Is It Possible to Have Bonding on Front Tooth Without Roughening It with Drilling Machine?

I fell down when I was a kid. Due to this, my front tooth broke and became half. my dentist suggested me to have bonding or a crown. I prefer bonding since I don't want my tooth to be reduce; however, they told me that to roughen the surface, they will need to use the drilling machine and then a chemical. I am afraid of the drilling machine and I dont want my tooth to be reduced by it. Is bonding possible without drilling or I mean roughening?

Doctor Answers 17

Is It Possible to Have Bonding on Front Tooth Without Roughening It with Drilling Machine?

In order for the bonding technique to be successful, the tooth surface has to be clean and free of any potential contaminants.  Once the tooth is clean, a mild acid is applied to the surface that will have bonding apllied so that the material will adhere.

Dentists will often use a drill to be certain that the surface is clean, but there is no need to drill away any tooth structure.  The goal of bonding is to be as conservative as possible, and to leave as much of the existing tooth structure in tact as possible.

Hope this was helpful

Dr Champagne

Freehold Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Composite bonding of the anterior tooth

Composite bonding is a higly successful esthetic precedure that requires preparation of the enamel. When the surface for bonding is adequately wide, the quality of bonding will be much better and the restoration will be able to resists the chewing forces, especially in the anterior teeth. Minor bonding surfaces usually can be performed withour additional roughening of the enamel or drilling. If the surface of the broken tooth is exceeding 1/5 of the tooth usually slight roughening of enamel will increase the success of bonding restoration. Minor roughening can be done absolutely painlessly without intervention with anesthesia, so the discomfort during this procedure should not concern you.

Possible to bond teeth without mechanically roughening them

It's certainly possible to bond teeth without mechanically roughening them, but the results may not be as strong, look as good or be as long lasting. The amount of reduction needed for bonding is probably less than for a crown, maybe a lot less. Keep in mind that bonding isn't as long lasting as a crown, and if the bonding breaks it could take more tooth with it, so a crown could be the best value for your money long term.

Paul D. Kantor, DDS
Cleveland Dentist
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

A rough surface works best.

The rough surface creates more surface area for bonding.  This gives a stronger bond of the filling material to the tooth.  By roughening in a specific way it is possible to create a restoration that blends esthetically into the tooth.  We can design restorations are so life-like that it is difficult to distinguish them from the tooth itself.  So, for esthetics it is much better.

If the tooth is already broken, a small amount of roughening won't change what is left of the tooth.  You might think that the roughening process will create a small stump of a tooth, but in reality it is such a small amount of tooth structure that is removed, it is just microns from the surface and not even the whole surface of the tooth.

Martin Frankel, DDS
Toronto Dentist
3.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Can bonding be attached to teeth without roughening with a drill?

Yes, the bonding can be attached without roughening the surface with a drill, but only if the dentist has invested in a 'microabrader'.  A microabrader is a miniature sand blaster which sprays a fine stream of air and sand at the surface of the tooth.  In just a few seconds the attached saliva proteins are gently removed from the surface of the tooth with only miniscule damage to the tooth itself.  This is a fantastic way to prepare a tooth to receive bonding, porcelain or ceramics.  However, the dentist must invest in a microabrader.  The least expensive unit that I have found is sold by Danville Engineering.

Neal Nealis, DDS
Chicago Dentist

Dental Bonding

Generally speaking, bonding is very conservative.  Without seeing the tooth, it is hard to speculate.  However, placing a small bevel on the enamel is usually all that is needed as far as tooth preparation.  Sometimes there is already enough of a break that air abrasion can be used.  If possible, I prefer not to bond the entire tooth but to skillfully blend the shades and color of the bonding to match the remaining tooth.  Also, if the bevel is minimal usually no anesthesia is necessary.

Bonding can look beautiful when skillfully done.


Ronald Konig DDS
Houston Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Laws of physics usually requires roughening enamel

The strength of the material keeping the composite stuck to the tooth is limited, and both mechanical stresses and chemical strength needs to be considered.  The vast majority of the solutions require roughening the tooth surface to gain enough strength so the composite will stay put.

Lance Timmerman, DMD, MAGD
Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Bonding without "roughening"

Sometimes patients ask dentists to do things or not do things which have a negative impact on the outcome of the procedure. There are a couple of good reasons for roughening or beveling the tooth. One reason is there is a stronger bond when you spread the bonded surface over more area and the area has been lightly prepped. Another good reason is the dentist can make interface between the tooth and the bonding material disappear so it looks like a natural tooth....... not a filling on a tooth. In the end it depends on how the patient wants the final restoration to look and if the dentist is willing to compromise his or her artistic results.

Ted Murray, DDS
Dubuque Dentist

Best enamel bonds

The research has shown that the best bonds to enamel are when the enamel is slightly roughened (prepped) versus enamel that is not roughened (unprepped).  Your dentist suggested that technique so that the situation for the best enamel bond can be created.  Also, this will help to blend the material so that there is no visible distinction between the tooth and the bonded composite material.  The minimal amount of roughened enamel will help in the long term.  Also, roughening the enamel should not be painful, but you will sense some vibration.  

Bonding fillings with or without roughening the surface.

Bonding can be done without roughening the tooth surface but it will likely reduce the bonding strength of the filling to the tooth.  There are times when a handpiece (drill) , a laser or air abrasion are required to alter the shape of the tooth in order to increase the strength of the bonded filling.  The success of such fillings increases when there are no sharp edges or the bonding is done to freshly cut dentin.

Dan Haas, DDS
Toronto Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.