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How Are Cosmetic Bonding and Contouring Different?

Cosmetic bonding and contouring dentists in Grand Rapids MI

Cosmetic bonding and contouring dentists in Grand Rapids MI

Not everyone is pleased with their smile. For that reason, our Grand Rapids cosmetic dentists are here to help you feel more confident with a range of treatments. Two of which are cosmetic bonding and cosmetic contouring. Though they sound similar, they are in fact different.

Here’s a breakdown of the two procedures.

1. Cosmetic Bonding

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 dentists 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
  • Repair decayed, chipped, or cracked teeth too minor for a crown
  • Close spaces between teeth
  • Elongate certain teeth in combination with contouring

2. Cosmetic Contouring

Patients who settle on cosmetic contouring as a solution areprimarily doing so to change the shape or size of their teeth. Also known as teeth reshaping, contouring is a procedure in which our dentists use 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 dentists in one visit without the use of any local anesthetic. There is also no recovery period needed.

While dental 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

Overlapping Benefits 

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.

Unhappy With Your Smile? We Can Help 

If you’re not prepared to commit to porcelain veneers, our cosmetic dentists in Grand Rapids, MI, may recommend either bonding or contouring. Both procedures are viable options for those wanting to enhance their smile quicker and with less cost. Call Contemporary Family Dental today at (616) 209-3969 to schedule an appointment.