What is bonding?

One of the options available to rebuild worn or eroded teeth is composite resin bonding. This is the bonding or gluing of tooth coloured resin to the teeth to replace what has worn or eroded away.

Bonding can be used for a number of reasons:

  • Repairing decayed teeth – a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings
  • Repairing chipped or cracked teeth
  • Improving the appearance of discolored teeth
  • Filling or closing small gaps between teeth
  • Changing the tooth shape or length

Bonding is often done before crowning teeth if there is to be a major change to the length of the teeth or how they bite together. For many people it is the treatment of choice to start a treatment plan. If you then decide to progress to crowns they can be made either all at once or over several years, to spread out the cost, depending on your individual considerations and dental problems. We would discuss this with you.

What are the advantages of bonding?

  • Little preparation is needed for dental bonding and it can be completed within one visit (unless teeth in both jaws are involved).
  • Anaesthesia often not necessary.
  • The shade of resin is made to match the colour of your teeth.
  • Bonding is also about one quarter the price of crowns.

What are the disadvantages of bonding?

Bonding is not for everyone, and because it is not as strong as a crown, it will generally not last as long. Problems that can occur with bonding are chips and delamination, experienced by about 10% of patients, generally the ones with the highest bite forces. If you do have high biting forces or grind your teeth, then it will not last as long. By wearing a night time bite guard (called an occlusal splint) we often can get a much longer life out of the bonding.

Staining can occur, especially if you drink a lot of red wine, coffee/tea or use certain mouth washes. This is usually removed during your six monthly checkups with your regular dentist/hygienist.

Dental decay can occur if you don’t brush and floss your teeth or you eat too much sugar. But this is also true with partial dentures or crowns.

To determine if bonding or crowns is appropriate for you first we have to examine your mouth, and analyse your occlusion (bite).

Causes of bonding failure

We have a lot of success with bonding, and have found that about 80% of the failures occur in less than 10% of patients. Common causes are:

  • Not flossing, brushing and having regular check-ups.
  • Not wearing the protective night guard.
  • Not sticking with the low acid diet.
  • Eating too much sugar.
  • Biting on hard objects.