Etch-Retained Restorations

Last Updated: Thursday, 21 January 2021

 Etch-Retained Restorations


What are they?

  • Many newer dental materials are adhesive which means they stick or bond to teeth. The surface of the tooth is made slightly rough by using a mild-acid so that the repair (restoration) can grip properly. This process is called etching.
  • They can be found on fillings, crowns, veneers or onlays.

What will my dentist do?

  • The dentist will sometimes numb the tooth, then dab the etching acid onto the tooth surface and hold it there for a while to roughen it up while keeping your mouth open. Then they will wash the tooth out thoroughly with a jet of water. Finally they will dry the tooth and paint the 'bonding agent' (a sort of glue) onto the roughened area, before filling tooth or applying any more type of restoration.

What are the benefits?

  • The bond holding the restoration can be very strong therefore increasing the time it stays in place.
  • The restoration can always be glued back into place even if it breaks.
  • Less of the natural tooth is lost as the restorations are held in place by the bonding agent and not just by the shape of the tooth.