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The use of dental bonding technique has progressed substantially over the past few decades.Tooth bonding was first introduced for the creation of white fillings for front teeth.  Its uses now include a wide range of dental procedures. These stretch from simple tooth repair, to cosmetic dentistry, to procedures that provide a combination both of these functions.

Generally speaking the term ‘tooth bonding’ refers to a range of dental procedures which employs the use of a type of dental restorative material dentists call ‘dental composite’.

As a material, dental composite has a number of characteristics that a dentist can exploit when it is put to use. One of them is the way it creates a strong bond with calcified tooth tissues (meaning tooth dentine and enamel). Another important one is its colour. Dental composite comes in a variety of tooth-coloured shades so when it is placed it can closely mimic the appearance of natural tooth structure.

Tooth bonding can be used for a variety of purposes ranging from dental procedures that just address cosmetic concerns and those that replace lost tooth structure (such as that lost due to tooth decay or fracture), to those procedures that provide a combination of both of these functions. Here is a listing of some of the different ways a dentist might put dental bonding to use:

Closing a dental gap

Tooth bonding can be used to fill in gaps that lie between a person’s teeth (dentists call this type of gap a ‘diastema’). When this technique is employed, dental composite is bonded onto the sides of the two teeth that lie on either side of the gap, so to widen each tooth slightly. The overall effect is that the space between the two teeth is narrowed, or even filled in completely.

Correcting minor cosmetic imperfections

Minor to moderate cosmetic imperfections of chipped, disfigured, or misaligned teeth can be masked or corrected by dental bonding techniques.

Composite fillings for front teeth

Dental composite (the restorative material that is used with tooth bonding technique) has been the material of choice for creating tooth-coloured fillings for front teeth for many decades. Because dental composite comes in a wide range of different shades of white, it will typically mimic very closely the colour of the tooth on which it is placed.

Composite fillings for back teeth

In some instances dental composite can be an appropriate restorative for fillings placed in back teeth. Patients often like this option because the white colour of composite fillings is much less noticeable than the silver coloration of dental amalgam fillings.

You should be aware that composite has its limitations. Over an extended period it will wear, its surface characteristics deteriorate and its aesthetic qualities fade. It can be replaced with another composite or with aesthetically and functionally more reliable porcelain. 

David Barclay
David Barclay


Amelia Wong Dentist
Amelia Wong


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