The term bonding is used to describe the process of using an acidic solution on the teeth to create microscopic retention of a filling material or a cement luting agent. Porcelain veneers, composite tooth colored fillings, zirconium and metal restorations can be bonded to tooth structure.
Composite fillings are composed of silica particles in a resin matrix and are tooth colored. Besides the aesthetic beauty of composite, more natural tooth structure can be preserved during cavity preparation.
This is opposed to silver mercury fillings which require more extensive tooth reduction to allow for the mechanical retention of the filling. Whenever any type of filling becomes too large, there is a risk for tooth fracture and possibly nerve damage. As fillings wear down, the opposing tooth often digs a deeper channel and ultimately causes a wedging effect in the filled tooth. The filling in essence can wedge the tooth apart and cause tooth loss. To correct this downward spiral of placing fillings which lead to root canals, fractures, and tooth loss, the teeth must not only be restored properly but have an appropriate functional.