How Long Does Dental Bonding Last?
From closing gaps between teeth to repairing chips, cracks, or cavities, there are numerous reasons why patients seek solutions to their cosmetic dental needs. Dental bonding is one such solution that patients frequently turn to in order to maintain a healthy appearance. When deciding if dental bonding is appropriate for your situation, you should understand not only what bonding is and the various forms of bonding treatments available but also how long the forms typically last.
Dental bonding takes on two forms: direct composite bonding and adhesive bonding of laboratory created restorations (veneers). Direct composite bonding involves your dentist applying a composite resin to one or more teeth that have suffered physical damage or discoloration. First, your dentist will select composite materials from a shade chart that match the tooth’s natural color. Then, the tooth is slightly etched or abraded so that the adhesive material will best adhere to the tooth. Once the tooth is fully prepared, your dentist will apply the putty-like resin to the tooth, shape it, and harden the resin using ultraviolet light. Then area is then further shaped or polished as needed in order to achieve the desired results. The procedure is painless, usually does not require anesthesia, and typically takes between 30 to 60 minutes. Cost will generally be in the range of $300 to $600 per tooth.
The alternative to direct bonding is adhesive bonding of veneers, made of either porcelain or composite materials, to the tooth using a specific dental instrument as well as high intensity light. Porcelain is a stronger, longer-lasting material than composite and will require a molding be taken of the patient’s tooth prior to it being sent to a laboratory for custom manufacturing. Because porcelain veneers are stronger, last longer, and must be custom manufactured, they are more expensive than composite veneers. Porcelain veneers can range from $900 to $2,500 per tooth whereas composite veneers are closer to $250 per tooth. Some patients may find composite veneers to be a more attractive option than porcelain given the reduced cost and time associated with composites.
Now that patients have a brief understanding of the forms of dental bonding, we can turn our attention to how long the various forms typically last. Because direct composite bonding uses materials that are not as hard as our natural teeth, they are more susceptible to future damage and staining than veneers. Proper oral hygiene and care can ensure patients maximize the longevity of direct composite bonding but in general, future repairs should be expected every three to five years.
Patients seeking a longer-lasting alternative should consider veneers. Composite veneers will generally last from five to as long as ten years. Porcelain veneers are the most durable and can last 10 to 15 years or more. As with direct composite bonding, implementing a proper oral care and hygiene program can maximize the life of veneers. Regardless of the type of bonding used, patients should avoid biting hard candy, opening food packaging with their teeth, or any other activity that could damage the bonding materials.
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