bonded tooth to match the other teeth's size, shape, sheen and texture.

Though quick and seemingly simple, the resilience and beauty of bonded teeth depend much on the dentist's skill and artistry.

Cost of bonding a tooth

Factors & insurance

Dental bonding costs $200-$1,000 per tooth, depending on the tooth's location and difficulty, and on the dentist's training, expertise, and desired artistry.

Though dental insurance plans usually cover dental bonding, they reimburse relatively little. A difficult case by an expert dentist would certainly involve an insured patient making up the gap. If this is a big issue, ask whether a dental crown is an alternative.