Dental bonding is a relatively low-cost, non-invasive way to address cosmetic issues like small gaps, chips, or misshapen teeth. If you’re looking to make minor changes to your smile, and you’re put off by the permanent commitment and invasive nature of veneers, dental bonding may be a great option for you.
In this guide, we will closely look at all the factors that contribute to the total cost of dental bonding treatment. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of whether this treatment is right for your smile and your budget.
Table of Contents
What is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonds are made of tooth-colored resin. Your dentist applies this resin to your teeth, bonds it using a UV light, then shapes the resin into an aesthetically pleasing tooth shape. The procedure rarely takes longer than one or two hours, and your new smile will be ready to debut right afterwards.
This treatment can correct discoloration, small gaps, and cracks, and cover exposed tooth roots. Dentists can also use it to teeth that might be small, broken, or misshapen.
How Much Does Dental Bonding Cost?
Dental bonding is one of the most affordable cosmetic dental treatment options out there. The price typically falls between $300 and $600 per tooth. This can vary based on location, your dentist’s rates, and the particular condition for which you are receiving treatment.
Dental bonding is not as durable as your natural teeth, and will need to be replaced every 3–10 years, which is important to remember when you’re deciding if it might be a good treatment for your budget.
However, you aren’t making a lifelong commitment here. Since dental bonding leaves your enamel intact, you can have it removed in the future if you’d like.
The longevity of your bonded teeth depends in part on how well you maintain them. The less often you need to get your bonding replaced, the more money you will save in the long run. Good oral hygiene is important for maintaining the health of your bonded teeth, so make sure you are brushing twice every day and flossing once a day.
Dental bonding isn’t as durable as your natural teeth, so you should avoid biting hard, non-food items like fingernails and packaging. Hard foods can also weaken the bonds, so if you must eat things like carrots or hard candy, use your back teeth or non-bonded teeth.
Generally, bonds will have a longer life if they aren’t on your back teeth, as those teeth do more chewing than the front ones.
Your dentist will match the resin of your teeth bonding to the shade of your natural teeth. So if you want a bright white smile, that’s something you’re going to want to take care of prior to your dental bonding appointment.
Your bonded teeth can stain just like your natural ones, but unfortunately, you can’t whiten them. So if you consume a lot of deeply pigmented food and drinks, but want a bright white smile, you might need more frequent replacements.
Other Price Factors
Your dentist’s experience is usually part of the price for any kind of dental treatment, and dental bonding is no different. Typically the more experience a dentist has, the more expensive you can expect your procedure to be.
That expense comes with care from a highly experienced professional—which can provide a peace of mind that might just be worth the higher price tag. It’s all about your personal preferences. Since bonding can reshape your teeth, experience making cosmetic alterations can go a long way.
Most dental bonding treatments do not require anesthesia, so you likely won’t have to worry about it adding to your expenses.
Typically, the higher a particular location’s cost of living, the more expensive your treatment will be. Offices in expensive locations pay more for rent and utilities, which can drive up prices. If you have the opportunity to seek treatment outside of an expensive city, that could make your dental bonding a little more affordable.
That being said, sometimes cities have more dentists per capita than suburban or rural places, which can create more competitive pricing. So it’s important to shop around and see the treatment prices of offices near you.
Even though dental bonding is a fairly affordable dental treatment, it still doesn’t hurt to try and save as much as possible. With potentially long-term expenses, little discounts can go a long way.
Insurance sometimes deems dental bonding an elective cosmetic procedure, which means they won’t contribute to your treatment. However, if you are pursuing dental bonding because of tooth damage that has the potential to become a bigger problem down the line, your insurance is more likely to contribute.
It all has to do with your particular provider and your specific condition. So be sure to contact your provider directly to learn which offices are in-network for you, and what procedures they will help cover.
In-office payment plans
Depending on the particular office where you receive treatment, in-house financing like payment plans might be an option. This turns your total bill into affordable monthly installments. It’s important to check with the dentist’s office to explore all your payment options.
How Will It Affect Future Dental Treatments?
Undergoing other dental treatment while you have bonded teeth can be possible, but there are certain complications.
It’s possible to get orthodontic treatment after you’ve had dental bonding, but some procedures go more smoothly than others. Getting braces on top of your dental bonds can present challenges with staining and discoloration. We can whiten stains on our real teeth — but on bonded teeth, those stains are there for good.
That’s why dentists seem to agree that clear aligners are an easier way to undergo orthodontic treatment if you’ve had dental bonding. The trays aren’t affixed to your teeth, which can help avoid staining and discoloration.
How Do Dental Bonding Costs Compare to Other Treatments?
Dental bonding is a relatively affordable and non-invasive procedure. But is it more affordable than other treatments?
Dental bonding is more affordable than veneers, but also more limited in its versatility. Dental bonding can help with minor cosmetic concerns, but veneers can tackle more severe cases of discoloration.
Traditional veneers are a more invasive procedure than dental bonding, since they require the dentist to remove some of the enamel from your teeth. The removal of your protective enamel means you will need to have veneers forever. If you’re not interested in such a large commitment, dental bonding could be a more appealing option.
Dental bonding isn’t as stain-resistant or durable as traditional porcelain veneers. Plus, you’ll likely need to replace it more often than you would veneers. However, bonding is much less expensive than veneers — $300–600 per tooth compared to $500–$2500 — so even with more frequent replacement, you’d likely still save money in the long run.
Implants are sturdy, but significantly more invasive and time-consuming. These are replacement teeth, drilled into your jawbone—so they don’t treat the same conditions as dental bonding. Implants are typically best suited for people who need entire teeth replaced, whereas bonding is more of a way to treat small cosmetic concerns with the teeth you already have.
Dental bonding is a relatively quick appointment with no major recovery time, whereas implants require several invasive procedures that must be spaced months apart so you can heal in between.
Dental bonding and implants reside on two opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to cost. Bonding averages $300–$600 per tooth, while implants cost $3,000–$7,000 per tooth on average.
Bonding can address minor cosmetic concerns, but it isn’t a substitute for comprehensive orthodontic treatment. The dentist attaches bonding material to your teeth in their current positions — it doesn’t move them. So if your reason for seeking treatment is major crowding and spacing issues, you’ll likely still need to pursue orthodontic treatment to get the results you’re after.
The average cost of braces is about $3,000–$7,000. Clear aligners treatment can cost you anywhere from $1,000–$8,000 depending on the provider you choose. At-home clear aligners offer the most affordable teeth straightening treatment, averaging prices below $2,000.
Far less expensive than other dental treatment options, bonding is widely considered a safe and effective way to address minor cosmetic conditions. This non-invasive procedure can be accomplished in just a brief appointment and requires no recovery time.
Yet the sticker price rarely tells the entire story. Your final price largely depends on your particular set of circumstances and preferences. As you look at various dental treatment options, it’s important to consider many different cost-influencing factors.
If you have minor cosmetic concerns you’d like addressed in a safe and affordable way, dental bonding may be a great way to get a smile that makes you feel your best!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is dental bonding safe?
Dental bonding is very safe, and there aren’t really any risks associated with it.
Will I need anesthesia during the appointment?
Probably not. Dental bonding does not typically require anesthesia, though if you are getting a filling with dental bonding, it may be necessary.
Can I use dental bonding to whiten my teeth?
The dentist can match the resin color to your natural teeth, but it’s not meant to whiten your smile. Additionally, the resin material easily stains. If you want a procedure to whiten your teeth, consider either traditional whitening or traditional porcelain veneers.
Who is a good candidate for dental bonding?
Dental bonding is best for minor cases. For particularly severe conditions (like significant tooth decay), veneers and crowns might be a better fit. It’s important to ask your dentist which treatments will work best for your particular set of circumstances.
Can I undergo orthodontic treatment if I’ve had dental bonding?
Usually, yes. Clear aligners are often better than braces in these cases, since braces’ affixed brackets can create discoloration.
Should I get veneers or dental bonding?
That depends on your budget and your condition. If your condition is on the severe side, bonding may not be an option for you. Veneers are much more expensive than bonding is, so if your condition is on the milder side and affordability is your priority, bonding may be the best route. Be sure to consult with your dentist to explore all of your options.
Can dental bonding fill my gap?
Possibly! Dental bonding can fill minor gaps, so check with your dentist and see if you could be a candidate.