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If you’re looking for a more affordable restoration to fix chips, stains, and other types of enamel damage, cosmetic bonding can be the perfect treatment to repair your tooth. Bonding refers to a non-invasive process in which our cosmetic dentist applies a tooth-colored resin to the tooth in layers. Dr. Mark Griffiths then sculpts the damaged area to restore the full proportions of your tooth, allowing the material to harden before polishing the enamel. The result can be a renewed tooth structure and an enhanced smile achieved through less invasive and costly methods than other restorations.

What is Cosmetic Bonding?

Composite bonding, also referred to as “cosmetic bonding,” is a conservative treatment performed to repair certain aesthetic flaws in a tooth. This is achieved by applying layers of composite resin to the damaged area, meticulously reshaping the tooth to healthy proportions. Once the resin hardens, the tooth is polished to a shine. The composite material closely resembles the color of natural tooth enamel, so results can look remarkably natural. The affected tooth should then blend in with the rest of your teeth and beautifully restore your smile. While more invasive options like porcelain veneers are often ideal for addressing more substantial cracks and chips, composite bonding offers a faster, less invasive, and more affordable treatment to correct minor imperfections.

What are the Benefits of Composite Bonding?

Cosmetic bonding can successfully address minor issues that affect a tooth cosmetically but do not interfere with the function or health of a tooth. This includes repairing chips, cracks, and other mild deficiencies. Although composite resin isn’t as long-lasting as dental porcelain, dental bonding offers:

This treatment is designed to support the structure of a tooth with a durable resin material; however, cosmetic bonding cannot address a weakened or decayed tooth. If you have tooth pain or you cannot bite down as effectively due to damage, a restorative dentistry solution might be a better option to treat your concerns.

Is Composite Bonding Right for Me?

Composite bonding can be a quality solution to address many minor dental flaws; however, this option may not be the best treatment for every patient. Patients who have tooth damage that is too severe to be corrected with composite bonding might benefit more from a stronger restoration, such as dental crowns or porcelain veneers. That said, composite bonding can be an effective solution for patients who:

Bonding also isn’t recommended for patients who smoke, as the staining caused by tobacco can prevent your results from blending in with the rest of your smile. After examining your concerns in person, Dr. Griffiths can recommend an ideal treatment to achieve your goals according to your needs.

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Composite Bonding vs. Porcelain Veneers

Composite bonding and porcelain veneers are both utilized to repair dental flaws, sometimes leading to confusion when determining the most suitable treatment for your needs. Simply put, composite bonding is considered a more conservative solution to fix smile imperfections. Less of the natural tooth enamel is removed prior to treatment, and the composite material used to shape your tooth is not as durable as a veneer. Bonding is also unable to treat more extensive concerns, such as large gaps, severe misalignments, cracks, and major chips.

Porcelain veneers are much stronger than the resin used in cosmetic bonding, making them a more durable and long-lasting solution to improve chips, gaps, short teeth, and deep staining. Instead of layering on a tooth-colored resin, veneers are composed of a thin porcelain shell designed to fit perfectly over the front of your tooth. The veneer is bonded to the enamel to conceal dental flaws, often lasting 5 to 15 years with good care.

While a porcelain veneer is a higher-quality restoration, cosmetic bonding can be a very effective and affordable option to enhance your tooth. Dr. Griffiths would be happy to evaluate your damaged tooth and recommend an optimal restoration based on your needs and preferences. There are many treatment options that can repair an imperfect tooth, including crowns, inlays and onlays, and veneers, among others.

How is Treatment with Composite Bonding Performed?

After confirming that composite bonding is the best technique to address your needs, Dr. Mark Griffiths will prepare the surface of your tooth for treatment. He will then apply layer after layer of the composite resin while shaping the area to achieve the proportions of your natural tooth. A special dental light is then utilized to harden the material, and the tooth surface is polished and buffed for a smooth finish. The results should look extremely natural and blend in harmoniously with the rest of your smile.

How Long Does Composite Bonding Last?

Your results from cosmetic bonding can last many years with consistent dental hygiene habits, including daily brushing and flossing as well as regular check-ups. The longevity of the outcome is ultimately up to how well you take care of your teeth. Decay and plaque can deteriorate your teeth as well as the bonding material, so good dental hygiene is key to prolonging the lifespan of your results.

In order to protect your smile from unnecessary damage, we recommend wearing a mouthguard when playing sports and doing other activities that have a reasonable risk of oral injuries. Along the same vein, we also advise patients who grind and clench their teeth to use a night guard while sleeping.

How Much Does Composite Bonding Cost?

Composite bonding is typically considered a more affordable alternative to porcelain veneers; therefore, patients often appreciate the ability to fix their damaged tooth without the lab fees associated with other restorations. The average cost range for bonding typically lies between $300 to $600 per tooth, but each patient receives a personalized quote based on their unique needs and the extent of damage to be corrected.

Certain insurance plans may cover dental bonding, but the treatment will not be applicable for coverage if the company considers it a cosmetic (not medically necessary) procedure. Our office can give you more information about insurance over the phone or during your visit. Griffiths Smiles also accepts dental financing through CareCredit® for patients who would like to pay for composite bonding over time. Please feel free to contact our Bankers Hill office if you have any questions about the cost of dental bonding.

If you have a chip, gap, or stain affecting your tooth, addressing the problem sooner rather than later may save you the expense of more costly treatment in the event that the issue worsens. Don’t hesitate to contact our dentist in the San Diego and Bankers Hill areas to set up a consultation.