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Composite Dental Bonding Treatment - Pros, Cons & Costs

Updated on June 14, 2022
Nandita Lilly
Written by Hana Ames
Medically Reviewed by Nandita Lilly

What is Composite Dental Bonding?

Composite dental bonding is a simple and painless procedure that uses tooth-colored resin to remedy a number of dental problems. It can close gaps and spaces between teeth and fix discoloration, minor crookedness, cracks, chips, and worn-down teeth.1

Composite dental bonding is a cost-effective way to restore teeth. It involves applying the resin to the teeth and shaping it to look like enamel.

How Does Tooth Bonding Work?

Composite bonding is an excellent choice for people who are unhappy with their smiles but don’t need extensive cosmetic dentistry. For example, people who have small gaps between their teeth may not require braces and can therefore opt for composite dental bonding instead.

Most people won’t need anesthetic because the procedure is minimally invasive. The process doesn’t remove any enamel and doesn’t damage healthy teeth.

Composite Bonding Procedure  

Typically, composite tooth bonding involves the following steps: 

  1. Shade selection — Your dentist will choose from a range of composite shades and will compare samples to your natural teeth to ensure they get the closest match.
  2. Tooth preparation — Your dentist will then prepare the tooth surface by removing any stains or rough spots. They’ll apply a conditioning liquid to the surface to help the bonding material stick to it.
  3. Composite application — Next, the dentist will apply a thin layer of putty-like resin to the tooth.
  4. Shaping the material — As the dentist applies each layer, they mold and smooth the material into the desired shape before light curing it.
  5. Curing — Using a specialized UV light, the dentist hardens the composite bonding material. This UV light bonds the materials to the tooth, ensuring it is firmly affixed. This dentist will repeat the application, shaping, and curing process until they are happy with the final shape of the bonded tooth.
  6. Finishing — To finish the composite bonding process, the dentist will polish the tooth to ensure it looks just like your natural teeth.

From start to finish, the composite dental bonding process takes between 30 to 60 minutes per tooth.1

Pros and Cons of Composite Bonding

If you‘re thinking about composite bonding treatment, the best way to determine your candidacy is to talk to your dentist. They can provide a consultation and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the treatment. This way they can help manage your expectations and decide if the treatment is right for you.

Pros

  • Minimally invasive — Composite teeth bonding does not remove any of the existing tooth. This means there is no damage to the natural tooth structure unlike with crowns.
  • No downtime — The entire process takes less than an hour per tooth, meaning appointments are more convenient than with other treatments. Numbness is rare, so you can continue normal activities almost immediately.
  • Natural-looking — Because the composite matches your natural teeth, people typically won’t be able to tell that you’ve had composite bonding.
  • Cost-effective — Composite dental bonding is one of the most inexpensive cosmetic dental procedures.
  • Less dental visits — Composite bonding can be done in a single visit, so you don’t have to worry about going back to the dentist’s office for more treatment.

Cons

  • Porous — Due to the porous nature of composite teeth-bonding materials can stain relatively easily. 
  • Lifespan — Composite bonding doesn’t last as long as alternatives and may need adjustments over time.
  • Strength — The material used in composite bonding is not as strong as veneers or crowns and can chip or break.
  • Limitations — Dental bonding cannot treat severe tooth decay or severely misaligned teeth. You may need other treatments before composite dental bonding.

How to Take Care of Dental Bonding 

There is no specific way to take care of your teeth after you’ve had dental bonding. To ensure they last as long as possible, practice proper oral hygiene. 

Brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing at least once daily, and visiting your dentist regularly for teeth cleanings and checkups are all necessary. 

There are also some activities to avoid for several days after the bonding procedure. These include:

  • Biting your nails
  • Opening things with your teeth
  • Eating hard or sticky candies
  • Chewing pens or pen lids
  • Crunching on ice
  • Smoking
  • Drinking coffee
  • Eating or drinking dark-colored foods and beverages

Talk to your dentist if your tooth bonds have chipped, have sharp edges, or simply feel different. They can sometimes add more bonding material if needed.

How Much Does Dental Bonding Cost? 

The price of dental bonding depends on several factors, including where you live, the dentist’s expertise, and how extensive treatment will be. Typically, you can expect to pay between $300 to $600 per tooth.

Tooth bonding is not considered a medically necessary procedure. Therefore, insurance is unlikely to cover it. 

If you have dental bonding due to a chipped or broken tooth, however, insurance may contribute towards the treatment cost. 

If you’re considering dental bonding treatment, speak to your insurance provider to find out exactly how much they will cover.

Alternative Treatment Options

Although composite bonding is an affordable option for many people, it is not available for everyone. This procedure often does not work for people with tooth decay, gum disease, and/or bone loss. Instead of composite bonding, dental professionals might recommend a porcelain veneer or crown.

Dental Veneers

Some people may choose to have porcelain veneers instead. Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that affix to the front of the teeth to improve their appearance, oftentimes by changing their shape. 

Veneers are typically only used for cosmetic reasons. However, they can also correct teeth misalignment and close small gaps between teeth.

Dental Crowns

A crown is a dental restoration that covers the top of an individual tooth. It can restore a tooth that has been damaged by decay or injury, or protect a weak tooth from fracturing.

Last updated on June 14, 2022
5 Sources Cited
Last updated on June 14, 2022
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).
  1. Dental bonding” Cleveland Clinic, 14 Apr. 2022
  2. Bonding” American Dental Association, n.d.
  3. Meng, Y. et alBonding Performance of Universal Adhesives Applied to Nano-Hydroxyapatite Desensitized Dentin Using Etch-and-Rinse or Self-Etch Mode” Materials (Basel)., Aug. 2021
  4. Matos, A. B. et alBonding efficiency and durability: current possibilities” Braz. Oral. Res., Aug. 2017
  5. Direct Bonding” American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, n.d.
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