What is a “bonding” procedure and when is it indicated?
You have probably heard of “bonding” in dentistry and in this article, we clarify the indications, risks & benefits of bonding.
Tooth bonding restores broken or missing tooth structure (due to decay or from trauma) with a tooth-colored resin material to normal contour. The resin material is applied to the affected tooth structure and contoured and light-cured to become hard material.
At the end of the procedure, one can have a natural and beautiful teeth.
Benefits of Teeth Bonding
Conservative. The bonding procedure can be less invasive as Dr. Oh and Dr. Estafan prepare the tooth structure minimally by disinfecting and priming the tooth structure. Minor chips and cracks can be restored even without anesthesia.
Less Cost. Bonding procedures are less costly than veneers or other porcelain restorations like crowns, veneers or inlays.
Time. The chipped tooth can be restored in one visit possibly under one hour. Veneers or crowns would often require 2 visits.
Disadvantages of Bonding a Tooth
Durability. Composite resin material, although it has improved significantly past decades, is still not as durable as porcelain material. The newer porcelain material is much stronger and maintains the esthetics for a much longer time.
Stains Easily. Resin materials absorb stains from food and drink much easier than porcelain or even tooth structure. Especially at the margin where the resin and the tooth structure meets it can stain more.
The FAQ on Tooth Bonding Procedure
Is it covered by insurance? Usually, at least in part. Most often, they are covered by insurance as much as 80% of the procedure. Every policy is written differently and we can help you figure out the breakdown of the benefit prior to the procedure. Our Office Manager, Claudia at the front desk is great at helping with insurance questions for our patients.
How long does the bonding last? Generally 5-8 years. Some can last even over 10 years, however, the color and stains would not be stable after the first few years.
How much does the bonding procedure cost? It depends on the severity of the chip or decay. It can range from $200 to $800 in most dental offices.
Would it be painful? If there is a lot of missing tooth structure and it is sensitive, then the local anesthesia would be administered. During the procedures, our doctors would make sure that there is no pain and discomfort. In many instances, the anesthesia may not be necessary and postoperative sensitivity is minimal
How often does the bonding have to be replaced? This also depends on the severity of the fracture and the patient’s eating pattern and grinding habits. Many factors apply, but the average is about 5 years.
When should I replace the bonding with porcelain veneers? If it keeps chipping and discolors too easily and no longer functional or esthetic, porcelain veneers or crowns may be an option. Porcelain restorations would be far more shade stable and longer-lasting than bonding restorations.
If you or your loved ones have a question and would like a consultation on bonding with Dr. Oh or Dr. Estafan, please contact us at 212-288-0103 or email us at [email protected].