Curing bonding with UV light

Dental bonding offers an affordable, durable, and attractive solution to many common dental problems, including tooth cracks, gaps, misalignment, and cavities. Dentists may recommend dental bonding because it’s affordable, often only takes one office visit, is commonly covered by dental insurance, and produces stunning results.

Practitioners might also give their patients a choice between dental bonding and other treatments. 

Unlike many treatment alternatives, patients can get dental bonding and then change their minds later because dentists can typically remove the bonding material and replace it with new bonding or another solution, such as veneers or crowns.

So, although dental bonding can last a long time, often five or ten years or more, it is not permanent and the effects are reversible.

What Is Dental Bonding?

Dentists use a composite resin they can stain to match the tooth’s color. Primarily, dentists regard dental bonding as a cosmetic treatment to repair cracks or gaps in teeth. At the same time, they sometimes use bonding to fill visible cavities in a natural-looking way. 

Before applying the bonding material, dentists may etch the tooth to remove some enamel, but they usually don’t remove all of the tooth’s natural covering.

Besides improving a smile’s outward appearance, the material used can also help prevent further damage. Thus, sometimes dental insurance covers dental bonding. Most people find dental bonding relatively affordable, even without insurance.

Can Dentists Remove Dental Bonding?

Applying dental bonding generally doesn’t require removing much or even any enamel.

Sometimes, taking the composite off may make affected teeth sensitive or uncover the issue that called for this treatment in the first place.

Thus, removing bonding is generally followed by rebonding, veneers, crowns, or another solution.

How Do Dentists Remove Dental Bonding?

Dentists have several techniques to remove dental bonding safely. They may suggest options depending upon the quantity of enamel left and the equipment they possess to do the job.

Common examples of the techniques dentists use to remove dental bonding include these:

  • Polishing: Dentists can use a polishing bur with fine sandpaper to grind away old bonding.
  • Drilling: A carbide drill works faster than polishing but may leave streaks, so dentists will generally finish the job with sandpaper.
  • Air abrasion: This equipment removes bonding with a forced high-pressure air stream.
  • Sandblasting: Typically, dentists only use sandblasting as a finishing step. Sometimes, they may refer to this process as micro-etching.

Why Do Patients Want to Remove Dental Bonding?

Most patients feel satisfied with their dental bonding procedure. 

Occasionally, dental patients don’t care for the results. For instance, one individual wanted to fix a tooth gap but then decided she missed the appearance of her previous gap-tooth smile. Rarely, some people might also find the bonding uncomfortable when they speak or chew.

More commonly, people speak with their dentists about removing dental bonding several years after their initial treatment. They felt satisfied initially, but:

  • Over time, discoloration, chips, or cracks may appear.
  • In some cases, their natural tooth color might have changed, so the bonding no longer provides a perfect match.
  • In other cases, patients develop other dental issues and require a more comprehensive solution, like veneers, crowns, or bridges.

Does Dental Bonding Disqualify Patients From Other Dental Solutions?

Dentists often suggest bonding because it provides a quick, effective, and affordable treatment for common dental problems. Dental bonding offers another advantage over many other treatments because it’s fixable, removable, and replaceable.

Dental bonding isn’t permanent because dentists can remove and replace it. For various reasons, patients might want or need other types of dental treatments. Consider the two top alternatives to dental bonding for many issues.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers can provide a solution that lasts decades and sometimes even a lifetime. At the same time, the application requires the removal of a lot more enamel than bonding typically does. If a patient requires new veneers, dentists must replace them with new ones.

Dental veneers also cost more than dental bonding, and most dental insurance policies exclude them as a purely cosmetic treatment. The procedure also requires multiple office visits, so it takes longer. 

Also, patients with dental bonding can always change their minds and have veneers made later.

Dental Crowns

Dentists may ask patients to choose between crowns or bonding for problems like chipped teeth. Dental crowns may offer a more durable and longer-lasting solution. However, they also generally require multiple dental visits and typically cost more than bonding, though insurance may cover part of the cost. The damage caused by a chipped or cracked tooth might also factor into choosing between these two solutions.

Like veneers, crowns are a permanent solution – once you  opt for crowns, they can only be replaced by new crowns.

Find out More About Dental Bonding

The quality of your dental practitioner can significantly affect your satisfaction with dental bonding or other treatments. You can find a uniquely qualified practitioner in Memorial City and Houston, TX. Dr. Le of Bunker Hill Dentistry isn’t only a qualified dentist; he also earned a BA in studio art.

Patients appreciate how Dr. Le combines the science of dental medicine with an aesthetic appreciation that offers them a healthy mouth and the perfect smile. Learn more about dental bonding and other treatment options at Bunker Hill Dentistry today.