The Difference Between Cosmetic Bonding and Contouring
Most people have something they would like to change about their smile if given the opportunity. Aside from more in-depth restorative work such as replacing missing teeth, a lot of complaints could be fixed with procedures that fall under the category of cosmetic dentistry.
While there is an overlapping purpose between the two, our Portage dentist will ultimately perform an oral examination and choose what fits your needs best.
In this blog, we’ll explain how bonding and contouring differ as well as the benefits they can provide for patients.
Do you have chipped, cracked, or gapped teeth? If so, there is a chance that cosmetic bonding might be the right dental procedure for you.
Best for smaller restorations, bonding involves the application of a tooth-colored composite resin to a tooth’s surface. The material is then shaped, hardened, and polished for a natural and visibly seamless result you’ll love showing off.
Compared to other cosmetic procedures, bonding is an affordable, effective option most appropriate for teeth in areas of low bite pressure, i.e., front teeth. It should also be noted that minimal enamel is removed by our dentist during the procedure, but more of your natural tooth structure is preserved unlike with veneers.
In general, bonding can be used to:
- Enhance the look of discolored teeth
- too minor for a crown
- Close spaces between teeth
- Elongate certain teeth in combination with contouring
Patients who settle on cosmetic contouring as a solution are primarily doing so to. Also known as teeth reshaping, contouring is a procedure in which our dentist uses a drill or laser to remove a small amount of enamel from a tooth.
Any fractures are smoothed out and undesirable angles with sharp curves are rounded. Better alignment can also be created if desired, but will depend on the severity of your teeth’s current misalignment. The procedure itself can typically be completed by our dentist in one visit without the use of any local anesthetic. There is also no recovery period needed.
While contouring can produce beautiful results, the procedure is limited by the individual tooth structure of the patient. So, because enamel is removed to change a tooth’s form, areas that are being reshaped can’t be too thin. This means dramatic alterations to your bite or appearance are not accomplished by contouring and should instead be treated with another method.
However, cosmetic contouring can help:
- Improve damage caused by excessive grinding (bruxism)
- Simplify your oral hygiene routine as it will be easier to clean in between teeth
- Fix cracked, chipped, crooked, or improperly aligned teeth
- Alter the shape, length, and appearance of your teeth
Despite bonding being more about adding material to your tooth and contouring involving the removal of material, the two cosmetic procedures are quite similar. For instance, it is not uncommon for a patient undergoing contouring to also have bonding performed.
Both forms of treatment can fix teeth that have cracks, chips, or other minor imperfections. They also share the ability to greatly improve the appearance of teeth in a relatively short period of time at a more affordable price than more in-depth cosmetic procedures.
Correct Minor Imperfections Today
Are you interested in changing how your smile looks but don’t want to commit to porcelain veneers? Our cosmetic dentist in Portage, MI, can recommend either bonding or contouring to you. Give Courtside Dental a call today at (269) 327-1011 or request an appointment online.