How the cost of dental bonding is calculated is a question for many patients. This is because there is a lot of misinformation out there. Besides, the level of competition we observe in the cosmetic dentistry market also does not help. Doctors and clinics are often reluctant to publish the exact price of their services. Some declare a low price only to attract patients. You do not know how dismal the situation can be until you need the bonding service.
We wrote this mini-guide to help you understand what you should remember when looking for your dental bonding price. Hope you find it useful.
What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding is the name of the dental treatment in which your doctor applies a layer of composite resin to your teeth. Dental bonding, also called composite bonding or composite filling, helps treat the following imperfections:
- Holes in your teeth – caused by tooth decay or cavity. You may have your tooth enamel (outer layer) damaged. Cavities do not go away on their own. They have to be treated medically.
- Chips or broken teeth. If not treated on time, chips could contribute to more complications in the future. For example, more chips, holes, enamel loss, and pressure imbalance while eating something hard.
- Cracks in teeth – commonly seen in children and the elderly. Cracks can occur naturally, but a major cause remains chewing on hard food. Dental or fractures can extend vertically to the root of your teeth.
- Gaps between teeth. Your dentist can reduce the shape of your teeth, thus minimizing the gap between your front teeth. Having gaps between teeth is not a medical condition.
- Tooth discoloration. Poor oral health, tooth decay, medication, or injury may cause it. Bonding can reverse it.
- Tooth size. You have a tooth shorter than your other teeth. Bonding can help.
Cost of dental bonding in major cities of the world
Here are a few samples from different sources. (The cost is per tooth.)
- New York: $100-$400
- Michigan: $90-$450
- San Francisco: $200-$400
- Los Angeles: $100-$600
- Houston: $300-$600
- Toronto: CAD $200-$400
- London: £195-£600. That is: $250-$750
- Berlin: €650-€750. That is: $750-$850
- Paris: €1100-€1300. That is, roughly: $1250-$1500
- Sydney: AUD $600-$800. USD $430-$575
- New Delhi: Rs. 6,000-10,000. Roughly: $80-$140
- Tokyo: JPY 33,000-55,000. Roughly $290-$480
If you take the first five samples from above, you can imagine that the cost of tooth bonding varies wildly from $90 to $600 in the US.
Now imagine you have five teeth to bond. Although bonding is known for its low-cost solution, the expenses could be high.
10 variables that influence the cost of dental bonding
So how will you know how much it will cost you to complete your dental bonding?
We have gathered here ten variables that influence the cost of dental bonding. Some of these variables are related to you, and some are related to your doctor. Some of them are related to your treatment.
Variables related to you
1. The number of teeth requiring bonding. More teeth will cost you more. But you may get a package deal from your doctor, which will lower the cost per tooth. At the same time, the tooth’s location inside your mouth will also contribute to the overall cost.
2. Condition of your teeth. Teeth bonding is often done alongside other treatments. That is why it is difficult to say what money we are talking about.
3. The service you want. Treating discoloration will be completely different from treating broken teeth. That difference will influence the cost of your teeth bonding.
4. Location of your treatment. Doctors in smaller cities may charge you less than those in big cities. Driving a hundred miles may save you as much as a thousand dollars. Nowadays, technology is everywhere, and qualified medical professionals are everywhere. Go to the next city for your dental bonding appointment if you afford it.
Variables related to your treatment
5. Pre-bonding dental examination. Doctors may recommend several tests before correctly determining what sort of treatment you may need. You may want to go for bonding, but your doctor may believe something different is what you need. The target treatment can be named after proper examinations have been done.
6. Do you require reshaping a tooth? The cost of reshaping will be added to your dental bonding cost.
7. The material used for treatment. Different composites are available with your doctor to help you balance your bite. Your bonding cost will depend on the composite you choose. How much composite filling you need is also a factor.
8. Follow-up care. Do you need to see your doctor again after bonding is done? How many times? Do those appointments include some dental examinations? Add these to your total bonding cost.
Variables related to your doctor
9. The expertise of your doctor. More qualified dental professionals will charge you more for the same treatment you could get from a licensed professional elsewhere. More qualified professionals generally use more advanced technology. The expenses are passed on to the patients.
10. Location of the clinic. A centrally located clinic may charge you a higher fee than a clinic within the same city but not in the downtown or commercial area.
Bonus variable: The clientele of your doctor. Does your doctor treat celebrities or very wealthy people? You will likely be charged a high fee for your treatment.
Do insurance plans cover dental bonding costs?
Insurance companies generally do not cover dental bonding treatment. They consider it a cosmetic need rather than a medical need.
Not only bonding; veneers, implants, and other procedures considered aesthetic enhancements are also excluded from insurance plans’ coverage.
That means you have to pay for your treatment out of your pocket.
However, there are exceptions to this. Those exceptions can be triggered when your dental bonding is part of a treatment you receive after meeting an accident covered by your insurance plan.
As you can understand, not many people will be able to use their insurance to meet their bonding cost.
How can you save dental bonding costs?
Help your pocket by helping yourself
- Brush your teeth and floss them regularly.
- Change your toothbrush at least every three months.
- Change toothpaste brands from time to time.
- Modify your eating habits. Know which food damages your enamel, exposing the dentin to dangerous substances and bacteria.
- Do not bite your nails, hard nuts, or pencils.
- Do not try to undo a knot or a clip with your teeth. Use proper tools.
- Cut pigmented drinks or foods.
- Cut sugary drinks.
- If you have a grinding habit, use mouthguards.
- Quit smoking.
Seek professional help so that you don’t need bonding
- Do not miss your appointments with your dentist. They are too important!
- Your dentist will be able to identify your dental problems before they become acute and treat them as required.
- Talk to your dentist if you suspect something is different about your teeth.
Subscribe to a dental plan that covers cosmetic dentistry and save up to 20%
There are not many such plans as the cost of dental cosmetics is unpredictable. Besides, including cosmetics dentistry in the dental plan will increase the plan premium. That will be a trouble with dental insurance companies. Most policyholders will not be able to afford their subscriptions.
Subscribe to a dental plan like CarePlus Diamond or CarePlus Platinum and save up to 20% on cosmetic dentistry costs. But before subscribing, talk to your insurance broker to learn what they cover.
Join dental savings plans to save up to 35% on cosmetic dental procedures
Dental savings plans are membership programs. They allow you to access discounted dental services within the program’s network. They are not insurance plans. You may have insurance plans and also discounted dental savings plan.
For example, if you expect a lot of dental work in a particular year, joining a discounted dental plan like Cigna’s will be a great move. You pay an annual fee to access the benefits Cigna members receive from dental service providers.
As always, understand the plan and see what it covers or not before joining.
You can wait? You can save big
If your treatment is not urgent, you may be able to save big by contacting your local dental schools or training labs. These organizations have regular programs for their trainees or students and often need patients to complete coursework.
In the presence of qualified doctors, student dentists will work on you.
The procedure happens in a teaching environment, which may not appeal to many patients. But if you want to save, this may be the opportunity you have been looking for.
If saving is not your thing, but you still need a space for breathing, you can opt for a payment plan. Most doctors work with third-party financial service providers to help their customers pay their treatment costs in installments.
Payment plans are not discounted savings plans or insurance plans. These plans pay the treatment costs to your doctor at the time of your treatment. You then pay them the money over a period, say a year.
You may consider dental bonding treatment if you have gaps between your teeth. It is regarded as one of the easiest and quickest ways to repair gaps. The process is painless, as your doctor works only with the surface of your teeth. The entire process can be done in one sitting. Besides, you don’t have to wait until after your treatment to eat something. At the same time, it is also the cheapest treatment for treating gaps.
Dental bonding treatment is good for up to 10 years. However, that period may be significantly shorter for some patients due to their habits. You must maintain good oral hygiene for bonded teeth and your natural teeth to last. In contrast, if you grow bruxism or bite hard material like ice cubes or pencils, you may damage the bonding composite sooner than expected.
A healthcare credit card helps you finance your dental procedures that are not covered by your insurance. Issued by CareCredit, this credit card is good for various cosmetic treatments, including dental cosmetics. You can pay your doctor’s bill with it and then pay the credit card bill like any credit card bill. The good thing is this card offers ‘No Interest if Paid In Full’ promotional financing. That means you will not be charged any interest if you pay the dues within a specific date.