Can I Have Bonding Done on my Teeth Without Grinding Any of Them Down?

My teeth are a little short and a little jagged and overcrowded. Can't I just have bonding done on all of them to make them a little longer and make them appear less jagged? Is it possible that none of the teeth would have to be ground down at all? It just seems like that would be much less invasive and expensive that getting porcelain veneers on all of them. Is it possible it could affect my bite in an unnatural way?

Doctor Answers 14

Know Why before you Bond

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There is a good reason why your teeth look the way they do. You and your dentist should explore why they got that way before you decide on what to do about it.  Bonding can indeed be done without much, if any, change in tooth shape, but if all you do is bond beautiful composite, which is plastic, to a place that used to be enamel, the hardest part of our bodies, you will see that bonding fail.

Find out why, fix that first, then the treatment choices become much clearer and way more predictable.

Bellevue Dentist

Conservative bonding withour grinding

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Many times teeth can be bonded without grinding on the teeth. The best way to know for sure is to have the dentist take a model of your teeth. On that plaster model, the proposed look of the teeth can be made in wax and actually tried in your mouth. That way you can see firsthand what everything would look like prior to having any dental  treatment done. In this way, everyone is informed and there are no surprises at the end of treatment. The bite can also be evaluated to ensure that the new bonding does not interfere with your current bite, or a decision can be made to change it for the better. 

Fred Peck, DDS
Cincinnati Dentist

Adding composite without drilling:)

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You have quite a few questions in your one question:) let me answer it one by one

1. Yes, it is possible to add to the tooth structure to improve aesthetic tooth appearance without drilling the tooth.

2. And yes it is possible that none of your teeth will be touched by the drill.

3. This question is the most important, if it can affect your bite. There is a high risk/probability that your natural bite or occlusion will be affected by lengthening multiple teeth. But then again, maybe not. My suggestion is to obtain a consultation with a dental restorative specialist ( Prosthodontist)  and you will have an answer to all your questions.

Good luck! 

Zina Kaleinikova, DDS, MS
Cleveland Dentist

Bonding may be done without reducing tooth structure in some cases..

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The best and first choice of treatment for overcrowded teeth is orthodontics.  With orthodontics, teeth can be moved into correct alignment without reducing tooth structure.  Bonding can be added to teeth without removing tooth structure only if there is room for it.   For example, bonding material can be added to edges of short front teeth with jagged edges to make them look longer with straight, smooth edges as long as it does not interfere with your bite.   The alternative to bonding front teeth is to place porcelain veneers on them with minimal reduction.  However, more reduction may be needed depending on how crowded the teeth are.  With veneers, we can change the shade, shape, and size of teeth to achieve your desired look.  An examination will, of course, be needed to determine the best type of treatment for your case.  Thank you, Dr. Jahanian.

Elizabeth Jahanian, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

No-Prep Bonding is possible

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Prep-less bonding can be accomplished, but only in very limited situations.  Teeth are often reduced in thickness when veneered with composite or porcelain.  This is to prevent the teeth from looking or feeling bulky.  Doing this when the edges are angled, chipped or jagged is simple.  Misaligned teeth are a different story.  Depending on the degree of tooth rotation, often a tooth can have material added to one half and require the other half be reduced so as not to make the lip appear or feel bulked out.  Composite veneers are not nearly as costly as porcelain.  Ask your dentist about a "Snap On Smile".  This method will allow you to experiment with what can be done to improve your smile without altering your natural teeth.  Our office tailors the use of prep-less, minimal prep and full prep veneers to fulfill the patient's aesthetic needs.

Marc Zive, DMD
Springfield Dentist

Bonding without grinding or drilling?

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It sounds like your teeth are rough and a little too short, and that you'd like to have them longer without grinding. Yes, it might be possible, especially if you are doing more teeth (say six or eight), because the forces in your bite that contribute to shortening your teeth or chipping the edges can be improved.

Depending on whether you want a minor cosmetic change or a major smile makeover, some veneers (like No-Prep) can be placed without tooth grinding. If you want a stronger result, this may be necessary.

Make sure to discuss with your cosmetic dentist WHY your teeth have shortened, and that there is a plan to keep you from wearing them down again no matter which cosmetic treatment you choose.

Very difficult to make a diagnosis without doing an examination

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It is very difficult to make a diagnosis without doing an examination. When we place tooth colored filling material on the teeth (also known as bonding) it can make the teeth appear longer and more smooth, less jagged as you say. Once the material is in place and set, to make is look as natural as possible, it has to be shaped, smoothed and polished with a dental instrument. It is less to expensive to have bonding but sometimes porcelain veneers are the best solution in the long run correcting the bite and making the teeth look natural.

Bonding without removal of any tooth structure

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The short answer to your question is that bonding can be attached to damaged teeth without additional grinding, but whenever this is done, the next questions must be asked which is how long will it last and how good will it look?  Increasing longevity and esthetics often, but not always, involves removal of additional tooth structure.  If you are concerned about the health of the teeth, you might consider partial veneers which will cost a little more but last much longer and look much better.

Neal Nealis, DDS
Chicago Dentist

Bite issues are usually one reason teeth are shorter

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The reason the teeth are chipped, worn or shorter is likely due to a bite issue.  If the bite issue is still active/present, then you should expect the bonding to fail fairly quickly.  Even after the bite has been addressed, without any tooth reduction at all there likey will not be enough surface area to get the bonding to stick.

There is rarely a quick, easy and cheap way to fix chipped, worn and shorter teeth.

Bonding to Fix Chipped Teeth

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From your description it sounds to me like the reason that your teeth are chipped is because you are grinding your teeth.  If this is in fact the case, dental bonding would not be a wise choice for you.  You would fracture the bonding after a short period of time.  You should see a dentist that is used to treating cases cosmetically in grinders.  Your dentist needs to figure out why you are grinding first, then he can figure out the best long term solution for your chipped teeth.  Most likely, porcelain veneers would be the better option.  If you have veneers placed you would need to be placed in a night guard after wards to protect the porcelain if you continue to grind.  See a dentist that specializes in Neuromuscular Dentistry and have him/her do a thorough evaluation of your bite to determine why you are grinding and what the solution should be. Good luck.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.