Dental bonding involves putting bonding a composite material to a tooth and hardening, shaping, and polishing it to make it look like it is a part of the tooth. To do this well, a cosmetic dentist needs a commanding knowledge of color, translucency, and tooth shape, as well as a knowledge of the properties of these tooth-colored composites. A wide array of composites are available. There are microfills, hybrids, micro-hybrids, nanofills, and variations of these formulas. There are also a variety of bonding agents, opaquers, and tints. To manipulate them in order to achieve an aesthetic and durable result requires knowing the physical properties of each: their strength, polishability, opacity, surface wear characteristics, flexibility, and other properties.
Here is an example of a case done by Dr. Weiss. This patient had an old injury to his left central incisor that had been repaired by another dentist and looked yellowed and worn.
This is how the patient presented in Dr. Weiss’s office. Notice how the entire biting edge of the tooth is broken off. Since this is a high stress area of the tooth, one option would be to do a full crown on this tooth, which would require grinding the tooth down all the way around and two appointments. Dr. Weiss chose the more conservative dental bonding to repair this broken tooth.
But, with an intimate knowledge of tooth bonding materials and techniques, Dr. Weiss was able to restore the tooth much more conservatively. The old composite bonding material was removed, the surface near the break was roughened somewhat, and the tooth was built up to its original shape and appearance. Notice the gloss, color, and level of translucency of the repaired area and how it matches perfectly the natural tooth. And notice the blend between the tooth and the bonding material, how it is impossible to tell where the junction is between the two. Doing this well requires having the appropriate selection of restorative materials on hand, advanced skills, and careful attention to detail.