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Etch Retained Restorations

Etch Retained Restorations

What are they?

Many of the newer dental materials are adhesive which means that they stick to or bond to teeth. The surface of the tooth needs to be made slightly rough so that the repair can grip properly. This is called etching and your dentist will use a harmless mild acid. Etch retained restorations are any repairs attached to the tooth this way either fillings, veneers, inlays or onlays.


What will my dentist do?

Your dentist will:

  • Sometimes numb the tooth, but this is not always needed

  • Dab the etching acid on to the tooth surface that needs to be roughened

  • Leave the acid on the tooth for a short time while you keep your mouth opened

  • Wash the tooth thoroughly with a jet of water which is sucked out of your mouth by a tube held by the dental nurse

  • Dry the tooth and check the surface (it might need to be etched again)

  • Paint the bonding agent (a sort of glue) on to the roughened areas before filling the tooth or applying some other sort of restoration


What are the benefits?

  • The bond between the tooth and restoration can be very strong so the restoration stays in place for a long tone

  • Even if the bond breaks it may be possible to re-glue the restoration in place

  • Because restorations are held in place by the bonding agent and not just by the shape of the tooth less of the natural tooth is lost

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