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Composite bonding / veneers / edge bonding – the conservative tooth repair solution

Composite bonding / veneers / edge bonding – the conservative tooth repair solution

What is composite bonding?

Composite bonding, composite veneers or edge bonding are dental techniques used when your dentist applies a tooth-coloured resin to the full frontal surface or the edges (i.e. tips and sides) of the teeth. You can also receive composite bonding and composite veneers as parts of the same treatment plan.

What dental issues can composite bonding treat?

Composite bonding is a really versatile, gentle and conservative dental treatment used to fix chipped teeth, close gaps, change the shape and size of teeth, and alter a tooth’s colour and shade.

Whether bonding is used over traditional veneers depends on what issues you have regarding your defective teeth. This includes what shape, size, shape and position you want in the final result. For example, if you have a few minor chips but are still happy with the shape and colour of your teeth, then composite edge bonding is a highly recommended treatment option.

However, if you’re looking to correct more complex issues such as the shape or size of teeth, alignment, and/or want them looking whiter, then covering the full surfaces of a tooth to build up a composite veneer may be recommended.

Composite bonding is getting more and more popular as a more affordable alternative to porcelain veneers. It’s also a more conservative and less invasive treatment that requires minimal preparation of your natural teeth and removal of tooth structure and enamel.

Are you suitable for composite bonding treatment?

Your suitability for composite bonding treatment is dependent on what results you want to achieve and how healthy your teeth are. These factors can only be assessed via a thorough oral examination in the dental chair.

During this examination, your dentist will assess your teeth, gums and bite. If you have any dental issues, such as tooth decay, cavities or gum disease, these oral conditions should be treated prior to commencing composite bonding treatment. Likewise, if you clench or grind your teeth, resolving these issues may be required before any cosmetic work can be done.

Additionally, if your teeth are misaligned, then you may need to have orthodontic treatment, such as braces or clear aligners such as Invisalign. If you don’t have your teeth straightened first, then your final results may be compromised in the long term. It’s also a recommended to complete a teeth whitening session before composite bonding or veneer treatment since the colour of the resin cannot be altered once cured.

White dental fillings – CEREC porcelain vs composite resin

White dental fillings – CEREC porcelain vs composite resin

White fillings are a popular type of dental filling used to restore decayed teeth or cavities. Because they are available in a number of colour options, they can blend seamlessly with your affected tooth’s remaining structure and the surrounding teeth – as opposed to highly visible metal fillings. White fillings can also be used to change the shape and size of your teeth, which is especially beneficial in cases of damaged, worn or eroded teeth.

The difference between CEREC porcelain and composite resin fillings

Not all white fillings are the same. While different types of white fillings may look very similar, they come in two main options based on the filling material used – porcelain or composite resin. Glass Ionomer fillings (GIC) are another white filling option but are typically used in cases of child tooth decay, adult temporary fillings and sub-gingival fillings (below the gumline). The difference between porcelain and composite filling materials is like comparing apples to oranges. Porcelain fillings – also known as inlays, CEREC or ceramic restorations – are a lot harder and durable than “composite resin” fillings which are also referred to as plastic, resin or composite fillings.

Composite resin – the low-cost but less durable filling option

Composite fillings are definitely the least expensive filling option – but you get what you pay for. Despite the advantage of saving on your short term dental costs, composite fillings don’t have the same success rate as porcelain fillings. They need to be replaced after 5 or 6 years since they cannot withstand the pressures of heavy chewing over time. This may result in a higher risk of fractures and a breakage which means you may have to repair or replace them more often. Another problem with composite fillings is that they can shrink over time thus pulling away from and stressing the natural tooth structure walls surrounding the fillings.

So, not only can the filling fail but your remaining original tooth may fracture also. Additionally, once composite fillings start to contract, tooth decay can start to penetrate between the filling and original tooth structure and cause more oral issues. If left untreated, this can result in hidden decay, catastrophic failure and tooth loss. Lastly, colour integrity is also an issue since composites can fade or discolour and start standing out from the rest of your teeth.

CEREC porcelain fillings – the more natural looking and long-lasting filling

Porcelain fillings are a better and more stable long term filling solution. If they are CEREC fillings, these super-hard restorations are created using the latest 3D CAD-CAM dental technologies – for a perfect and very stable fit that lasts 15 years or more. When completed successfully, they can also support the remaining tooth structure and prevent further deterioration.

Since there is minimal wear and tear on porcelain fillings, there is less of a requirement to excavate and prep a tooth. This means you’ll be able to retain more of your natural tooth structure – to create a stronger foundation for your filling. CEREC fillings are more expensive without a doubt, but when you factor in the replacement expenses of composites over time, the cost differential is negligible.