Dental Bonding

Cosmetic and Family Dentist in Raleigh

Dental Bonding Process

Tooth bonding involves using a high intensity curing light and adhesive to apply a tooth-colored resin material.  This procedure has been given this name because materials get bonded to a tooth.  Typically bonding is used for cosmetic reasons to improve a chipped or discolored tooth’s appearance.  It is used as well to change the color or shape of teeth, to make teeth appear longer or to close spaces that are in between teeth.  Bonding is frequently used as a cosmetic alternative instead of amalgam fillings, or for protecting the part of the tooth that is exposed whenever gums recede.

Use Of Teeth Bonding

The following dental problems can potentially be fixed by dental bonding:

– To protect part of the tooth root that is exposed whenever gums recede

– A cosmetic alternative instead of amalgam fillings

– To change a tooth’s shape

– To make teeth appear longer

– To close spaces in between teeth

– To improve discolored teeth’s appearance

– To repair cracked or chipped teeth

– To repair teeth that are decayed (to fill cavities composite resins are utilized)

Dental Bonding Procedure

No or little preparation is needed for dental bonding, and often using anesthesia is not needed unless bonding is being done to fill in a decayed tooth.  The shade of your teeth will be matched by your dentist to choose a composite resin color that closely matches the color of your teeth.

There are two kinds of dental bonding: adhesive bonding and direct composite bonding.

  1. Direct Composite Bonding – With this process a tooth-colored composite (natural-looking or what materials) is used by the dentist that is in their office in order to build up edges on your teeth that are worn down, close any gaps that are in between your teeth, repair cracks or chips or fill cavities. Composite materials can also be applied directly and sculpted to the surfaces of your teeth that show the most when you smile, for a smile makeover that is only minimally invasive. In the world of dentistry, they are referred to as direct composite veneers, but most people just simple refer to it as bonding.
  2. Adhesive Bonding – In contrast to direct composite bonding, adhesive bonding attaches a restoration onto a tooth. The process is often used for inlays/onlays, bridges, porcelain veneers and esthetic crowns.  After your dentist selects the color that matches your tooth shade, she or he will use a gentle phosphoric acid solution to roughen the tooth surface.  Once the roughing agent is taken off, a liquid bonding agent will then be applied soon after.  The putty-like tooth-colored resin will then be applied to your tooth and smoothed and molded until it is in the shape that is desired.  Then the material is hardened using an ultraviolet curing light.  The previous step will then be repeated until your direct composite veneer or filing is in its final shape.  Then the material will be polished by your dentist until it matches the same sheen that the remained of your tooth surface has.

Dental Bonding Pros and Cons


Dental bonding is among the least expensive and most common cosmetic dentistry procedures.  Usually, it can be done in just one brief office visit.  The exception is when it involves multiple teeth.  Another advantage offered by bonding is that when compared with crowns and veneers, no or little tooth enamel needs to be removed. Also, anesthesia is not required for most dental bonding procedures.


Dental bonding uses material that isn’t as strong as your actual teeth are, so the material can chip if you do things like chew on pens or bite your fingernails.  Bonding lasts for just a couple of years before you will have to repair it, and it isn’t as strong as many other restorative procedures, like fillings, veneers or crowns.  It is not as stain resistant compared to crowns either.

Since there are limitations when it comes to the restorative impacts that can be achieved with bonding, some dentists might think it is better suited for using to correct teeth in areas with very low bite pressure (your front teeth for example), temporarily correcting cosmetic defects and for small cosmetic changes.  Your dentist can let you know if bonding is the right procedure for you or might make other recommendations based on your personal needs.

Teeth Bonding Consultation

You can meet with your dentist for a consultation to determine which dental problems may be solved using bonding.  Your teeth will be thoroughly examined by your dentist.  This may involve evaluating your gums and teeth as well as x-rays being taken.  During the consultation, your dentist can speak to you about whether or not you are a suitable candidate for bonding, if you have problems, it can help to resolve like “short teeth,” tooth discoloration, gaps, chipped or cracked teeth or decayed teeth.  If you have teeth with extensive damage other cosmetic or restorative procedures might be recommended by your dentist in order to meet some of your long-term goals.

How To Care For Bonded Teeth

The same care is required by bonded teeth as your natural teeth.  Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is the type of care that is needed for maintaining a beautiful and healthy smile.  Brushing and flossing at least two times per day is a  great way to maintain good oral health.  Your dentist can also recommend routine check-ups to make sure you maintain a healthy smile and clean teeth.  Since material that is used in the bonding process might chip, try to avoid biting down on anything hard that might cause damage.  You should avoid chewing on hard food objects, ice or pens and not bite your fingernails.  If your tooth starts to feel different than after you had your procedure done, the bond might be chipped. If this happens, consult with your dentist.

Cost Of Teeth Bonding

Dental bonding costs can vary depending on the dentist who is performing the procedure, if there are additional procedures being performed in conjunction, how many teeth need to be cosmetically repairs and what your specific dental condition is.  A dental procedure on average will cost from $100 to $400 for each tooth.  Ask your dental insurance provider if you have coverage for dental bonding.