Dental bonding uses composite resin – the same material used for composite fillings – to shape a tooth. Teeth that are chipped, cracked or broken can be ‘built up’ with composite resin in a process called Bonded Restoration. This repair will restore the tooth to like-new condition and will last a long time with routine care. Dental bonding is also used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of a smile by reshaping teeth, correcting colour and closing gaps without the need for veneers or orthodontics.
With fillings or dental veneers, some drilling is usually required to prepare the tooth for treatment. This is rarely the case for dental bonding. Very little, if any, of your natural tooth has to be removed in preparation which means the bonding procedure is almost always completely painless.
More extensive treatments such as dental veneers and orthodontics come with a heftier price tag. And for good reason – more extensive and dramatic changes call for a personalized treatment plan of greater complexity. However, for minor changes to a few teeth, dental bonding is a simple and cost-effective treatment.
It bears repeating: if you are envisioning extensive changes to your smile you will benefit from a more complex treatment plan that may include dental veneers, crowns, or orthodontics. But for minor changes, dental bonding is the simplest solution available.
Whether you’re getting dental bonding to restore a tooth or for purely aesthetic reasons the process is still the same. Here’s what you can expect at your dental bonding appointment:
First, your neighbouring teeth are protected with a thin film of plastic called a dental matrix. This matrix is slipped between your teeth and shields the adjacent tooth from any stray preparation gel or composite resin. Next, the dentist will carefully clean and dry your tooth and apply a mildly acidic gel for a few seconds to give the bonding a rough surface on which to adhere.
The acidic gel is cleaned away and the tooth is dried once more, the composite resin is applied. The dentist will pick a resin that matches your teeth for a natural-looking finish. Composite resin is applied in layers and a special blue light is used to cure each individual layer for maximum strength and durability.
After checking your bite, your dental bonding is now complete. As a final touch, the dentist will give your tooth a quick polish. Your bonded tooth will look beautiful and natural. You may even forget which tooth was repaired. We’ll make a note in your chart and at your future exams, the dentist will give some special attention to the bonded tooth to check for any wear and tear.
Dental bonding is used for such a wide variety of reasons that it is difficult to provide a ballpark estimate without learning more about your needs and examining your teeth. That being said, typically, it costs approximately $300 to $600 or more per tooth without insurance. Most insurance companies will cover dental bonding, especially if it’s needed to restore a broken or damaged tooth. With insurance, you can expect to pay somewhere around $60 to $120 out of pocket.
Remember, no dentist can give you an accurate quote over the phone. After an examination, we would love to provide you with an accurate quote in person so that you can find out your final costs and make an informed decision.