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How Long Does Composite Bonding Last?

Updated: Nov 10, 2023



Composite bonding is one of the most aesthetically pleasing and time-tested options for restoring crooked or chipped teeth. Not only are the modern materials used for bonding long lasting, they also match the shade and colour of the natural teeth, thereby becoming virtually indistinguishable from the natural ones. This article explains everything you need to know about dental bonding and how it can help you enjoy a rockstar smile.


What does composite bonding involve?


Bonding is a procedure in which your dentist will restore the shape and function of your teeth using a resin-based, tooth coloured filling material. The BACD recommends bonding as a minimally invasive procedure to fix badly damaged teeth and blemished smiles. Unlike procedures such as veneers and crowns, there is no need to remove any of the natural tooth surface in order to carry out the dental work. Composite resin is built up in layers on the surface of the tooth, reshaping and fixing issues in one sitting. Cracks, chips and discolouration can all be fixed with bonding techniques, leaving a natural looking repair that blends in perfectly with the smile.


How long does dental bonding last?


Dental bonding is not a permanent tooth replacement option. With time, the filling material starts to degrade and becomes porous. This makes the bonded fillings weak over time. However, the good news is that bonded filling defects can be repaired if caught timely. If there is extensive damage to the filing, your dentist may have to replace it with a fresh one.


As long as you don’t run into any issues with biting hard foods or having any accidents, composite bonding can last anywhere between four to eight years. How long the composite lasts depends on various factors, such as the location of the tooth, the extent of tooth damage, eating habits, and oral hygiene status. For example, the front teeth usually do not receive as heavy biting forces as the back teeth, which are responsible for crushing the food into smaller particles. Hence, the bonded fillings on the front teeth generally last longer than on the back ones. While composite bonding isn’t the longest lasting restorative treatment available, it has many benefits - especially to your dental health.


Veneers vs Dental Bonding: Which is best?


Composite bonding can be used as an alternative to veneers - but which is the best option?


Veneers are prepared in the dental laboratory under controlled conditions so they have fewer structural defects and are stronger and more durable than the bonded fillings. However, they are also more expensive. If there is a minor structural or aesthetic defect in a tooth, then bonding should be sufficient. None of the natural tooth is lost through having composite bonding done and the treatment isn’t permanent.



Veneers

Pros

Cons

High quality dental materials promise a lifelike finish and durable results

Veneers are permanent as a layer of tooth enamel needs to be removed to accommodate the dental work

Can be digitally designed and accurately produced with computer precision

As more work is involved in the process and the materials are costly, veneers are more expensive than bonding.

More customer control with end results through smile design technology

Veneers take longer to craft and are sculpted offsite at a dental laboratory, taking more than one appointment to see the end result.


Bonding

Pros

Cons

There is a reduced impact on the health of the teeth being treated as no enamel is removed for the bonding to fuse to the natural tooth.

Composite bonding can become more fragile over time, resulting in cracks and blemishes. Bonding lasts between four to eight years.

Composite restorations are carried out at the dental chair meaning that repairs can be finished in a single sitting.

Bonding repairs and touch-ups are done by hand and not digitally presented at the chair side.

Composite bonding is a versatile treatment and can be used on the back teeth as well as the front teeth to repair worn bite surfaces, fill in cavities and fix chips.

Restoring and repairing each tooth by hand with composite takes time. Appointments can last a while to achieve the end result whereas fitting veneers involves less time in the dental chair.

What is composite edge bonding?


Composite can be used to increase the length of teeth in the front of the smile, building down or upwards from the edge of the tooth. For any teeth that have been gradually worn down over time or have been damaged, edge bonding repairs the structure of the tooth. Edge bonding is especially good for superficial chips and nicks as the repairs are quick to do.


Can composite bonding fill in gaps in my smile?


For any ‘black triangles’ between teeth that have appeared through gum recession, composite build-ups can fill in these holes. Composite is very versatile in the ways we can layer it upon the tooth structure. However, for any large gaps caused through decay or accidents, we may recommend that a crown will be a better choice for a stronger and longer-lasting solution for filling in a smile.


Can dental bonding be added to the back of front teeth?


Dental bonding can be done on virtually any tooth surface. If you have tooth decay on the backside of your front teeth, your dentist will simply remove the damaged portion and then place a bonded filling over the tooth. However, it also depends on the extent of tooth decay. If there is extensive decay, your dentist may choose to restore the tooth with crowns and veneers.


What is the difference between a white filling and composite bonding?


While white fillings use composite to rebuild the tooth structure, it’s not seen as the same treatment. White fillings are specifically used to repair damage that’s left over from a cavity or any further dental decay. We use fillings on the back teeth, restoring the damaged tooth that we will have to remove to treat the decay. Composite bonding is one of the best options for restoring damaged teeth. Whether you have a crooked or chipped tooth or wish to get rid of your teeth stains, bonded fillings can fix various restorative and cosmetic dental flaws. Unlike the unaesthetic silver amalgam fillings, composite fillings blend perfectly with your natural teeth and offer excellent aesthetics.


Can dental bonding be added to the back of front teeth?


Dental bonding can be done on virtually any tooth surface. If you have tooth decay on the backside of your front teeth, your dentist will simply remove the damaged portion and then place a bonded filling over the tooth. However, it also depends on the extent of tooth decay. If there is extensive decay, your dentist may choose to restore the tooth with crowns and veneers.


Can dental composite bonding cover severe fluorosis?


According to the British Fluoridation Society, fluorosis is a condition in which exposure to high fluoride levels, mainly through drinking water, occurs during tooth development. As a result, fluorosis results in hypomineralisation of the enamel, causing the teeth to appear chalky with brown stains. Fortunately, there are many ways to fix this aesthetic problem, one of them being bonded filings. Your dentist will remove the damaged tooth portion only and then place the composite filling over it to mask the underlying staining. Other options to aesthetically fix fluorosis tooth staining are porcelain veneers and crowns.


How can I have dental bonding?


The first step is to get in touch. You can book an appointment with a member of our dental team online through our booking system here or by giving us a call on 020 8731 9020. If you have any questions about our composite bonding treatment and would like to know more, you can drop us a message on our contact form.


So if you have any issues with your smile and believe that composite bonding will help restore your confidence, get in touch and we can restore your smile.


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