Dental Bonding: What It Is & How It Works
Dental Bonding: What It Is & How It Works

Dental Bonding: What It Is & How It Works

Whether you want to boost shine and brilliance or hide unsightly cracks and chips, dental bonding can significantly improve the appearance of your teeth. That said, with any permanent treatment, it pays to do your research – so we asked two dental experts to explain all.
By Rebecca Hull

Bonding Is Getting Better

“Bonding has actually been around for years and the process is very simple. On the back teeth and the front, we use a material which has vastly improved over the years, and now has far better consistency, colour range and longevity.” Dr Rhona Eskander, cosmetic dentist & owner of Chelsea Dental Clinic

“As part of this non-invasive procedure, the expert treating you will mould the resin material onto your existing tooth to alter its shape, length and colour. It’s a great alternative to porcelain veneers, which are known for being quite abrasive.” – Dr Yusra Al-Mukhtar, cosmetic dentist & founder of 

The Procedure Is Quick

“Because you don’t need to use a drill to secure the placement – unlike veneers – the treatment can be done in one or two sessions. If a piece of bonding chips, it’s easy to repair as well. Part of the appeal is bonding conceals cracks and chips so well, evening out the teeth and giving them a flat surface that’s smooth looking and neat. Injections aren’t required, either – it really is quite fuss free. Generally speaking, the upper six teeth are usually treated first and this takes two to three hours, followed by a 30-minute review. If it’s just one tooth, you’ll be in and out within an hour.” – Rhona 

 “It’s a quick solution to altering the appearance of your teeth, and more cost effective than similar treatments because bonding doesn’t have the same lab manufacturing costs. What’s more, bonding can be easily adjusted as you go – porcelain veneers can’t.” – Yusra 

It Works Better For Some Than Others

“Composite bonding is suitable for most people, but it’s especially beneficial for those who need minor adjustments to their teeth. Bonding does have its limitations, so it’s important to think about this before you go for it as a treatment, but overall it works for anyone who wants to smooth and file uneven edges or small cracks that aren’t too problematic. Just be aware that bonding may not be suitable for those whose teeth aren’t in good alignment. In these cases, significant tooth structure will need to be shaved down to allow space for the composite – this is irreversible and can be quite destructive. Likewise, patients who drink lots of tea, coffee or red wine will need to keep in mind that composite bonding will pick up stains, so they may need to be changed more frequently.” – Yusra

There Are Some Cons 

“As a technique, bonding is very sensitive, and if it’s not done well it can look quite poor, so you need to do your research and ensure you’re seeing the best people. If you’re thinking about it, you should also be aware that it’s quite high maintenance, so you need to make sure your diet is optimal to keep the bonding looking healthy. For instance, cut out excess red wine, black coffee and smoking. You also need to make sure you’re seeing a dentist and hygienist regularly. This will ensure your bonding is clean and free from any plaque build-up, resulting in longer-lasting bonding that won’t chip prematurely.” – Rhona 

Tooth Whitening Should Be Done Beforehand

“Bonding cannot be whitened – only your real teeth can be whitened. So you need to whiten your teeth first. If this is of concern to you, your dentist can match the material to the colour of your teeth for optimum results. There is a limit as to how white you can go, though. In some cases, people opt for full-coverage bonding instead of edge bonding for this reason. ‘Full coverage’ is known commonly as ‘composite veneers’. These veneers are very high maintenance and the results will vary depending on the practitioner you see.” – Rhona

You Will Need To Replace Them To Maintain Results

“Due to the nature of the bonding resin, you will find your teeth continue to stain, while the bond itself will shrink at the margins over time. Because of this, they will require regular maintenance and possible replacement every five to seven years. Composites may also be prone to chipping, but they can be easily repaired by adding more composite to the chipped area. If chipping is becoming too regular for your liking, that’s potentially a wider issue as part of your bite – but again, this can be rectified going forward. This reinforces why it’s important to have a thorough assessment first. Your dentist can examine your teeth and bite, then advise on the best options so you don’t experience any problems post-procedure.” – Yusra

Bonding Can Be Used To Neaten Up Other Work

“This isn’t spoken about that often, but I love doing edge bonding after orthodontic treatment – for example, after Invisalign, once the teeth are perfectly straight. When we do this at my clinic, we add some edge bonding to make the edges of the teeth look smoother for a more flawless finish. Again, it’s minimally invasive and seriously effective.” – Dr Rhona

Costs Can Vary, But Avoid Going Too Low

“Every dentist has their own fees, but the starting cost can be anywhere from £150 up to £600. It varies and it’s worth shopping around, but my advice is not to book treatments that seem particularly cheap. Often, if the price is too low, the procedure and professionalism needs to be double-checked. It’s vital you always get a full assessment first to check the suitability of your teeth. Furthermore, it’s worth finding someone who understands your smile design to create shapes that suit your face.” – Rhona


Dr Rhona Eskander, Chelsea Dental Clinic;

Dr Yusra Al-Mukhtar, Dr Yusra Clinic;

Harley Street Dental Studio;

The London Smile Clinic; 

Dr Tom Crawford Clarke;

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