Bonding is a procedure for restoration of small defects in the teeth with high-end aesthetic photopolymer materials. These defects can be discrete fractures or abraded front teeth; discoloured patches or totally discoloured teeth. Minor changes in the position of the teeth can also be done through bonding, but in such cases orthodontic treatment is the best method.
First, the colour used is determined, then the teeth are isolated from the saliva by placing a dental dam. The isolated teeth are slightly roughened where the photopolymer would be applied. Then, they are treated with an etching gel for micro-retention of the composite material. Then, a layer called bond is applied that acts as glue between the teeth and the filling material (photopolymer).
After the bond is applied, the photopolymer is applied in small doses and shaped in the necessary shape and the tooth is molded according to the wishes of the patient. After achieving the desired shape, size and colour, the material is polished and becomes indistinguishable from the natural part of the tooth.
Bonding has both advantages and disadvantages.
Its advantages are that it is a less invasive procedure compared to placement of veneers. Another advantage is its low price, which is slightly higher than the price of an ordinary photopolymer filling. Bonding is carried out during only one visit to the dentist, but it might take up to several hours in case of large number of teeth. Correction is possible and a very good aesthetic effect is easily achieved.
The disadvantages of bonding are mainly related to the quality of photopolymer. They are not as durable as ceramics and break easily. Over time, they can get discoloured to an extent and their aesthetics or polish are reduced, but this can be corrected.
Bonding is a method of the cosmetic dentistry for patients, who are not able to afford the expensive treatment with veneers or who are willing to have less invasive treatment.