Tooth bonding is the application of a tooth-coloured resin material using adhesives and curing it with a high intensity light. The procedure gets its name because materials are “bonded” to the tooth. This material comes in many shades of tooth colour and has been sometimes used to enhance a tooth’s appearance.
Is Bonding a good cosmetic option?
Patients often ask me about bonding because it is so much more affordable than veneers or crowns. As a result, some wonder if they can do “bonding” instead. Many people who considered cosmetic dentistry know about veneers to enhance their smile. They also how beautiful veneers can be when done well. But veneers are expensive so many patients wonder if bonding would be a good alternative to improve their smile.
Staining, chipping and breakdown
In general, most dentists agree that bonding is a great way to repair a cavity or a small chip in a tooth provided that chip is not on the surface of the tooth that’s used in biting or grinding. Because of the heavy forces used when chewing or biting, the bond between the resin and your tooth may break and result in the “bonding” fracturing off. So fractures when bonding is done on the biting surface are common. In addition, the resin material used in “bonding” is a plastic, which over time breaks down, stains and even chips at the edges. Depending on the type of resin and the wear and tear your mouth goes through, that can happen sooner than you think.
I am not a big fan of bonding for cosmetic reasons simply because it never looks anywhere as good as a porcelain veneer and despite the lower initial cost, you end up spending more over time.