Whether your teeth are chipped, cracked, or discolored, dental bonding can restore your smile, even if you're on a budget. Dental bonding is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses composite resin to improve your teeth aesthetically.
While cosmetic dental procedures – like dental bonding – typically only require one visit, the price may be different than you might expect. The cost can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the process and the number of teeth that need to be bonded.
In this guide, we'll take a look at the cost of dental bonding, its cost compared to other alternatives, and what other factors influence the overall price.
Dental Bonding Overview
Before we cover the exact price of dental bonding, it's important that you have a general understanding of the procedure and maintenance that will follow. These both affect the overall price – dental bonding isn't always a one-time payment.
In a dental bonding procedure, a damaged tooth is ground down on the area of damage/decay. Your dental care provider will apply a tooth-colored resin to the surface of the tooth, and shape it to look more natural.
The resin is cured/hardened with a special LED, halogen, or UV light. It's then polished before the dentist sends you on your way; the entire dental bonding procedure likely only takes 30-60 minutes.
Dental bonding can be used to repair chips, cracks, discoloration, and other imperfections. It can also be used to fill in gaps between teeth, lengthen short teeth, and change the shape of your teeth.
Whatever your reason may be for wanting a dental bonding procedure, it is far easier to understand the cost when you are familiar with the resources the procedure needs.
How Much Is Dental Bonding?
Dental bonding is meant to last for many years, so it's important that you know the full price before you make a decision.
How Much Does Dental Bonding Cost Per Tooth?
To give you a baseline to start from, the cost of the dental bonding procedure is fairly similar across the board. While all dentists will vary in their exact pricing, the cost of a single tooth bonding procedure generally ranges from $300 to $600 per tooth.
Depending on the extent of the damage, that range can drop down to $100, or even extend out to $1000. For multiple teeth, the cost can range from $500 to $1,500 or more.
The overall price of dental bonding will depend on several factors, including:
Depending on where you live and which practice you choose, prices can potentially vary. If you're looking to get an extensive amount of work done, you may need to factor travel expenses into the total.
The complexity of your procedure will also determine how much it costs. For example, if only one or two teeth need to be bonded with simple composite resin material, this will cost less than if multiple teeth need to be treated with more complicated materials.
Filling gaps, rebuilding teeth, or repairing cracks may require extra time and compensation, so you will want to get your dentist's estimate beforehand.
What material your dentist uses for the bonding procedure can also affect the cost. Composite resin is a popular choice for dental bonding and typically costs less than porcelain veneers or crowns.
This price can change even further depending on if the material is applied directly – where the resin is applied and molded onto the tooth immediately – or indirectly – where the resin is first molded in a lab, and then applied to the tooth during your visit.
Another important factor to consider is that while dental bonding is durable, it isn't as permanent as some dental cosmetic procedures, such as crowns. You will need to go back to your dentist every few years or so to have your teeth touched up, and will still need to follow basic, at-home dental care.
If you require additional treatments such as whitening or a crown, your dentist will increase the overall cost of your dental bonding procedure.
Similar to dental bonding, the average teeth whitening procedure can cost anywhere from $300 to $1000. Talk with your dentist about the cost of follow-up procedures and cleanings ahead of time, so you can properly budget for dental bonding.
Does Insurance Cover Dental Bonding Costs?
Providers that offer dental coverage often have policies in place to support routine care/maintenance of your teeth, as well as corrective procedures. Unfortunately, insurance companies typically won't cover the cost of dental bonding since it is considered a cosmetic procedure.
However, if your dental bonding is needed to fix a structural issue (e.g., chips or cracks), you may be able to get some reimbursement for part of the cost. Check with your provider before making any decisions about treatment.
Dental Bonding Vs. Veneer Cost: Which Is Right For You?
Dental bonding and veneers are both cosmetic treatments that can help improve the look of your teeth. While they have similar purposes, there are some key differences between them.
For starters, veneers are coverings – typically made of white composite or porcelain – that are placed over the tooth. Solely cosmetic, veneers cover up any damage or decay on the tooth instead of filling in missing areas.
They are typically a higher-quality material than dental bonding and last considerably longer (5-10 years, depending on the kind of veneer).
Veneers should not be confused with crowns. Made of a metal or porcelain alloy, crowns cover the entirety of a damaged tooth to protect and strengthen it. Their price reflects this; the price for one tooth ranges between $900 and $2500.
By contrast, veneers are fastened to the front of the tooth, providing only a cosmetic difference. They are far cheaper, however.
How much a veneer costs is typically more expensive than dental bonding – they tend to range from $925 to $2500 per tooth. Additionally, porcelain veneers require filing down the natural enamel on your existing teeth considerably before they are placed over them – making them more invasive than a dental bonding procedure.
While it is better to clear away any damage before placing both veneers and dental bonding, veneers cannot be placed if you have cavities or similar dental problems. Veneers require the removal of your enamel – the protective coating that surrounds your tooth. Dental bonding does not require this, and, therefore, is reversible.
Additionally, veneers do not require follow-up visits or repairs since they are meant to remain in place for the long haul. Dental bonding requires touch-ups every few years, and although it may be cheaper initially – its costs can add up over time.
Choose Dental Bonding If:
- You have structural damage to your teeth
- Your budget is tighter
- You don't mind follow-up visits/touch-ups
- You want an immediate solution that doesn't require filing down your tooth’s enamel
Choose Veneers If:
- You have aesthetic damage to your teeth
- Your budget allows for a pricier option
- You don't mind filing down the enamel on your existing teeth
- You’re looking for a long-lasting solution with fewer future visits needed
Other Methods To Pay For Dental Bonding
If you don't have dental insurance or the finances to pay for your dental bonding procedure upfront, don’t worry. There are plenty of other options available.
Dental Discount Plan:
A dental discount plan is a type of payment plan that allows you to pay for your procedure in smaller, more manageable chunks. Discount plans provide discounts on certain services, including dental bonding procedures.
You may be required to pay the full cost upfront and then receive reimbursement once the dentist has completed the work, or you may have the option to spread out your payments over time.
Dental financing options are also available for those who don't have insurance coverage or an ample budget. Financing companies like CareCredit offer loans specifically designed to cover medical expenses like dental work – allowing you to break up your payments into smaller amounts over a longer period of time.
For a more budget-friendly option, you may be able to find a dental school in your area that offers discounted rates.
Dental schools usually have student dentists and residents who are supervised by experienced instructors. They can provide affordable treatment while also giving the students invaluable experience in their field.
Some government programs provide assistance with out-of-pocket expenses. Many states have programs specifically designed to cover the cost of dental care for those who can't afford it.
This can include Medicaid and Medicare for those who are elderly or disabled, as well as state and local governments who may be able to provide discounts or payment plans.
Donated Dental Services (DDS):
The Donated Dental Services (DDS) program is designed to help those in need receive free dental care.
Through partnerships with dentists and other organizations, the DDS program provides donated services such as oral exams, cleanings, fillings, extractions, and even dentures or bridges – depending on your financial situation and needs.
Is Dental Bonding Worth It?
Dental bonding is a great option if you’re looking for a minimally invasive way to improve your smile without breaking the bank.
When properly maintained, the results can be long-lasting, making it an affordable option compared to other cosmetic dentistry procedures like veneers or implants. Plus, since dental bonding is relatively quick and painless, you won't have to take much time off from work or school for recovery.
Though the initial cost is far less than other cosmetic dentistry procedures, you may need to consider additional treatments, such as teeth whitening or crowns, in order to get the full effect.
However, with a little bit of research and planning, you should be able to find a price that fits your budget and achieves your desired results.
Is Teeth Bonding Expensive?
Compared to other dental alternatives, dental bonding is a far cheaper option for those looking to hide and repair their tooth's damage.
The initial cost of the procedure is significantly less than veneers or crowns, and follow-up visits are relatively low, too. Depending on the extent of the damage, your insurance may even cover the dental bonding or compensate you.
Regular brushing and flossing can help dental bonding last far longer than expected, preventing unnecessary expenses. You will need to have the dental bonding redone every few years, but the overall cost should be less than if you had to get a new set of veneers or crowns.
Dental bonding is a great way to restore your smile and give your teeth an aesthetic boost – without breaking the bank. The overall price can vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of your procedure and the material used.
With proper care and maintenance, the results of the dental bonding can last several years – making it an affordable alternative if you don’t have insurance coverage or an ample budget.
Ultimately, the cost of dental bonding depends on your individual needs. By doing some research ahead of time and exploring your options, you will be able to have a smile that makes you feel confident at a price that works for you.