Composite bonding is the process of bonding composite materials applied to the front surfaces of the teeth without removing the tissue from the teeth or by removing minimal tissue to create an aesthetic smile design. Composite bonding has been developed as an alternative method to zirconium based porcelain crowns and porcelain veneers prepared by removing tissue from the teeth. This process can be easily applied in the following situations:
- When pre-made composite materials need to be replaced,
- Teeth that have been severely damaged due to caries,
- In cases where internal or external discolorations are intense,
- In cases where the desired level of colours are not achieved despite the teeth whitening process,
- Especially in closing gaps (diastema) between the front teeth,
- In cases where patients want to have an aesthetic appearance without making any cuts on their teeth,
- Minimal level of crowding in the teeth,
- Especially in cases where the incisors that are located inside the neighboring teeth are desired to be brought to the same level.
In order to perform the composite bonding process, the closing relationship (occlusion) between the upper and lower teeth must be appropriate and the teeth must not have early contact with each other.
Before the procedure is performed, its suitability for diagnosis is checked by visual and radiographic examinations. First, three-dimensional images of teeth in the laboratory are recorded in computer environment with scanners. In this three-dimensional image, a digital mockup is prepared which is the final state of the teeth to be seen in accordance with the occlusion of the teeth. The prepared digital model is discussed with the patient and evaluations about how the teeth will look and their forms are made. After the final forms of the teeth are completed and approved on the digital model, models of the teeth are prepared with three-dimensional printers. This image can be seen and evaluated in the mouth by applying temporary materials on the patient’s teeth before the bonding process is started with mock-up method. If all forms are suitable, silicone keys suitable for this model are prepared and the process is applied by making custom color selections.
The composites used in composite bonding are reinforced and durable materials specially produced for this process. The gingival harmonies are more healthy than the direct composite laminate application because the digital model is prepared and applied. Application time is quite short, especially compared to porcelain veneers. It is usually finished in a single session. Bonding process is a cheaper method than porcelain veneers, but repair process can be done easily when it’s needed. Another advantage is that it is a painless procedure. In some cases, the procedure can be performed without the need for local anesthesia.
Like all other dental treatments, the protection of teeth is very important after the treatment of composite bonding. Especially, if the habits such as tea, coffee and cigarettes are consumed intensely, it can cause discoloration in the teeth again. With regular checkups, these color changes can also be removed with proper polishing. The duration of the composite bonding process in the mouth may vary with the person paying attention to their own dental health and following the process.