Everything You Need to Know About Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a non-invasive cosmetic dental procedure that can change the appearance of your smile. Here, our Dartmouth dentists give some more information about how dental bonding can be used to address discoloured and gapped teeth.

What is dental bonding?

Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental treatment. Your dentist will apply a tooth-coloured resin to your teeth, shaping, hardening it, and polishing it to match the teeth surrounding it to blend in and help to create a natural-looking smile. 

We call the process 'dental bonding' because the composite resin literally bonds to the tooth.

Why would I need dental bonding?

Often, dental bonding is used as a cosmetic dental treatment to change the appearance of chipped, discoloured or gapped teeth as well as to make teeth seem long or alter their shape.

Bonding can also be used as an alternative treatment to silver amalgam fillings or to cover tooth roots that have been exposed as a result of receding gums. 

Bonding is also sometimes used as an alternative to silver (amalgam) fillings, or to cover exposed tooth roots due to receding gums.

What happens during a dental bonding procedure?

When your dentist performs a dental bonding treatment, the dentist applies composite resin to your tooth in layers. A light is used to harden each layer.

After the last layer of resin is hardened, your dentist will shape and polish the dental bonding to fit your tooth, resulting in a smooth and natural-seeming tooth that fits with the colour and contour of the rest fo your smile.

How long does dental bonding take?

Dental bonding usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth to complete. Unlike veneers, which are custom-made in a dental lab and thus require more time, the bonding process can most often be completed in one visit.

How much does dental bonding cost?

Patients are sometimes concerned about the cost of a dental bonding procedure. Fortunately, dental bonding is a relatively long-lasting cosmetic procedure with a cost that depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Scope of work, where in the mouth your procedure is taking place and the size of the area to be bonded 
  • Insurance coverage - how much of the procedure will your insurance cover? (May depend on whether your issue is primarily cosmetic or structural)
  • Your local area - costs may vary depending on which city your dentist is in, and which dental practice completes the procedure 

How long does dental bonding last?

The composite resin your dentist will use during the bonding process will likely have a lifespan of between 4 and 8 years, and potentially up to 10 years.

How long the effects of dental bonding last can vary depending on your specific case (where in your mouth it’s applied) and how it’s maintained (excellent oral hygiene and attending your regularly scheduled dental visits is key).

To help your dental bonding last as long as possible, our dentists recommend that you avoid sugary or acidic foods since these can wear on your teeth. While fruit is good for your health, don't forget to brush and floss your teeth soon after eating them so that plaque and bacteria don't have the chance to grow. If possible, also refrain from chewing on hard candy or ice, since biting down too hard may chip the bonding material.

Your dentist can touch up the composite resin and re-bond it over time, if required.

To learn more about dental bonding and our cosmetic dental services, contact our Dartmouth dentists today. 

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