When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, you hear a lot about teeth whitening and dental veneers, but not as much about composite bonding. In fact, if you’ve never heard of bonding at all, we wouldn’t be surprised! While it may not get the attention of veneers, it’s an effective, affordable solution for correcting teeth that are cracked, chipped, discolored, or have other minor cosmetic issues. Composite bonding can even be used to reshape teeth that are malformed, too small in size, or have gaps. Here’s what you need to know about composite bonding.
What to Expect When Getting Composite Bonding
Composite bonding involves using a resin material to fill in or cover over cosmetic imperfections. Dr. Todd will choose a shade that matches the precise color of your natural tooth for a realistic appearance. Unlike veneers, composite bonding is completed in a single visit to our office, usually in under an hour.
The process begins by removing a small amount of enamel from the tooth we’re working on. By doing this, the bonding material has a rougher surface to grab onto, so it better adheres to the tooth. A special liquid is painted onto your tooth, which also helps the bonding agent stick.
The composite material is then applied directly to your tooth. Dr. Todd will carefully smooth and shape it so it blends in with the rest of your smile naturally. With a skilled cosmetic dentist, no one will know that your tooth is bonded! Even front teeth can be successfully bonded with realistic results.
Once you and Dr. Todd are happy with the results, an ultraviolet light is used to cure the resin and the process is complete. The procedure is painless, with no anesthesia required, and there’s no downtime or recovery either—you can return to work and your normal activities after you leave our office.
Composite Bonding vs. Veneers and Crowns
If you’re considering composite bonding, it’s possible that you may also be thinking about getting a veneer or dental crown. Which option is best for you?
Composite bonding has the shortest lifespan of these three dental procedures and will need to be replaced more often, since it’s not as strong or as durable. Of course, bonding is also far less expensive, so for some patients, this is a fair trade off. Bonding is usually a better fit for minor cosmetic complaints and for fixing a few teeth. If you want to enhance the appearance of all of the teeth that show when you smile, veneers are a more permanent option. When a tooth has damage that impacts its health or structure, a crown is the best choice.
The Cost of Composite Bonding
The cost of bonding depends upon the number of teeth being bonded and how much bonding they need. While composite bonding costs less than dental crowns and veneers, it’s typically more expensive than teeth whitening. During your consultation at our office, we will provide you with an estimate of the costs involved.