Adhesive dentistry is a branch of dentistry that is concerned with adhesion or bonding of the adhesive material to the natural substance of teeth such as the enamel and the dentin. Adhesive dentistry is a science that studies the strength and the nature of the adhesion to the hard tissues of the mouth. It also deals with the properties of adhesive materials, causes and mechanisms of failure of the bonds, clinical techniques for bonding and new applications for bonding for instance, bonding to the soft tissue.
Adhesive techniques have penetrated almost all fields of dentistry but a gap still remains between the accepted treatment modes and what is carried out in daily practice. New methods are beneficial for the dentition but dental practitioners hesitate to this change as they need more data, more information and argument.
The new applications and materials that are used in adhesion have transformed the delivery of dentistry. The techniques used in bonding have been restricted to the tooth hard tissue, the enamel and also the dentin. These have obvious applications in operative and preventive dentistry and also in esthetic and pediatric dentistry, prosthodontics and orthodontics. Recent developments of adhesive techniques for soft tissues and slow – releasing agents expand applications to periodontics as well as oral surgery. Adhesive dentistry allows dentists to treat teeth in the most conservative fashion. Bonded restorative materials do not only replace missing tooth structures due to tooth injuries or decay but they also strengthen and support the remaining tooth structure without removing the healthy tissues.
Over the years, dental adhesives have evolved and improved their systems. The development of products has improved not only the physical properties but also the convenience. The universal adhesives bond to all dental substrates, which include the enamel, dentin, metal, porcelain, ceramic and zirconia, with a single application. Dental adhesives can be used with light cure self cure and dual- cure materials.
Most of the research conducted in adhesive dentistry is aimed at simplifying clinical protocol. Developments are still progressing to eliminate the ambiguity that is associated with the wet bonding technique. The adhesive technology provides an expanded treatment option that can create confidence in the techniques used in restorations. Refinements will still be conducted to improve techniques and materials used in adhesive dentistry.