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A bright white smile can make a world of difference to your appearance and make you feel healthier and happier. Composite bonding can be a quick, straightforward way to provide this. But how long will they last? 

What is composite bonding?

Composite bonding is a procedure where a tooth coloured resin (plastic) is hardened and bonded to a discoloured or damaged tooth, restoring it to make it look evener. Composite bonding is primarily for people whose teeth and gums are generally healthy but would like to fix chipped, gapped or stained teeth. It may not work for people who have an overbite or underbite, as having uneven teeth is an issue usually rooted in a deeper problem. 

What does the procedure involve and how long will it take?

The procedure for composite bonding is straight-forward and requires little preparation. Your dentist will pick a resin colour matched to your tooth, prepare the surface of the tooth and then apply a conditioning liquid. The tooth-coloured resin is then applied, moulded and made into the desired shape and a light or laser is used to harden the material. Your dentist will shape this further to achieve the required appearance. The complete process takes around 30 to 60 minutes per tooth. It may be slightly more complicated, however, if the tooth is decayed, close to a nerve or needs to be drilled to change its shape. If this is the case, an anaesthetic may be required. 

So how long will it last?

Composite bonding is a popular procedure as it can last for up to ten years. During your regular check-ups, your dentist can advise when you should get your bonds replaced. You can help the bonds to last by looking after your teeth and maintaining good oral hygiene. Avoid putting a strain on your teeth by biting your fingernails, opening packages with your teeth, chewing pen caps and biting ice. Smoking and drinking excessive cups of tea and coffee can also stain your teeth, potentially making you need to return to the dentist to replace the bonds sooner than you had hoped. 

What’s the alternative? 

An alternative to composite resin bonding is porcelain or ceramic veneer bonding, which is stronger, has more colour options and requires a mould to be taken before it is manufactured. While it is more expensive and involves a longer procedure, the veneers last for a similar amount of time as composite bonding, However, they are less likely to get chipped or stained.

Composite bonding certainly has its perks as it is a quick, straightforward procedure that can lead to a bright, confident smile for up to ten years. How long the bonds last partly relies on you. You can do your part to keep them clean and stain-free, but be prepared to take another trip to the dentist within ten years of your original procedure.