This is a technique where tooth coloured filling material is used to change the shape of the teeth, for example to repair a chip, or close small spaces between the teeth. In many cases, it can be done with very minor reshaping of the tooth surface, so it is a very conservative option. In some cases, it can be placed with no drilling at all.
Like all tooth coloured restorations, it is retained using a biologically compatible glue (the ‘bonding’ part of the treatment). For this to work, the tooth is roughened microscopically to get the glue to stick – meaning that the treatment is almost (but not completely) reversible.
At our practice we often use this technique to build up extensively worn teeth so that we can refine the shape of the teeth in terms of chewing, speaking and appearance, as it is easy to adjust and reshape.
With this kind of treatment, we will usually recommend that the teeth are bleached first and the colour of the material matched to the new, whiter colour.
The material does not change colour with time, so maintenance of the overall appearance often includes regular top-up bleaching treatment. For most patients, the bonding will look at its best for around 5-7 years, usually with some minor repairs and maintenance along the way, for example replacing its surface from time to time, or repairing a stained edge. People who smoke or drink a lot of colourful beverages such as tea, coffee or red wine are more likely to need this maintenance more frequently.