What Is Dental Bonding and How Much Does It Cost?

by Hannah Stephens
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If you're unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, it can help to know you're not alone. Over 52% of Americans are unhappy with their dental appearance, with a whopping 56% feeling dissatisfied with the whiteness of their teeth. Dental bonding is a fast and relatively inexpensive way to transform your smile, but is it worth the investment?

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Cosmetic dental bonding is relatively noninvasive and can give stellar results, but it's not the right option for everyone.

What Is Tooth Bonding?

Tooth bonding, also called dental bonding, is a cosmetic treatment used to change the appearance of your teeth. During a dental bonding treatment, a dentist applies a teeth-bonding composite resin matching the color of your natural enamel to your teeth to create an even shape and size. Cosmetic dental bonding can also be used to address discolored teeth.

Dentists may recommend dental bonding to correct various dental issues, including:

  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Misshapen teeth

Sometimes, dental bonding is used for restorative purposes. Dentists often use the same composite material to fill cavities because it mimics the appearance of natural enamel, making the filling virtually invisible. Your dentist may also recommend tooth bonding to protect exposed teeth roots if you have gum recession.

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Does Insurance Cover Dental Bonding?

Whether your dental insurance covers tooth bonding depends on your provider and policy type. However, many insurers decline coverage for dental bonding because they consider it a cosmetic procedure when used solely to improve the appearance of your smile.

However, your insurance plan may cover dental bonding if you need it to fill cavities or exposed roots or protect your teeth against damage. In this situation, your insurer may decide your treatment is medically necessary. Depending on your coverage, your insurer may cover up to 80% of your costs after meeting your annual deductible.

How Much Does Dental Bonding Cost?

Dental bonding costs $300 to $600 (CAD 408 to CAD 816) per tooth on average, according to data from RealSelf. Your total bill depends on how many teeth your dentist treats. Most people spend between $1,967 and $6,400 (CAD 2,676 and CAD 8,706) in total. You could pay less out of pocket if your dental insurance policy covers your treatment.

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Is Dental Bonding Worth It?

Dental bonding is often worth it if you have minor tooth damage or discoloration. A tooth-bonding procedure can significantly change the appearance of your smile and is less invasive than other treatments, such as dental implants, designed to correct tooth imperfections. It's also substantially cheaper than restoring your teeth with implants or crowns. Generally, dental bonding is a quick, effective and convenient way to treat less severe cosmetic issues.

However, there are also potential disadvantages to dental bonding. The composite material is more prone to staining than your natural enamel and significantly less durable. Therefore, you can break or stain the surface if you don't care for bonded teeth properly. The following tips can help you keep your cosmetic dental bonding in good condition for as long as possible:

  • Take care while consuming hard foods to reduce the risk of chips and cracks.
  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly.
  • Limit food and beverages that cause tooth staining, such as coffee, red wine and berries, and avoid them completely for the first 48 hours after your procedure.
  • Drink tea and other stain-causing beverages with a straw.
  • Keep up to date with regular dental checkups, and visit your dentist as soon as you notice damage or bite problems.
  • Avoid biting your nails or chewing hard objects.

Your dentist can help you determine whether dental bonding is right for you. While the procedure is often ideal for fixing small issues, it can't treat widespread decay or more serious problems with your bite alignment. In some situations, your dentist may recommend crowns, implants or orthodontic treatments as an alternative to tooth bonding.

How Long Does Tooth Bonding Last?

The composite resin used for tooth bonding isn't as long-lasting as porcelain or tooth enamel, and it usually wears out after around 10 years. In comparison, more expensive options like veneers can last over 20 years with good oral care, while crowns last for at least 15 years.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.

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