Also known as 'direct composite veneers', composite bonding involves the sticking of a white resin material (composite) directly onto your natural teeth. This bonding process allows us to improve your smile, by making your teeth look straighter, whiter and more even. Unlike porcelain veneers, composite bonding does not require any drilling or destruction of your natural teeth, and it can be placed in just one appointment, if need be.
Continue below to find out more about composite bonding.
If you have any questions that are not covered below, or to enquire about booking in for treatment, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Composite bonding is a non-destructive and quicker method of improving your smile than many other treatment options. As composite bonding is stuck directly onto your natural teeth, no destruction or drilling of your teeth is required, unlike traditional porcelain veneers, which require a certain amount of damage to the natural teeth. Composite bonding is a much quicker option compared to straightening the teeth with Invisalign or braces, which could take a couple of years, and you may still require composite edge bonding after straightening treatments.
Composites can also be removed, repaired or replaced with ease at any stage, whereas porcelain veneers cannot be reliably repaired and are much more tricky and expensive to replace. Whilst poreclain veneers will likely last you a lot longer, the damage to the tooth means that the tooth itself may have reduced longevity, and we want to keep our teeth sound and healthy for as long as possible. Composite bonding is also a much cheaper option than veneers or straightening, and it is very easy to adjust and reshape them to make sure that you are completely happy with your result.
There are limitations to composite bonding. Compared to porcelain veneers, the results of direct composite bonding are not perfect. If you are looking at the composites in a mirror only a few inches away, then you will be able to see small discrepancies. However, for someone standing a few feet away, your smile will positively shine!
As we are sticking directly to your teeth, we are somewhat limited as to what can be achieved due to the shape and position of your natural teeth. We cannot change at what height your teeth come out of the gums and we cannot change the width of your teeth (unless there are gaps between the teeth).
As we cannot go all the way under the gums or wrap fully around the teeth, the result will look slightly darker around the gum line and between the teeth, however this is also true of the natural teeth. If you have some teeth set behind others, then they may take on the appearance of looking slightly thinner than your other teeth once built up with composite.
It is important to note that the results of composite bonding are very much dependent on the skill of your dentist, so make sure you ask to see some of the work done previously by your dentist before you go ahead with treatment.
As with all things in dentistry, even porcelain veneers, composite bonding does not last forever. On average, we can expect to get around 8 - 10 years longevity from your composite bonding, however, this is highly dependent on how well you look after the composites. Over time the composites will stain, chip, wear and can break off. You must avoid biting into anything hard with the composite covered teeth and you should avoid smoking, as well as staining foods and drinks (such as tea, coffee, red wine and curry).
If you brush well and floss meticulously, as well as ensuring that you attend the dentist for regular check ups and hygiene appointments AND avoid too many staining foods and drinks, then your composites should last relatively well. However, if you clench or grind your teeth, don't look after your mouth well, eat/drink a lot of staining foods, or smoke, then your composites will not last as long. For any patients who clench or grind their teeth, a nightguard MUST be worn every single night after treatment.
You must be 'dentally fit' before you can undergo any cosmetic treatment. This means that you cannot have any active disease in your mouth, including gum disease or cavities. This is why we offer you a full new patient examination and hygiene appointment as part of your composite bonding treatment package. If you have had a check-up and hygiene appointment at your regular dentist within the last month, you do not require a new patient examination and hygiene appointment with us, however you will need to send us a copy of the notes and x-rays before you start your composite bonding.
If we find that there is active dental disease present, either during your new patient examination or from your dentist's notes and x-rays, you will be required to get this treated before continuing on with the composite bonding (this can be completed at our clinic or by your regular dentist), or you can have the cost of your composite bonding treatment refunded, minus the standard cost of a new patient examination & hygiene appointment (£ 199), if we have already completed this appointment.
Not everyone is suitable for composite bonding treatment. However, there is nearly always another treatment option that will work for you and we can discuss the best options available so that you can get the cosmetic outcome that you desire.
Instead of composite bonding, you could also consider:
- whitening only
- aligning your teeth with Invisalign or braces
- porcelain veneers
- a combination of some of the above treatments
For best results, we recommend spacing your treatment over 4 appointments. In your first appointment, we will carry out a full mouth assessment and new patient examination, as well as a hygiene session to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy before bonding. We will also take impressions of your teeth to make custom fitted bleaching trays. In your second appointment we will fit your custom bleaching trays, show you how best to use the whitening gels, then send you home with your trays, whitening gels and instructions for use, as 'at-home' bleaching produces the best and longest-lasting results. We recommend whitening the teeth for about 2 weeks on average, and then waiting another 2 weeks before starting your composite bonding, as bonding too soon after bleaching can affect the bond strength. At your third appointment we will complete the bonding of the top teeth and at your fourth appointment, the lower teeth bonding.
Your initial new patient examination and hygiene appointment will be around 90 minutes. Your second appointment, where we fit your bleaching trays, will take around 20 minutes. Each composite bonding appointment will be around 3 hours long. Should you wish to have your bonding completed in one long appointment, this will be around 5 to 6 hours.
Yes, absolutely. If you have had a check-up and hygiene appointment with your regular dentist within the last month, then we can skip this step. However, you will need to request your notes and x-rays from these appointments and forward them to us well in advance of your first appointment. You can also have whitening provided by your own dentist, should you wish. Alternatively, we do not need to carry out whitening treatment, however this will lead to a compromised cosmetic outcome, as composite is somewhat translucent, so the final colour will not be as bright or white as you may wish, as some of the natural tooth will show through.
We can also complete all of your composite bonding in one session; top teeth and bottom teeth at the same time. However, we recommend that it is best to bond the top teeth first and spend some time getting used to them before returning for the bottom teeth, as we can then make any adjustments or alterations to the top teeth that you may desire.
Be prepared that your bonding appointments will last a few hours. We need to bond composite in a dry environment, so we will place something around your teeth and mouth that help to keep your lips retracted. It can be quite a long time to keep your mouth open, so we can place a small prop between your teeth to make it feel more comfortable.
Before we place each composite, we will also need to isolate the tooth we are bonding to. This means you will feel some pushing and pressure between the teeth and onto the gums. Some people find this mildly uncomfortable, however we can always inject some local anaesthetic to reduce any discomfort that may be present.
Around half of the appointment is spent bonding the composites, with the other half spent shaping and polishing the composites. The shape is the most important part for making the teeth look natural and the polish gives them that high shine and reduces how quickly they will stain.
Polishing between the teeth is very important, as it is between the teeth that often stains first. When we polish between the teeth, it almost feels like we are flossing with sandpaper. It is not the most pleasant feeling, however it does not hurt. Before we finish we will ensure that everything feels smooth and comfortable within your mouth, and that you are happy with your brand new smile!
Your teeth and mouth will feel different straight after your bonding appointments. Your teeth will feel thicker and possibly longer, but you will adapt to this very quickly. It may feel quite different when you bite together as well; it may feel like your front teeth are touching but your back teeth are not. However, most people will find that their back teeth move around over the next couple months until your bite feels normal again.
It can also be quite shocking to see yourself for the first time after your composite bonding is placed, as you are so used to how you look with your natural teeth. It can take a week or two before you are completely used to your new teeth, both with how they look and feel. But if after a couple weeks there are any adjustments or alterations that you would like to make to improve the outcome in your eyes, we can absolutely get you booked in for this at no extra cost.
Should your composite bonding chip or break it can be repaired relatively easily, either by us or by your own dentist. There is, however, a chance that your own dentist may not have the correct colour match of composite to repair it adequately.
Should you require a repair, replacement or adjustment appointment within the first year after your composite bonding, this will be included free of charge.
For any subsequent repair appointments, or for any repairs required more than 1 year after your initial treatment, this will incur a further cost. An appointment for a single composite repair or adjustment will cost £ 159.
You must avoid biting into anything hard with the composite covered teeth as this can lead to chipping or breaking of the composites.
You must avoid anything that can stain the composites. This particularly includes smoking, as well as staining foods and drinks, such as tea, coffee, red wine and curry. If you do have any staining drinks then it is recommended that you drink them through a straw.
You must ensure that you are looking after your mouth well, which includes brushing well and flossing meticulously, as well as ensuring that you attend your dentist (or our clinic) for regular check-ups and hygiene appointments.
If you clench or grind your teeth, you MUST wear a nightugard every single night after treatment. If you are also aware of clenching or grinding your teeth during the day, it is recommended that you also wear a clear retainer during the day. You can have a nightguard or a clear retainer made by us or by your regular dentist.
If you are interested in booking in for composite bonding, the first step is to arrange a brief telephone consultation with us. During our chat, we will discuss composite bonding in more detail and assess whether you are that you are a suitable candidate for treatment. We will then take some further details from you and send over some forms to fill out. From there we can get you booked in for your first appointment! If you wish to book in for a telephone consultation, please complete our contact form and we will be in touch with you shortly. Alternatively, send us a DM via Instagram.