If you feel self-conscious about your smile due to a cracked, chipped, discolored or damaged tooth you may be considering dental bonding. If you are looking at bonding as a possible solution, you have probably already discovered that there are many different options at varying price points available including porcelain veneers and crowns. With so many choices, is bonding worth it? It depends.
What is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is the process in which your dental professional bonds a composite material to your teeth to improve or correct a minor issue. A composite resin is applied to your teeth and then shaped and molded to the correct shape. Your dentist will then remove the resin and apply a gentle acid to the front of your tooth to remove a small portion of enamel to make room for the mold. Once the teeth have been prepared, the bonding is then reapplied and shaped and molded again. A special light is used to harden the bonding and adhere it to your teeth. The bonding may be adjusted again to make sure the fit and appearance is perfect. Once the ideal shape is achieved, the final product will be polished and buffed to match the look of your natural teeth.
When Bonding Is a Viable Solution
Bonding can be an effective solution for people that have cosmetic or dental health challenges. If you suffer from chipped, discolored or mildly damaged teeth, bonding may the solution you are looking for. Because dental bonding is applied to the front of the teeth, it can be used to change the shape, color and appearance of your teeth. Bonding is also an easy way to eliminate the appearance of small gaps between the teeth. In regard to dental health, the composite resin used in the bonding process can be used to fill cavities and maintain the appearance of your teeth. It can also combat damage to your tooth root if you are suffering from receding gums.
Pros and Cons of Dental Bonding
The primary benefits of dental bonding are the ease of the process and the cost. The procedure is straightforward, so bonding can usually be completed in a single dentist’s office visit and only takes about an hour. Because the materials used do not have to be customized and created by a lab, they are readily available at your dentist’s office. The procedure itself is relatively painless and does not typically require anesthesia. Other alternatives such as crowns or veneers may require multiple visits and are a bit more intensive. If you decide to move forward with bonding, the care for your teeth will remain the same. You will need to practice good oral hygiene habits including brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. You should also have regular dental checkups to get a deeper clean.
Financial considerations are also important when discussing dental bonding. Bonding is the most affordable option when compared to veneers and crowns. Because there is no need to create a unique material or apparatus and the visits are fewer and shorter, the entire process is less expensive. The average cost of dental bonding is around $300 – $600/per tooth while veneers can cost upward of $1,000 to $2,000 per tooth depending on the materials used and the dentist.
While the savings in time and money may be tempting there are some drawbacks to bonding. The composite material used in dental bonding is porous and much more susceptible to staining. So if you enjoy red wine or coffee regularly, or smoke, your teeth can stain much more easily. In addition, the composite material used in bonding is not as strong or as durable as porcelain. This means it can chip or crack more easily. If you have dental bonding, you will need to be careful and avoid chewing on hard objects such as pens or biting your fingernails. Bonding also does not have a long shelf life like veneers or crowns. Dental bonding, with proper care, can last three to ten years. Veneers and crowns may last ten to fifteen years or longer depending on your oral hygiene habits.
Is it Worth It?
Dental bonding may be an affordable and effective solution for your needs. Depending on the severity of your situation as well as your priorities, i.e. cost, longevity, etc., bonding may be the best option for you.
The first step in assessing your options is to talk to a professional. Call our office to schedule an initial consultation. We will assess your current dental health, discuss your goals, listen to your needs, and together implement an effective treatment plan. You are one phone call away from your healthiest, most beautiful smile!