Sometimes, your smile can be healthy, straight, and bright, but one minor issue can cause it to fall short of perfection. If this issue is a stain, for instance, you have options to erase the stain and whiten your teeth without inconveniencing your schedule. However, tooth stains are not the only minor issue that can mar an otherwise perfect smile. Teeth can often chip, grow slightly misshapen, have odd spaces between them, or suffer from a number of other minor issues. In many cases, such issues can be corrected conservatively through cosmetic bonding and contouring.
Cosmetically Contouring a Tooth
Under normal circumstances, or when treating a tooth that is affected by decay, retaining as much healthy tooth structure as possible is a top priority. However, when your tooth is healthy but unsightly due to a jagged edge or similar irregularity, removing a slight amount of tooth enamel can often correct the problem. After examining your mouth to determine that your teeth are healthy and strong, your dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel to change the tooth’s shape, and then polish the tooth to create a smooth, natural-looking surface. Often, cosmetic dental contouring is used in tandem with dental bonding to achieve optimal results.
Bonding Your Tooth to Fortify It
While contouring involves removing a small amount of tooth structure, dental bonding describes the process of adding a little to your tooth to correct minor cosmetic issues. Bonding uses dental composite resin, the same material that is used for tooth-colored fillings. The resin can be tinted to match your natural tooth color. Your dentist can correct small issues, like chipped or stubbornly stained teeth, by applying the resin to the tooth, sculpting it to the desired shape, and then hardening the bonding with a special light.