Dental Health Topics

Bonding and Contouring

If you have a chipped, slightly misaligned, or otherwise imperfect tooth that needs cosmetic restoration, your doctor may recommend bonding or contouring. Here’s how to differentiate between the two procedures.

Cosmetic Bonding

Your dentist will apply liquid composite resin, shaded to blend with your tooth’s color, to rebuild a pleasing shape to your tooth. After hardening the resin with a curing light, they will artistically sculpt and polish the restoration.

Cosmetic bonding can be a viable, affordable alternative to porcelain veneers, though it lasts only 5 to 10 years with proper care.

Bonding will not discolor as your natural tooth enamel will, so touch-up teeth whitening may be required to keep your natural teeth the same shade as the bonded area.

Tooth Contouring / Reshaping

During this procedure, the doctor will remove tiny amounts of tooth enamel (the outer covering of the tooth) in order to change the shape, length or surface of one or more teeth. Even a few millimeters of reduction in the right places can improve the appearance of teeth.

The process is often combined with the bonding treatment described above.