Updated on March 6, 2024
5 min read

What You Need to Know About Dental Bonding

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What is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is the most affordable restorative treatment option for chipped, cracked, or damaged teeth. It lasts up to 8 years, depending on your bite, eating and chewing habits, and personal oral hygiene care.

Bonding is one of the most popular restorative treatment options for adults because it is painless and completed within one to two office visits. Dental bonds are also non-invasive, which means almost all patients qualify for treatment.

In a survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), bonding was the second most common dental procedure patients received in 2015 (74 percent).

Why Should You Get Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding can treat a variety of different minor dental issues, including:

  • Fix cracked, chipped, and damaged teeth
  • Change the shape of teeth
  • Close small gaps or spaces between teeth
  • Improve the appearance of discolored teeth
  • Relieve pain from exposed tooth roots due to gum recession
  • Fill a tooth cavity instead of using amalgam fillings

Other treatment options, such as dental crowns and porcelain veneers, are more expensive and invasive than bonding treatment.

If you have just a few gaps between your teeth, you can skip clear aligners or braces altogether and get bonding treatment. 

How Much Does Dental Bonding Cost?

The cost of dental bonding depends on the severity of the condition and how many teeth need treatment. Many standard dental insurance plans cover most of the cost of treatment, especially when it is used to fill a cavity.

The prices below reflect the cost of dental bonding treatment without insurance:

Direct composite dental bonding$300-$600 (per tooth)
Direct composite veneer bonding$250-$1,500 (per tooth)
Indirect dental bonding (inlays)$650-$1,200 (per tooth)

Side Effects of Dental Bonding

While dental bonding doesn’t have any major risks, there may be some minor side effects. These include:

  • Discomfort
  • Soreness
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Bleeding gums
  • Tooth irritation

Teeth that have dental bonds are also more susceptible to chips and stains than other dental restorations.

Aftercare & Maintenance for Dental Bonding

With proper care, dental bonds can last up to 8 years.

Here are some aftercare tips for dental bonds: 

  • Cut down on red wine, coffee, tea, and dark fruits that can stain teeth or cause discoloration
  • For smokers, dentists recommend quitting altogether (it also increases the risk of oral cancer and gum disease)
  • Avoid biting nails or chewing on hard foods and objects, such as raw carrots, pencils, and ice cubes
  • Wear a protective night guard if you clench or grind your teeth

3 Types of Dental Bonding Treatments

Here are the different types of dental bonding treatments:

what is dental bonding led light

1. Direct Dental Bonding or Composite Dental Bonding

Direct dental bonding quickly fixes chipped or decayed teeth during one office visit. It restores the shape, function, look, and color of your natural teeth.

Composite dental bonding involves placing tooth-colored restorations, also called fillings, on a tooth or multiple teeth. 

image 47

A special adhesive and tooth-colored composite resin material are used during the procedure. The materials are bonded to your teeth using a high-intensity curing light. The restoration is then smoothed and polished. Only one appointment is needed for direct dental bonding. 

2. Composite Veneer Bonding

Composite veneer bonding is generally considered a cosmetic treatment, which means it is elective and not covered by insurance.

teeth with veneer

Composite veneer bonding changes the shape, color, and size of teeth. It can also close gaps and change the length of your teeth. Composite bonds can last up to 8 years with proper care.

During composite veneer bonding, your dentist will first clean the area around the tooth. Next, a thin layer of adhesive is applied to the tooth surface.

Your dentist will use adhesive to place composite material over the tooth. The material is hardened using a special curing light. You can choose from several shades of composite resins for your new smile.

3. Indirect Dental Bonding

Indirect dental bonding is a restorative treatment that restores broken or decayed teeth.

image 48

The procedure is separated into two appointments:

During the first appointment, your dentist will make a mold of the damaged or decaying tooth. Then, the mold is sent to a dental laboratory, where an indirect filling or dental inlay is created. 

Indirect inlays and fillings are both made of composite resin materials. They are strong and durable because lab technicians use high heat to cure the restorations.

After the indirect restoration is made, you will visit your dentist again. During the second appointment, your dentist will bond the filling or inlay to your tooth.

Dental Bonding Alternatives

Here are some alternatives to dental bonding:

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are tooth-colored shells that fit over the front of your teeth. They change the shape, color, and size of teeth. They can also fix chipped, cracked, or damaged teeth.

Porcelain Veneers

Although aesthetically pleasing, porcelain veneers are not for everyone because they are more expensive and take longer to apply than dental bonds.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is a screw placed into the jawbone. It acts like a natural root by holding an artificial replacement tooth in place.

This type of restoration requires several visits to the dentist and takes about six months to complete.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are suitable for severe tooth damage or decay. This type of restoration uses caps to restore your tooth shape.

Crowns require extensive preparation before application. The process may include:

  • Removing enamel and dentin around the tooth, thereby preparing the tooth for a crown
  • Fabricating the crown
  • Cementing the crown onto the prepared tooth


Dental bonding is one of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures performed today. It helps with chipped, cracked, or damaged teeth. There are different types of dental bonding treatment, and alternatives are also available for those who prefer another procedure.

Last updated on March 6, 2024
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on March 6, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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