The term bonding is used to describe procedures where tooth-colored dental resins and composites are used. Direct bonding techniques can be used to change the shape and color of teeth as well as to close unattractive spaces. It can also be used to repair chipped or broken teeth or even to cover up unsightly stains. Unlike porcelain crowns or caps, direct bonding requires only a minimal amount of tooth reduction thus making it a very conservative and painless procedure.
Natural tooth-colored fillings have become widely accepted and are often used in place of metallic restorations where aesthetics is a primary concern. There are even studies that show that in some cases, use of certain tooth-colored materials can strengthen a tooth, making it a better choice than the metallic predecessor – amalgam. Two basic types of tooth-colored restorations are used: composite and ceramic. Because of the improvements in both bonding agents and in the materials we use today, composites and ceramics have become widely accepted by cosmetic dentists and the indications for their use are more numerous.
They are being used to close undesirable spaces, improve the shape, size and color of a tooth, replace an unsightly amalgam restoration, cover abraded or worn areas of a tooth and to cover stains. Composite can also be used to protect thermally sensitive areas and to repair and strengthen broken teeth.