When teeth are chipped or slightly decayed, bonded composite resins may be the material of choice to restore the damaged tooth. First, the tooth structure is cleaned and etched. Then a clear adhesive is applied to the area needing bonding. Once applied, a tooth colored bonding material is placed on the tooth. It is permanently hardened and fused to the tooth with a hand-held white light. This process is called photo curing. Bonding makes a great tooth colored filling for small cavities and broken or chipped surfaces. It can also be used to close spaces between teeth. Additionally, it is used to cover the entire outside surface of a tooth to change its color and shape. For the latter two applications, bonding has its limits. It may not be strong enough, aesthetic enough, or durable enough for certain individual situations. When these problems occur, the next choice would be porcelain laminate veneers.
Professional cleaning three or four times yearly is advised. Avoid hard foods on front teeth. Bonding to fill in a space is more susceptible to chipping. Proper use of floss daily is required. One problem with most direct bonded restorations is that they can stain or chip. Expect to have some repolishing or repair as necessary.
Results of Treatment
Most spaces can be filled in to look very natural.