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Choosing Between Dental Bonding Or Filling: What’s Best?

Let’s dive straight into the heart of dental care: bonding and fillings. These two essential components in the world of dentistry often interchange with one another. Bonding is your go-to for that seamless smile fix, while fillings act as a defence against decay. If you’re experiencing tooth issues, it’s crucial to understand the different treatment options available. One common question many patients have is whether they should opt for dental bonding or filling. Both methods serve a similar purpose – restoring your teeth and improving their appearance – but they do so in distinct ways with varying benefits and drawbacks. 

Ready? Let’s make sure your teeth get exactly what they need.

Key Takeaway: 

  • Dental bonding uses a tooth-coloured resin material to restore minor dental imperfections, while dental fillings are used to treat cavities and structural damage.
  • Dental bonding is a non-invasive and relatively quick procedure, while tooth filling may require the removal of damaged tooth structure.
  • While both dental fillings and bonding offer solutions for repairing damaged teeth, choosing between them depends on the severity and nature of the dental issue, as well as the dentist’s recommendation.

Dental Bonding Vs Dental Fillings: Which Is Best For You?

When it comes to dental restorations, patients often find themselves torn between two popular options – dental bonding and dental fillings

They are common dental procedures offered at Casa Dental. Both procedures effectively repair damaged teeth, but each serves different purposes. Let’s delve deeper into these to help you make an informed decision about which dental treatment is right for you.

What Is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding involves applying a durable plastic resin into your tooth, which hardens under ultraviolet light, thus binding itself onto the surface for improved appearance or structure. It often enhances the appearance of your smile.

Pros 

Dental bonding is a cosmetic dentistry treatment that offers numerous advantages. Here are some benefits worth considering:

1. Quick And Simple Procedure

A dental bonding procedure is quick and typically completed within one visit to the dentist. This makes it a great choice if you have a busy schedule and require immediate results.

2. Doesn’t Require Enamel Removal

In contrast to other procedures like dental veneers, bonding doesn’t require the removal of tooth enamel, making it less invasive and preserving more of your natural tooth structure.

3. Versatility

Bonding can be used to fix a wide range of minor aesthetic issues such as cracked or chipped teeth, misshapen teeth, decayed teeth, discolouration, gaps between teeth, and short teeth.

4. Cost Effective

If you’re looking for affordable solutions without compromising on quality care, then dental bonding could be ideal since it is generally cheaper than other treatments like dental implants, dental crowns, or veneers.

Cons

Dental bonding, while an effective solution for minor cosmetic dental issues, has drawbacks. 

1. Limited Durability

The first drawback to consider with dental bonding is its durability. Compared to other restorative treatments like dental implants or veneers, the resin used in bonding may not last as long and can be prone to chipping or breaking off over time.

2. Susceptibility To Stains

Another disadvantage is that it’s more susceptible to staining than natural teeth or porcelain restorations. This means if you’re a smoker, coffee drinker, or consume foods that stain easily, your bonded teeth could discolour quickly.

3. Careful Maintenance Required

Maintenance is another consideration. While all forms of dental health care require regular upkeep and good hygiene practices, bonded teeth need extra attention. It’s essential to avoid biting down on hard items such as ice cubes, pens, and even nail-biting habits, as they can damage the material used in this procedure.

4. Limited Coverage By Insurance Companies

Not all insurance companies cover procedures deemed cosmetic rather than necessary for overall oral health – which often includes dental bonding. So, it’s important to check with your insurance provider to determine if a portion is covered under your policy.

What Are Dental Fillings?

A dental filling is a form of restorative dentistry used to repair teeth that have been damaged by cavities or decay. The dentist removes the decayed portion of the tooth, cleans the affected area, and then fills in the cavity with a dental filling material.

             Did you know that there are various materials used for dental fillings — Composite Resins, Gold Fillings, Amalgam Fillings, & Porcelain Fillings…

Tooth fillings are the go-to fix for cavities, but like dental bonding, they have their benefits and drawbacks. They restore your tooth’s shape and function after decay has been removed. Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons.

Pros

Here are some key benefits:

1. Longevity

Different types of dental fillings have varying lifespans on average: composite resin lasts about 5 to 10 years, and those made from amalgam, known for their strength and durability, can last up to 15 years. Gold fillings, although more expensive and less commonly used today due to their visibility, tend to last around 20 years. 

Do note that each tooth filling option, regardless of materials, can usually last longer with proper care.

2. Quick Procedure

The process of getting a filling is relatively quick and straightforward and typically completed in one office visit. This makes it an efficient solution for busy individuals who require immediate treatment.

3. Effective Restoration Of Tooth Function

A tooth affected by decay can cause discomfort when eating or speaking. Dental fillings restore the normal function of your teeth by replacing the damaged part with durable material that withstands biting pressure, just like natural teeth.

4. Aesthetic Appeal 

If you’re concerned about maintaining a natural-looking smile, tooth-coloured composite fillings and dental porcelain fillings blend seamlessly with your existing teeth’s colour and shape.

Cons

Here are the potential disadvantages:

1. Sensitivity And Discomfort

Following the placement of a filling, you might experience sensitivity when consuming hot/cold foods and drinks. This discomfort usually subsides after a few days; however, if it persists longer than two weeks, you should contact your dentist.

2. Potential Allergic Reactions

The materials used in fillings can sometimes cause allergic reactions in certain individuals. The most common material associated with allergies is amalgam or ‘silver’ fillings, which contain mercury. Symptoms may include itching or skin rashes. According to national and international bodies, it’s rare but possible. Amalgam restorations are considered safe to use.

3. Possible Tooth Damage

In some cases, the process of installing a filling can cause damage to the tooth. This is particularly true for larger fillings where more of the tooth needs to be removed. In addition, dental filling is a more invasive procedure that involves drilling into the tooth’s structure and may cause further damage.

4. Aesthetic Concerns

Certain types of dental fillings, such as silver amalgam and gold inlay, are not colour-matched to your natural teeth enamel and hence can be noticeable when laughing or speaking – an aesthetic concern for many people who prefer a more natural look.

  While those pros mentioned make dental bonding or filling an attractive option for many patients, it’s crucial also to understand their limitations before deciding if these treatments suit your specific needs. 

How Dental Bonding Works

The bonding process is generally simple and quick.

  1. Preparation: Your dentist will use a tooth shade guide to select the resin that closely matches the natural colour of your teeth.
  2. Bonding: Your dentist will then roughen up the tooth’s surface and apply a conditioning liquid, which helps ensure the bonding material adheres properly. After this, your dentist will apply the tooth-coloured resin, mould it into the desired shape and smooth out any rough edges.
  3. Hardening: The next step involves hardening or curing the material using UV light or laser. This process usually takes just a few minutes but ensures that the bonded material becomes as hard as your natural teeth.
  4. Final Touches: Once set, further trimming may be required for perfect shaping, followed by polishing until it matches the sheen with your adjacent teeth.

How Dental Filling Works

Like dental bonding, the tooth filling procedure is also straightforward.

  1. Examination: Your dentist will first use an explorer tool and X-rays to identify cavities or areas of decay in your mouth.
  2. Anaesthesia: To numb the area around the affected tooth, local anaesthesia is administered to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure.
  3. Tooth Preparation: Once numbed, your dentist uses a drill or laser to remove any decayed parts of your tooth. This step also helps clean out bacteria from within your tooth’s cavity.
  4. Filling Application: After cleaning out all signs of decay, it’s time for dental filling. Depending on what type you choose, this could be done in layers – with each layer being hardened using a special light – or directly placed into its final position, where it hardens naturally over time.
  5. Bite Check & Adjustment: Your bite must be checked after placing any kind of dental restoration – including fillings. If necessary, adjustments are made so that biting down feels natural again without causing discomfort.

Dental Bonding Or Filling – Other Differences

Treatment Length 

When considering dental treatments, one of the key factors that many individuals consider is how much time they will need to take for the procedure. 

Dental bonding typically takes between 30 minutes to an hour. The treatment length may depend on the extent of repair needed, patient’s oral health condition, and dentist’s expertise.

Conversely, the treatment duration for dental filling depends on several factors, including the number of cavities needing treatment, the size and location of the cavity, and the type of filling you choose. A simple filling can take as little as 20 minutes on average, but most dental filling procedures take about an hour per cavity.

Cost

Understanding the costs of teeth bonding and filling is crucial for making informed decisions. Listed below are the average pricing and subsidies available in Singapore associated with these procedures:

Bonding

  • In Singapore, you can expect to pay between $160 to $275 per tooth (inclusive of 9% GST).
  • Non-MediSave claimable.
  • Not eligible for CHAS subsidy.
  • Limited insurance coverage (depends on the coverage) – cosmetic bonding may not be covered. 

Filling 

  • $80 onwards +9% GST (depends on tooth complexity)
  • Non-MediSave claimable.
  • With CHAS subsidies (up to 6 fillings per year) – fillings for simple and complex.
  • Limited insurance coverage (depends on the coverage).

Maintenance

The longevity of dental bonding largely depends on how well you care for your bonded teeth. Here are some tips to help maintain them:

  1. The resin used can stain over time. Avoid food and drink intake that can cause staining, such as coffee, tea, red wine, berries or even tobacco.
  2. To keep your bonded teeth looking their best, it’s crucial to maintain proper oral hygiene practices.
  3. Your dentist plays an essential role in ensuring the long-term health of your bonded teeth. Regular check-ups will allow them to spot any potential problems early on and provide necessary treatments promptly.
  4. Bonded teeth are not as strong as natural ones; therefore, avoid chewing hard foods and biting on hard objects, which could potentially damage them.

Dental fillings serve an essential role in the preservation of oral health. Once you’ve had your tooth filled, it’s essential to know how to maintain these restorations for them to last long.

  1. After getting a filling, avoid eating hard foods that could dislodge or damage the filling. Stick with soft foods until your dentist gives you the final instruction.
  2. Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth daily and floss regularly to help keep your teeth healthy and prolong the life of your fillings. Regular cleaning prevents plaque buildup around the filling area, which may cause tooth decay under or around it.
  3. Limit the consumption of sugary drinks/foods. It would be beneficial not only for maintaining tooth fillings but also for your overall oral health.
  4. Avoid grinding your teeth. If you’re prone to grinding your teeth at night, consider using a mouth guard while sleeping. This will protect both natural teeth and the fillings.
  5. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to monitor filled teeth regularly so any signs of wear or issues can be detected early before developing into more significant problems. 

The Bottom Line: When Is Bonding And Fillings Preferred

Choosing between dental bonding or filling isn’t just about looks; it’s about what your teeth truly need. We have unpacked both options for you, laying out their purposes and processes. You now know that fillings are the fixers of decay, while bonding steps up for cosmetic corrections. Materials matter – composite resins can do wonders in blending with your natural tooth colour. 

Remember this: if longevity is key, fillings might be your best bet. But when small imperfections loom large on a front tooth, think bonding to bring back that confident smile. Ultimately, let’s keep our focus clear – healthy teeth come first. Whether it’s restoration or beautification, make sure to visit a dental clinic to nail down the perfect plan for you. 

FAQs

Are there any side effects with dental bonding or filling? 

Side effects are rare but may include some sensitivity around the treated area, which subsides within a few days.

Is getting a dental filling painful? 

No, local anaesthesia is used during the procedure, which numbs the area around the affected tooth, making it painless.

I have more than one cavity, can they all be filled at once?

Yes, it’s possible to fill multiple cavities in a single appointment. However, this will depend on their size and location.

Can I go back to work after dental bonding or filling procedures?

Yes, both dental bonding and fillings require no downtime post-procedure so you can resume normal activities immediately afterwards.

Is it better to get a dental bonding or filling?

Your choice depends on the extent of damage to your teeth and your preference. Top of it, it is advisable to follow your dentist’s recommendation so you don’t have to worry about the future risks of both treatments.

Let Us Help You in Taking Care of Your Dental Health

Casa Dental ensures to provide the first-class service to a wide range of clientele including local and expatriate patients from young to old.
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