Dental Bonding: Why It’s So Popular

Dental bonding has been surging in popularity. By adding to or fully covering teeth, it improves their appearance by boosting shine and whiteness. It’s loved for its ability to give a straighter finish in little time, but also because it can hide chips and troublesome cracks. Like any permanent treatment, there are some need-to-knows if you’re considering it yourself. Two experts told us more…
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Teeth Bonding Is Getting Better

“Bonding has actually been around for years,” explains Dr Rhona Eskander, cosmetic dentist and owner of Chelsea Dental Clinic. “The process itself is very simple. A white filling material is used for the back teeth and the front. The aesthetics of the material used has vastly improved over the years, with better consistency, colour range and longevity – hence it’s grown in popularity in recent years, especially for use on the front teeth.”

Dr Yusra Al-Mukhtar, cosmetic dentist and founder of DryUsra.com, agrees: “It’s non-invasive and a minimally destructive procedure. The expert treating you will mould the resin material onto your existing tooth to alter shape, length and colour. It’s a great alternative to porcelain veneers, which are known for being quite abrasive.” 

The Procedure Itself Is Quick

“As you don’t need to use a drill to secure the placement – unlike veneers – the treatment can be done in one or two sittings,” explains Dr Rhona. “If a piece of bonding chips, it’s easy to repair. Part of bonding’s appeal is it conceals cracks and chips so well, evening out teeth and giving them a flat surface that’s smooth-looking and neat. No injections are needed either for the treatment – it really is quite fuss-free.”

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

It Is Beneficial For Some More Than Others

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

There Are Some Cons To Be Aware Of

“As mentioned above, bonding can chip and stain,” explains Dr Rhona. “The technique is very sensitive, and if not placed well it can look quite poor, so you need to do your research and ensure you’re seeing the best people. If you’re considering it, you should also know that it is quite high maintenance, so you need to make sure your diet is optimal to keep the bonding looking healthy. For instance, cut out too much red wine, black coffee and smoking. You also need to make sure that you’re seeing the dentist and hygienist regularly. This will ensure your bonding is cleaned and free of any plaque build-up, resulting in longer-lasting bonding that won’t chip prematurely.”

Any Tooth Whitening Should Be Done Pre-Bonding

“Bonding cannot be whitened – only your teeth can be whitened,” notes Dr Rhona. “So you need to whiten your teeth first. If this is of concern, your dentist will match the material to the colour of your teeth for optimum results. There is a limit to how white you can go. 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 though, and dependent on the practitioner you see for good results.” 

You Will Need To Replace Them To Maintain Results

“There are permanent restorations but, due to the nature of the bonding resin, you will find teeth continue to stain, while the bond itself will shrink at the margins over time,” advises Dr Yusra. “Because of this, it’s important to understand that they will require regular maintenance and possible replacement every five to seven years. That said, it’s also worth noting the positives. Composites may be prone to chipping, but they can easily be repaired by simply bonding more composite back to the chipped area. If chipping is becoming too regular, that’s potentially a wider issue as part of your bite, but again this can be rectified and easily amended to avoid the problem going forward. This reinforces why you should always have a thorough assessment first. Your dentist can examine your teeth and bite, then advise on the best options so you don’t have any problems post-procedure.”

Bonding Can Be Used To Neaten Teeth Up Overall

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

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,” says Dr Rhona. “It really varies and it’s worth shopping around, but my advice is to not book treatments that cost below this. Often, if the price is too low, the procedure and professionalism should be checked over and validated. It’s vital you always get a full assessment first and check the suitability of your teeth. Furthermore, seek out someone who understands your smile design to create shapes that suit your face and needs.” 

5 PLACES TO TRY TEETH BONDING:

1.

Dr Rhona Eskander, Chelsea Dental Clinic; ChelseaDentalClinic.co.uk

2.

Dr Yusra Al-Mukhtar, Dr Yusra Clinic; DrYusra.com

3.

Harley Street Dental Studio; HarleyStreetDentalStudio.com

4.

Fitzroy Dental Practice; FitzRoyDentist.co.uk

5.

Pro Dental Clinic; ProDentalClinic.London

CREDITS: ISTOCK/DANIEL Z GOMBIC
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