Why Dental Bonding?
We all want a mouth full of pearly whites. You want your teeth to be even in size and shape, and white in color. If you’ve experienced damage to a tooth, such as a tooth being cracked or chipped, you may want your old smile back, so you can smile confidently. If you were born with a gap between two teeth, you may have felt bad about it your whole life, and wished you could just make those teeth a little bit bigger to fill that gap.
Dental bonding uses a tooth-colored composite resin, which is applied to the tooth and then bonded to it using a special light or laser. This can be used to fill in a cracked or chipped tooth, or to fill a relatively small gap between two teeth. The same technique can be used to fill a cavity.
Dental bonding can only be used for minor corrections to one or a few teeth. If you have more extensive problems with your teeth, you may want to consider dental veneers or dental crowns, depending on the specific concerns. For more detail on the dental bonding procedure, please visit our Dental Bonding page in our Education Wiki.
You may believe that dental bonding sounds right for you, but want to know whether you’ll be able to afford it.
The typical cost for dental bonding is around $300 to $600 per tooth, although it can be much higher or lower depending on the size and complexity of the work needed. It tends to cost less to fill a cavity with composite, though this uses the same bonding technique as cosmetic dental bonding.
Keep in mind that this is only an average; it varies by region and by individual dentist, so you should check with the dentist(s) you’re considering to determine their exact fee for the procedure. Ask what’s included in that fee, to make sure you aren’t surprised by extra costs when you get the bill later.
Will Insurance Cover It?
If bonding is done for cosmetic reasons, as is usually the case, then it’s generally not covered by dental insurance. In a few cases, bonding may be done for structural reasons, and then part of the cost may be covered by dental insurance. If bonding is being used to fill a cavity with composite resin, then it will often be partially covered by dental insurance. You should call your insurance company to determine your coverage, or ask for help from the staff at the dental office; they’re used to dealing with insurance companies and can help you accurately determine your coverage.
Medical insurance typically does not cover dentistry at all. You need to have a separate dental insurance plan to cover dental care.
To many people, paying hundreds or thousands of dollars up front seems impossible. However, if you don’t already have the money saved, you have many options available for financing. In some cases, dentists offer financing plans for their patients. You can also get a medical credit card or other credit card, often with an attractive introductory interest rate; a medical loan, personal loan, or home equity loan from your bank; a loan from your 401(k); or loans or gifts from family and friends. Even if your credit isn’t great, you’d be surprised how many options you have. For more details about the financing options for your procedure, check out our Dentistry Financing page.