Dental bonding is a type of cosmetic dentistry that is affordable and offers great results when your smile is less-than-perfect. If you are looking to correct minor dental imperfections, cosmetic dental bonding may be a good choice for you.

What is dental bonding?

Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure that fixes imperfections in teeth. Your dentist applies a tooth-colored composite resin to the affected tooth. They shape and polish the resin, then apply a special light that hardens the material and bonds it to the tooth.

Teeth bonding is a great option to correct the following minor dental issues:

When you decide that dental bonding is the best option for you, your dentist will select the composite resin that most closely matches your natural teeth. With the exception of work on cavities or in areas where decay is present and teeth are sensitive, anesthesia is generally not needed.

The surface of the targeted tooth is roughed up and prepared with a conditioning substance that helps the composite resin adhere better. Once the composite resin is applied and shaped to the desired affect, a bright light is applied to help it harden and bond.

From start to finish, cosmetic dental bonding takes between 30 and 60 minutes per tooth. Gaps may take a bit longer, but most teeth will take less than an hour.

What are teeth bonding pros and cons?

Dental bonding comes with many advantages (and a few disadvantages when compared to other cosmetic procedures).

Advantages of dental bonding

In addition to not requiring anesthesia, a plus for patients who are scared of needles, it has a variety of advantages over other cosmetic procedures.

  • Affordable: Dental bonding cost is one of the most affordable treatments. In addition, many insurance plans cover it if it is related to a tooth’s structure. Other treatment options can be far more expensive.
  • Quick: Most teeth bonding procedures can be done in one visit in under an hour. For busy people, this can be reason enough to choose dental bonding.
  • Less invasive: To prepare the tooth, very little of the tooth’s enamel needs to be removed. This protects the natural tooth and makes it a less permanent solution. Crowns and veneers move enough of your natural tooth that it must then remain covered forever.

Disadvantages of dental bonding

Especially when compared with veneers, it has a few disadvantages that are worth considering.

  • They may not resist stains as well: Although the material used in tooth bonding resists stains, it is not quite as resistant as porcelain or ceramic, two common veneer and crown materials.
  • They may chip or crack: Composite resin does not have the same strength as other materials for veneers or crowns. This can cause them to be a bit more fragile than other cosmetic options.
  • They are not as natural-looking: Composite resin can be expertly color-matched to surrounding teeth, but because the material is not translucent it won’t look quite as natural as veneers or crowns. Light does not reflect off composite resin as much as veneers. This reflection is what gives other cosmetic options their natural appearance.

Most dentists recommend dental bonding for areas of the mouth that will not have much biting force applied (e.g., front teeth). It’s best suited for correction of cosmetic defects and minor bite imperfections, especially when time and budget are issues.