A woman talking to a dentist as they both point to her teeth in the dental clinic

Teeth Bonding Disadvantages to Consider

You don't always need to replace a chipped or broken tooth. In some cases, dental bonding is all you require. Bonding involves applying a composite material to a tooth that's suffered damage or is discolored.

Although bonding has some major advantages over other options – it's quick and inexpensive, specifically – there are some teeth bonding disadvantages worth considering. After all, we want you to make the right decision for your situation.

Cons of Bonding

There are many pros to bonding a tooth. In fact, bonding might be the best option for your dental circumstances – something you should discuss with your dentist. But we want you to know the downsides of bonding versus veneers, crowns, and similar options.

Bonding Isn't as Durable

The material used in teeth bonding is made of a special type of plastic called composite resin. It's a strong material, but the resin isn't as durable as your natural tooth enamel. Nor is it as hardy as the porcelain and other materials used in veneers or dental crowns.

You can keep your bonded teeth in the best shape by:

  • Being particularly careful about eating and biting down on hard foods, which can cause the bond to chip or break.
  • Noticing if your bonded teeth feel rough or jagged – or if your bite seems uneven. At that point, visit your dentist to see if the tooth needs filed down or replaced.

Bonding Isn't as Long-Lasting

Keep in mind that because teeth bonding isn't as resilient as its alternatives, it usually has a shorter shelf life. You can expect a bond to last around 10 years.

How well you take care of your teeth and gums, alongside your regular lifestyle habits, plays a big part in determining the life of the bond.

Bonding Isn't as Stain-Resistant

Another pitfall of dental bonding is that the material often used to create the bond isn't particularly resistant to stains. Since composite resin is more porous than tooth enamel or porcelain, it absorbs a deep-colored food more easily.

If you're a regular coffee or red-wine drinker or love deep-colored berries, you might notice the bonded tooth discolors more quickly and noticeably than your natural teeth. Limiting coffee, wine, berries, and similar foods and drinks is the easiest way to avoid staining the bonding resin.

Other Tooth Restorative Options to Consider

If you find the drawbacks of dental bonding outweigh the positives, you can always consider these other options:

  • Dental Crowns: Your teeth can wear crowns made of any number of materials, including porcelain, zirconia, metal, and gold. Depending on many factors, a crown can last 15 years to throughout your lifetime. Crowns are a great option to:
    • Fully restore a broken tooth
    • Cap a tooth with a cavity that's too large to correct with a filling
  • Veneers: Typically made of porcelain and attached to the front of your teeth, veneers can last up to 20 years. They're a good solution if you wish to:
    • Correct discolored teeth
    • Change the shape or alignment of slightly crooked teeth

Bonding Versus Veneers and Crowns

Choosing between dental bonding and other restorative options is often a matter of cost and convenience.

Cost: Whereas bonding is more delicate than a crown or set of veneers, it's also a lot less expensive.

Convenience: You typically need just a single appointment for bonding, and the process usually takes less than one hour per more per tooth. In contrast, veneers and crowns often require multiple trips to the dentist.

The trade-off is that veneers and crowns last a lot longer than your typical composite resin bond.

Another advantage of bonded teeth: Unlike with veneers or crowns, the composite resin molds to fit so that it won't cause damage to teeth. There's no need to remove any of your natural enamel as done with veneers or grind your teeth down as done with crowns.

If you need help deciding between bonding and other options, your dentist can advise you in choosing the option that best fits your lifestyle and budget. Whether you go with the less expensive, more convenient bonding or for the longer-lasting, more stain-resisting solutions, know that your dentist will ensure you have a great experience – and a beautiful smile.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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