Your dentist in Grande Prairie has a tool chest full of options to help you to achieve your cosmetic dentistry goals. Those options include dental bonding and contouring. Both can help to perfect a flawed smile, but they are different procedures with different uses and advantages. Here’s what you need to know about getting dental bonding and contouring in Grande Prairie.
Patients choose to obtain dental bonding and contouring near you when they are looking to eliminate discolouration and stains, and to repair chipped and cracked teeth. Bonding and contouring are quick and minimally invasive procedures usually performed without the need for any anesthetic. While more extensive, invasive and expensive cosmetic procedures are available for complex situations, bonding and contouring are among the most accessible options available from a dentist in Grande Prairie.
How does dental bonding work?
Dentists apply a clear resin compound to flawed areas of teeth to fill chips, cracks or gaps and to cover stains and imperfections, especially stains that can not be bleached off of teeth enamel. In addition to filling chips, cracks and gaps, adding bonding material to the end of a tooth can make a tooth appear longer or make it match the size and shape of other teeth. When the resin is used to fill chips, a dentist near you will etch the tooth being treated to help the resin bond to your natural tooth surfaces.
After the resin is applied, your dentist in Grande Prairie will expose the bonded surfaces to ultraviolet light to harden and cure the surfaces before the bonded areas are polished smooth. Properly maintained bonded surfaces can be expected to last for three to 10 years depending on how well you maintain your teeth, the location of the bonding and how extensive the bonding is. To prolong the lifespan of dental bonding, simply brush and floss consistently and — especially — avoid bad habits that can damage bonding such as biting hard candy, chewing ice, clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth. Damaged bonding can in some cases be repaired, or removed and replaced quickly and effectively.
One downside of dental bonding is the resin material’s vulnerability to being stained (especially in the first 48 hours after it is applied but on an ongoing basis, as well). People who are particularly concerned about staining and interested in more extensive cosmetic dentistry options should also consider porcelain veneers or even cosmetic crowns.
How does dental contouring work?
Dental contouring is also referred to as reshaping, an alternative name that very clearly explains what the process does. Contouring does not fill cracks, chips or gaps, but can reshape a tooth to help them appear smoother, more consistently shaped or smaller. One of the most common uses of dental contouring is to make teeth that are slightly different widths, sizes and shapes consistent across the “smile zone.” Making room between overly snug teeth or reshaping to eliminate a chip can make it easier to keep all the surfaces of each tooth clean and free of tooth decay by brushing and flossing.
The main disadvantage of dental contouring is its limited usefulness for significant cosmetic issues because it requires the removal of material from a tooth. There’s only so much material that can be removed without undermining the appearance and function of your teeth, and no dentist wants to do that. For significantly misaligned or inconsistently spaced teeth, contouring may be a less effective option than crowns or orthodontic work.
Do you have minor cosmetic issues for which you’re seeking a quick and economical solution? Ask your dentist if bonding or contouring may be right for your needs.