When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, there are several treatments that can bring beauty to your smile. Dental bonding and tooth contouring are two common procedures that are minimally invasive and cost-effective. Dr. Brett Hester and our team offer both of these treatments at our Valdosta, GA practice. Bonding and contouring can be performed separately or together to elevate your appearance – and your confidence! Read on to learn more.

About Tooth Contouring

Also called tooth reshaping or enameloplasty, dental contouring involves removing small amounts of enamel to alter your natural tooth’s length or shape. Once the teeth have been fully contoured, your dentist polishes them to give off a natural luster.

Benefits of Tooth Contouring

The best part about tooth contouring is that it’s a relatively quick procedure. Typically, the entire process can be completed in under an hour. Additionally, local anesthesia is usually not necessary since there are no nerves in the enamel. Following tooth contouring, the results are permanent. You won’t need to worry about having the procedure redone.

Are There Disadvantages?

The main disadvantage of dental contouring is that there is a limit to what it can do. There is only so much enamel on your teeth, so your dentist will be conservative about how much is removed. Therefore, if you have more extensive dental concerns, you may need to consider alternative treatments.

If you undergo tooth contouring, it’s important to keep up with routine dental exams and cleanings. Optimal oral hygiene at home is imperative. You may even want to use a toothpaste formulated specifically for enamel health.

About Dental Bonding

While tooth contouring reduces the tooth structure, dental bonding adds to it. This procedure involves adding tooth-colored composite resin to change and enhance the appearance of your smile. First, your dentist roughens the surface of the affected teeth. Next, composite is added to the teeth. (Your dentist will use a shade guide to find just the right color for your smile.) After shaping the composite, it will be hardened with a dental curing light. Finally, any rough edges will be smoothed away and the teeth will be polished to a natural-looking shine.

Benefits of Dental Bonding

Like contouring, dental bonding is minimally invasive and does not require local anesthesia. It’s also much more affordable compared to dental veneers or crowns. This procedure can address a variety of minor cosmetic imperfections, including:

  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Dental discoloration
  • Gaps or spaces between the teeth
  • Misshapen teeth

If you have more complex or severe dental issues, bonding may not be enough. In these cases, your dentist might discuss other treatments with you, such as porcelain veneers or dental crowns.

Are There Disadvantages?

Dental bonding is one of the safest procedures performed in dentistry. The only disadvantage is that it doesn’t last forever. Generally, you must have bonding redone or touched up every five to seven years. With proper care and maintenance, it can last longer, but the results are not permanent.

Combining Contouring and Bonding

Dental bonding and contouring are often combined to achieve comprehensive results. Removing enamel in some areas and adding composite to others can be an excellent way to balance your smile and improve overall appearance.

Schedule a Cosmetic Dental Appointment Today

Are imperfections in your smile affecting your self-esteem? Bonding and contouring can be an affordable way to enhance your smile and boost your confidence. To learn more, schedule a visit at our Valdosta practice. Call us at 229-247-3400 or contact us online anytime.