Dental bonding is a non-invasive cosmetic dental procedure that can help improve the appearance of your smile. Here, our Ottawa dentists provide some facts about how dental bonding can be used to repair discoloured, gapped teeth and restore your smile.
How Dental Bonding Works
Dental bonding is a safe, effective and non-invasive cosmetic dental treatment. Your dentist applies tooth-coloured composite resin to your teeth, then shapes and polishes it to match the teeth surrounding it so that it blends in, creating a natural-looking smile.
We call the process 'dental bonding' because the composite resin literally bonds to the tooth.
What Dental Bonding Can Be Used For
Dental bonding is most often used for cosmetic purposes – to improve the appearance of chipped or discoloured teeth, to make teeth appear longer or change their shape or colour, or to close gaps between teeth.
In some cases, bonding is used as an alternative to silver (amalgam) fillings, or to cover exposed tooth roots due to receding gums.
The 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 is hardened, the dentist shapes and polishes it to fit your tooth, resulting in a smooth, natural-looking tooth that complements the rest of your smile.
The dental bonding process typically 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.
The Cost of Dental Bonding
Patients interested in dental bonding may be concerned about cost. Fortunately, dental bonding can be a cost-effective, relatively long-lasting cosmetic procedure. Your specific cost will depend 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
Longevity of Dental Bonding
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 ensure your smile lasts as long as possible, we advise avoiding sugary or acidic foods, as these can wear on your teeth. Though fruit is good for your health, don't forget to brush and floss your teeth soon after eating them so bacteria or plaque do not have the chance to grow. Also refrain from chewing hard candy or ice, biting down too hard or grinding your teeth, since all of these can chip the bonding material.
Your dentist can touch up the composite resin and re-bond it over time, if required.