What is Composite Bonding?

composite bonding

Cosmetic Dentistry | 15 Jun 2022

Composite bonding is an affordable way to achieve the smile you are dreaming of. It’s a cosmetic procedure that can be used to fix chipped, discoloured, or fractured teeth. 

Unlike some other dental procedures, composite bonding does not affect the structure of the original tooth. It’s also a quick process that produces excellent results which can last for several years. 

There is more than one type of composite bonding: 

  • Composite edge bonding is used to make small changes to the shape or length of a tooth. 
  • Composite veneers are used to cover the whole front surface of a tooth. 

Is composite bonding right for you?

Asking yourself the question, “Is composite bonding right for me?” Your dentist will advise you whether composite bonding is appropriate in your case. They will also tell you which type of composite bonding is the best choice for you. 

Generally, the only time when composite bonding may not be recommended is if there is a greater chance of staining. For example, this may be the case if someone has crooked teeth or is a smoker. 

Your dentist will always be happy to discuss your options with you, such as opting for porcelain veneers instead. 

How does composite bonding work? 

The composite bonding process is normally completed during one visit. This process is as follows: 

  1. Tooth enamel is cleaned with an acidic gel. 
  2. Composite resin is applied to the tooth in small amounts so that the right colour and shape result is achieved. 
  3. The resin is set using a UV light. 
  4. The set resin is polished, and the overall result is refined. 

The process is non-invasive, and no anaesthetic is required. 

What are the benefits of composite bonding? 

There are several benefits to be had from choosing composite bonding: 

  • Results are immediate 
  • Generally, only one visit to the dentist is required 
  • The procedure is non-invasive 
  • It’s a cost-effective way of achieving a revitalised smile
  • There is no damage to tooth structure
  • No pain is involved 

Overall, composite bonding is an excellent way of improving your smile at an affordable cost. 

How much does composite bonding cost?

The average cost of composite bonding is £250-£400 per tooth. In the case of composite veneers, you can expect to pay around £200-£600 each. In some simple cases, results can be achieved for as little as £160. 

These figures make composite bonding an affordable cosmetic dental procedure. 

Are there alternatives to composite bonding? 

There are alternatives that are more expensive and more invasive, but which produce longer lasting results. Usually, there are two main alternatives that you can discuss with your dentist. 

Porcelain Veneers

A veneer is a thin piece of porcelain that is moulded to be a custom fit for your tooth. It’s bonded to the front of the tooth and is a good way to close unsightly gaps between teeth. 

Crowns 

A crown fits over a remaining portion of a tooth. It functions in exactly the same way as a natural tooth does. Porcelain crowns also look like natural teeth and are almost indistinguishable from every other tooth in a person’s mouth. 

Both of these options produce longer lasting results than composite bonding, but they also cost. more. You can expect to pay around £500-£1,000 per tooth for veneers and £650-£1,200 per tooth for crowns. The exact cost depends on individual circumstances.

It’s also important to understand that both of these alternatives to composite bonding are more invasive. Your tooth will need to be cut down and/or shaped for a veneer or a crown to be fitted. This involves removing part of what might be a healthy tooth. 

None of this is necessary during the composite bonding process. 

Your dentist will advise you about the best treatment path for you and whether composite bonding, veneers, or crowns are you best option in terms of outcome and cost. 

Commonly asked questions about composite bonding 

There are several questions that people commonly ask about composite bonding. Here is a selection of those questions with answers. 

How long do composite bonding results last? 

If you care for your teeth well, you can expect composite bonding to last for around 2-5 years. This is not as long as porcelain veneers which last for around 10-15 years or crowns which last for around 15 years or more. 

In order to sustain the effects of composite bonding for as long as possible, you should avoid hard foods to prevent cracking and other damage. 

Does composite bonding damage my teeth? 

The composite bonding process is completely non-invasive. This means that no changes are made to the structure of your tooth and there is no damage. The resin is simply applied to the existing tooth. 

How many teeth should be involved in the composite bonding process? 

The number of teeth to be treated depends on your personal circumstances and the results you are aiming for. Normally, treating a minimum of the upper six teeth is a good idea as this helps to ensure symmetry in your mouth. 

Your dentist is able to advise you about this in more detail. They will take photographs at different angles so that you can fully appreciate which teeth can be seen when you smile and are aware of which teeth should be treated. 

You can then have a full discussion with your dentist before making a final decision about which teeth to include in the treatment. 

Can lower teeth be treated using cosmetic bonding? 

Cosmetic bonding is normally carried out on upper teeth. However, it may be possible to treat lower teeth in some circumstances. Your dentist will assess whether there is enough space for the process to be completed. They will also consider your bite when determining if treatment of your lower teeth is appropriate. 

In summary 

Composite bonding is a quick and affordable way to fix issues with tooth chips and cracks as well as discolouration. The process can give you the improved smile you are looking for. 

Your dentist will advise you whether composite bonding is the best choice for you or whether you should consider alternatives such as porcelain veneers or crowns instead. 

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Contact us today to find out more about cosmetic bonding by contacting one of our practices in Esher, Surrey or Wandsworth, South West London.