Composite bonding

What is composite bonding?

Composite bonding (also known as tooth bonding or dental bonding) offers a solution for minor damage or gaps in teeth. When carried out as a cosmetic treatment, it is not available on the NHS but many of our Bupa Dental Care practices offer cosmetic composite bonding as a private service.

Dental bonding is usually used for filling chips, fractures or gaps between teeth, or for fixing discolouration.

A composite resin is attached to a tooth and shaped to restore its original appearance. The colour of the resin is matched to your teeth, so it will appear as though it is a natural part of the tooth.

Dentist, Karim Abdel-Khalek at our Clifton practice in Bristol, used a combination of teeth whitening and composite bonding to improve the shape and length of this patient’s teeth to achieve a desired result.

Minimally invasive composite bonding (involving very little removal of tooth structure) was used to mask brown spots and improve the appearance of this patient’s smile.

Stained, misaligned teeth before treatment
White, fully-formed smile after composite bonding

A combination of orthodontic treatment and composite bonding was used to change the shade and shape of this patient’s teeth.

How much does composite bonding cost?

The cost of composite bonding in the UK can vary depending on the scale of the work you’re having done. Prices can range from £200 to £400 per tooth, your dentist can confirm the cost once a clinical assessment has been carried out.

What are the benefits of composite bonding?

Is composite bonding available on the NHS?

Composite bonding is not available on the NHS as a purely cosmetic treatment. However, it is available privately at most Bupa Dental Care practices. We believe in transparent pricing, and will be happy to discuss the cost of your treatment with you so you can make an informed decision.

How can composite bonding work with teeth whitening?

Composite bonding can also be a solution for staining in teeth and fillings. It can be used alongside teeth whitening treatments to help you achieve a brighter, whiter smile.

If you are planning to have composite bonding, the dentist will typically recommend that you have any teeth whitening treatments first. The composite resin will be selected to match your teeth colour, so it is advisable to get them to your preferred shade before treatment for bonding begins. Once the composite bond has been placed, it is not possible to whiten it further.

What is the procedure for composite bonding?

Your dentist will start by choosing a resin colour that matches your tooth best so that the resin attachment looks natural. Your tooth will then be prepared for treatment by slightly roughening the surface. It will then be coated with a liquid which helps the resin to adhere smoothly.

The resin will be applied and moulded into the required shape. It is hardened with a curing light before being shaped again and polished by your dentist until it matches the rest of the tooth.

Get in touch with your local Bupa Dental Care dentist to discuss composite bonding.

Can you have composite bonding with gum disease?

If you have gum disease, or had it previously, you may notice your gums have receded (shrunk). This can cause spaces to appear between some of your teeth. Composite bonding can be used to mask these spaces. However, if you still have gum disease, your dentist will need to treat and resolve it first.

How do I care for my composite bond?

What are the alternatives to composite bonding?

The usual alternative options to composite bonding are:

  • Veneers - A veneer is a thin moulding custom-made from porcelain, which is bonded to the front surface of a tooth. They can also be used to cover gaps in teeth where orthodontic treatment may not be suitable.
  • Crowns - A crown is a tooth-shaped ‘cap’ that’s placed over the entire visible portion of your tooth. A crown will feel and function just like any of your other teeth. And if you choose to have a porcelain crown, it will be virtually indistinguishable from your other teeth.

Both of these alternatives cause some damage to teeth. Veneers are a popular option which can last for many years but as they are made from porcelain, the tooth has to be cut down to fit them, which causes some permanent damage. Similarly, for a crown to be fitted, a dentist has to remove some of the healthy part of your tooth.

Bonding is a quick, less expensive and non-invasive procedure, and it can be easily repaired if damaged or broken.

Talk to your dentist about your options. They will be able to advise you on whether composite bonding is the right treatment for you. Alternatively, speak to your local Bupa Dental Care practice, they'll happily answer any questions you might have.


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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.

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