Dental Composite (Tooth coloured) Bonding Restorations

Dental Bonding is the use of white (or tooth-colored) composite (filling material) for filling, or repairing, or making aesthetic improvements to a tooth. The procedure is – what we in the profession call – “technique-sensitive,” which means the systems in the procedure have to be performed precisely and without error.

Unlike placing mercury fillings where you essentially fill a hole, placing composite bonding takes precision and detail or the tooth bonding will fail (the filling will leak, fall out, crack, break, or the patient will have sensitivity after the filling is placed.  Done correctly, however, dental bonding is an excellent, highly aesthetic, and long lasting result for repairing, restoring or enhancing a tooth.

Who is a Candidate for dental bonding?

There are two basic types of dental bonding procedures:

  • Restorations (fillings/repairs of chips, cracks, etc)
  • Cosmetic Bonding (Using composites for Cosmetic corrections, with minimal tooth preps)



White or tooth-colored fillings have been a preferred method of filling teeth for decades. These fillings are an excellent option for filling a small cavity, replacing a small old mercury or composite filling, and repairing an otherwise healthy broken tooth.

Limitations of the bonding material exist when the cavity or old filling is large, if the tooth to be restored has cracks or fractures, or if there is are heavy chewing forces on the tooth to be restored. Sometimes a porcelain filling is a better option than dental bonding.

At Cross Dental, we will discuss the pros and cons of using tooth bonding for your specific situation. We will discuss all of the options for fixing, filling, or improving your tooth (teeth), so that you have all of the information you need to decide which dental restoration is the very best for you.

Are there any Disadvantages to Dental composite restorations?

Even though dental bonding material is an advanced polymer, it is still a type of plastic. And, a drawback to plastics as a restorative material is that they are porous (on a microscopic level), and therefore they absorb stain. So, in the smile zone, if we are covering all of the teeth with chairside bonding/veneers, these restorations will require more maintenance (polish, stain removal, chip repair) than using porcelain (which is resistant to stain because it is not porous). For this reason, Cross Dental will usually recommend porcelain as your ideal option for improving 8 or more teeth in your smile. For minor corrections Composites may be a good enough option.