How Does Composite Bonding Work?

What is composite bonding? How does it work, how long does it last, and how does it feel? Here, we answer your most-asked questions.

Picture your perfect smile. Confident, healthy, natural. Composite bonding is a popular cosmetic dental treatment used to achieve this, and is a smart solution for those dreaming of straighter, whiter, more symmetrical teeth. But what is composite bonding, exactly? And how does this quick, uncomplicated, and cost-effective solution change the shape and shade of teeth for the ultimate smile makeover?

With more than 25 years’ experience in composite bonding, we’re often asked questions such as “how much is composite bonding?”, “how is it done?”, and “how long does it last?”. Here, we answer all of these, so you can feel assured in your steps toward this non-invasive dental treatment

What is composite bonding?

Also known as dental bonding, composite bonding is a straightforward dental procedure that involves a composite resin (made up of durable plastic and fine glass particles) being attached (or bonded) to your natural teeth. This hard-wearing resin mimics natural tooth structure, making it perfect for fixing broken or chipped teeth, closing gaps between teeth, or hiding discolouration. Composite resin is a hard-wearing, restorative material that mimics natural tooth structure. 

How does composite bonding work?

So how is composite bonding done, precisely? It’s a satisfyingly simple and versatile process, and none of your natural teeth are removed. First, your dentist will prepare your teeth by gently roughening the surface, which creates a better bond for the resin to attach to. For a natural look, the resin will match the colour of your teeth. Then, this white, restorative material is applied in layers, sculpted and shaped to correct minor aesthetic imperfections, including chips, cracks, gaps, and discolouration. Finally, a curing light is used to harden your new teeth, then may be further refined and polished to ensure a comfortable fit in your mouth. 

What are the benefits of composite bonding?

Composite bonding is a popular cosmetic dental treatment for a number of reasons. These include:

  • It creates a straighter, whiter, more harmonious smile.
  • It can conceal chips, cracks, and discolouration, as well as minor gaps and irregularities.
  • It’s a painless procedure with minimal discomfort and no need for recovery time.
  • It's quick and convenient - you get immediate results in a single visit to the dentist.
  • It’s minimally invasive, with no drilling required and no damage to the tooth or enamel underneath.
  • Compared to other cosmetic treatments, composite bonding is a cost-effective option.
  • It’s long-lasting, but can also be reversed or repaired easily. 

How long does composite bonding take?

Typically, a composite bonding treatment can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours per tooth, but this will differ depending on the number of teeth being treated and the complexity of the treatment. This includes preparation, application, curing, shaping, polishing, and finalising, and can often be completed in a single dentist visit.

How long does composite bonding last?

On average, composite bonding will last for at least five years, and up to seven years if effective oral hygiene is maintained. The composite material used in bonding isn’t quite as hard as your natural teeth, so is more prone to damage or breakage when too much pressure is applied. 

How much is composite bonding?

Since composite bonding is a purely cosmetic procedure, it is not available on the NHS. However, it is an affordable private dental option, and less expensive than porcelain veneers or crowns. So how much does composite bonding cost, exactly? We always like to be transparent about price, but it can depend on the complexity of your bespoke treatment, and specific fees charged by the specific dental practice. At Fresh Smile Clinic, our treatments usually cost between £200 to £350 per tooth. We believe that you should be able to achieve your dream smile even on a budget, which is why we also offer 0% interest-free payment plans over 12 to 36 months for our composite bonding treatments.

Can you whiten composite bonding?

While composite bonding can create a brighter, whiter smile by hiding stained teeth, it’s not possible to whiten the composite material once it’s bonded to your tooth. Your dentist will often recommend that you undergo teeth whitening treatments before dental bonding to ensure your teeth are the colour you want your smile to be in the long term. Any tooth decay must be treated before teeth bonding takes place. If you’re happy to go ahead, we’ll match the resin’s colour to your teeth for a beautiful smile you can be proud of. 

Does composite bonding damage teeth?

Far from it. In fact, composite bonding is one of the least invasive aesthetic treatments you can have done on your teeth. It is simply a resin being bonded on top of your natural teeth, which is easily removed if necessary. Your teeth remain untouched, other than gently roughening up to help the bond. 

How to look after composite bonding 

To keep your bonding white and bright, it’s important to keep good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day with a non-abrasive toothpaste. We are often asked “does composite bonding stain?”, and the answer is, it can be stained over time, just as with natural teeth. To avoid this, it helps to reduce or avoid consuming staining substances, such as tea and coffee, and rinsing with water to minimise impact after eating or drinking. Also avoid biting directly onto the tooth, especially with hard foods such as ice or boiled sweets, that may chip or weaken bonding. And as always, maintain regular dental check ups to monitor and maintain the condition of your composite bonding.

What are the alternatives to composite bonding?

The cosmetic dental treatment you choose depends on your budget, dental needs, lifestyle, and aesthetic goals. Veneers in Huddersfield are common alternatives to composite bonding, with a similar treatment. Like composite bonding, a thin moulding (in this case, using porcelain) is bonded to the surface of the tooth, covering gaps and hiding chipped teeth or discolouration. Porcelain veneers cover the whole tooth, just like crowns. 

A crown is another alternative to composite bonding. These are basically ‘caps’ that are placed over the entirety of your existing tooth and can be made of porcelain or resin. Both crowns and veneers are longer-lasting than composite bonding and are useful for closing gaps where orthodontic treatment isn’t suitable. However, both of these procedures require some damage to teeth in order to fit them, making them a permanent alternative to bonding. Cosmetic bonding is a much quicker, non-invasive procedure that can still be easily maintained in future and is much cheaper than other alternatives. 

Your dentist will help you decide which procedure is best for you. And now you know why and how dental bonding is done, you can make a more confident decision about the right dental treatment for you. Fresh Smile Clinic specialise in composite bonding, serving Huddersfield, Halifax and surrounding areas. Got a question about the composite bonding process? Book in for a cosmetic consultation today and we’ll contact you to arrange a time and date for your consultation.

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