Adhesive dentistry deals with adhesion or bonding to the natural substance of teeth, enamel and dentin. It studies the nature and strength of adhesion to dental hard tissues, properties of adhesive materials, causes and mechanisms of failure of the bonds, clinical techniques for bonding and newer applications for bonding such as bonding to the soft tissue.
Adhesive dentistry can help overcome aesthetic problems of gaps between teeth, worn teeth, and teeth being the wrong shape. This is an especially valuable method of treatment in cases where tooth structure has been lost due to wear whether caused by attrition or acid erosion.
Composite (tooth coloured material) can be bonded to natural teeth to change the shape and colour of teeth and to remove aesthetic irregularities. Bonding can significantly improve the appearance and function of teeth at a relatively low biological and financial cost. The main advantage of bonding is that it does not involve the destruction of the remaining sound tooth tissue. Porcelain veneering or crowning of teeth involves drilling away significant amounts of the remaining sound tooth tissue.
The bonding process involves etching the teeth and using sophisticated adhesives to bond composite directly to the teeth. The material is then sculpted to the desired shape, cured with a blue plasma light and finely polished
Bonding can last for many years but it will need to be polished or repaired from time to time as staining or minor chipping can occur.