Teeth bonding is a dental procedure where the dentist attaches tooth-colored filling materials to natural teeth to change the shape, fill gaps or repair chipped places. It requires little or no drilling of the natural teeth.1
How does teeth bonding work?
Tooth-colored filling materials, called composites, have been used by dentists since the 1970s.2 New methods of attaching composites to parts of existing natural teeth is called bonding.
Using specially designed glue-like substances, dentists can bond composite on to your natural tooth to repair chips, close gaps and improve the shape of your teeth.3 According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the dentist does not need to drill on the natural teeth. The composite material bonds to the tooth in layers until the tooth is the correct shape and size. Since bonding is made from composite, it can be altered or substituted for other options in the future, like veneers.4
Why get teeth bonding?
Bonding is one of the most popular methods to improve a patient’s smile. Teeth bonding can increase the length or width of a tooth to help close small gaps between teeth. Teeth bonding uses materials that match your natural tooth color to fill in the gap.
Teeth bonding can also help reshape teeth and repair chipped and broken teeth. Without extensive drilling or more expensive crowns and veneers, teeth bonding can build up those broken areas until the teeth are well shaped.5
Teeth bonding vs. veneers
Your dentist can take many factors into account when making a recommendation for using teeth bonding or veneers to improve your smile.
If you have a gap between your teeth, a chipped tooth, or need a tooth reshaped, bonding may be a good choice. It is a less invasive procedure than veneers, which require enamel to be removed from the front and sides of your teeth.6 Bonding is also less expensive than veneers, which can cost between $925 and $2,500 per tooth.7
Your dentist might recommend veneers instead of bonds if you need several teeth completely covered to improve the overall color and shape. This requires drilling on the natural tooth and several trips to the dentist.
How much does teeth bonding cost?
The cost of teeth bonding can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the gap, chip, or broken area since each will require different amount of materials and time needed to complete the procedure. Where you live can also affect the cost.
According to the “Everyday Health,” dental bonding ranges from $350 to $600 per tooth.8
Your dental insurance may not cover the cost of teeth bonding, depending on the reason for the procedure. If it is for strictly cosmetic reasons, insurance may not cover. If the tooth is chipped or broken, your plan might cover some of the cost. Check with your dental insurance provider to see what your plan covers.
What are the advantages of teeth bonding?
- Requires less removal of tooth enamel9
- Can be molded and color matched to adjacent teeth
- Can cost less than porcelain veneers or crowns
- Can be altered in the future
- Can be completed in just one appointment
What are the disadvantages of teeth bonding?
- May not last as long as veneers
- Bonding can loosen if you bite or chew hard foods too forcefully.
- Bonding might pick up stains from foods and drinks like coffee, tea and grape juice.
- Mouthwash that contains alcohol can soften the bond
How do I take care of teeth bonding?
Brushing twice a day and flossing, scheduling regular dental cleanings and avoiding hard food and candy, as well as coffee, tea and tobacco can help keep your teeth bonding looking clean.10
Teeth bonding can help improve your smile without costing you too much time or money at your dentist’s office. Talk to your dentist to see if teeth bonding is the right choice for you.
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Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice. It is not dental care advice and should not be substituted for regular consultation with your dentist. If you have any concerns about your dental health, please contact your dentist's office.