Dental bonding agents are materials of low viscosity used in dentistry. They are applied onto the surface of the tooth and form a thin film after setting, over which a restorative resin is applied.
Dental bonding agents were first introduced in 1955 and have evolved since then. The second generation consisting of phosphorous esters was developed for clinical use in the early ‘1980s.
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Third generation bonding agents were introduced in the late ‘1980s in the U.S. They were used to remove or transform the smear layer to allow resin penetration into the dentin layer.
Though these agents were comparative more effective, they were not able to eliminate marginal leakages. The next generation of dental bonding agents was introduced in the early ‘1990s and are still in use.
A majority of these are based on the total-etch technique, which was traditionally discouraged as it often led to pulpal inflammation. Recent studies demonstrate that the main reason behind this was the lack of an adequate marginal seal over the dentin layer.
The fourth generation dental bonding agents utilize a three-step procedure: conditioning, priming, and bonding. Conditioning helps remove the smear layer thus opening the dentinal tubules, increasing the permeability of dentin, and decalcifying the dentin tubules.
Once conditioning is completed, a primer consisting of solvent is applied, which penetrates the collagen meshwork, increasing the dental bonding agent’s efficiency.
Fifth generation dental bonding agents were introduced to decrease the time required for the completion of these procedures. They comprised a single bottle which included a primer and bonding agent.
These require prior conditioning of the enamel and dentin before applying the primer and dental bonding agents and have been used in Europe with clinical success.
Seventh generation dental bonding agents are employed for direct or indirect bonding of restorative material to the tooth. This is the latest generation, in which the primer and acid along with the bonding agent are available in a single bottle which requires a single step of application, without mixing or etching.
These bonding agents contain approximately 40% phosphoric acid and are able to produce the shear strength of composite resin. The ideal features of seventh generation bonding agents include increased bonding strength, efficiency, and shelf life.
The dental bonding agents market is segmented on the basis of type into the self-etch and total-etch varieties. In terms of end-user, the market is divided into the following categories: hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, dental clinics, and others.
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Major drivers of the dental bonding agents market are the increasing geriatric population, rising demand, improving health care infrastructure, and growing per capita income of the middle class. An important restraining factor, however, is the dearth of reimbursement policies that cover dental work in several countries and lack of awareness regarding the use of these agents.
Geographically, the global dental bonding agents market is distributed over five key regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America leads the market due to the increasing incidence of diseases causing tooth decay, technological developments, and research activity.
It is closely followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. The latter is an emerging market mainly because of the rising health care expenditure in the region.
Key players in global dental bonding agents market are DENTSPLY International, 3M, Kerr, Sirona Dental Systems, and Smith & Nephew.
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