You may come to our office thinking you need dental veneers or crowns, but there may be another cosmetic dental treatment that meets your needs instead—and costs a lot less money. Composite bonding might not be as well-known as dental crowns or have as much buzz surrounding it as veneers, but bonding is an affordable and effective solution for teeth with minor cosmetic flaws, including chips, cracks, and discoloration. Patients also opt to have their teeth bonded if they’re unhappy with their shape or if they have gaps in their smiles.
With cosmetic bonding, we use a composite material that matches the color of adjacent teeth to reshape and smooth the surface of the tooth. Bonding only takes one office visit and it’s usually complete in less than an hour.
Composite Bonding Procedure
In order for bonding to work, it needs a rough surface to adhere to. We remove a small amount of enamel from the tooth that’s being bonded, then apply a special liquid to the tooth to prepare it for the bonding agent.
The bonding agent is a composite resin. It’s carefully applied to your tooth, then we use special tools to smooth and shape the resin to help it look natural and blend in with the rest of your smile. An ultraviolet light is used to cure the resin, then any excess is cut away and your bonded tooth is polished for a realistic appearance.
There is no anesthesia required for bonding because it’s painless. There’s no downtime involved, so you’ll be able to return to work, school, and your regular activities immediately after the procedure.
Composite Bonding vs. Other Cosmetic Treatments
Is composite bonding right for you? Every patient has unique circumstances, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Cosmetic dental treatments each have their own pros and cons, and sometimes these pros and cons are different for different patients. When you come in for a consultation, we will help you choose the best option for your treatment goals.
When teeth are damaged, options for repair are usually veneers, crowns, or bonding. Bonding is less expensive than the other two options, but it is not as strong and requires more frequent replacement. Bonding is typically a better choice for repairing minor cosmetic issues on a small number of teeth. When you’re unhappy with all or most of your teeth, veneers are the best solution. If a tooth has significant structural damage, dental crowns are better than bonding or veneers to strengthen it.
The Cost of Composite Bonding
During your consultation, we can provide you with a cost estimate. Composite bonding is typically considered a cosmetic treatment by dental insurance providers, so the cost is not usually covered. Composite bonding is less expensive than crowns and veneers, but it may be more expensive than whitening treatments.