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Dental Bonding & Contouring

Dental bonding or contouring is a procedure where a tooth-colored resin is carefully applied to teeth to produce a better, brighter smile.

After a “primer” liquid is applied, the resin is applied layer by layer then “cured” or hardened with a laser, which bonds it to the tooth. Then the dentist shapes the tooth and polishes it. This process can take about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth depending on the work being done. An experienced dentist should create results that look just like your other teeth. The procedure should not be painful or require anaesthesia. Another advantage is that bonding or contouring only requires a little roughening of the area so the primer liquid will stick. Very little of your tooth enamel is removed, compared to having a crown placed.

Bonding can help improve your smile by restoring chipped, cracked, discolored or misaligned teeth. Some people want their teeth to look a little bit longer, or to reduce the amount of gums showing when they smile. If your gums have receded, a root may be exposed which could lead to pain or risk of decay.

The resin material can break off or chip, especially if it is applied to an area that has higher bite pressure. For this reason, bonding or contouring is usually done on the front teeth where there is less bite pressure, as a temporary alternative to more expensive crowns or other dental procedures. Habits such as biting fingernails are more likely to chip the resin away.

Get the Right Shade

Not everyones teeth are the same shade of white, and one person may have teeth with varying shades of white. This may be due to lifestyle factors such as, drinking coffee or red wine, the care of brushing, or a tooth’s enamel may be chemically deficient.

The resin material is available in many different shades, but your dentist may not stock all the shades. Imagine if your teeth are not quite perfectly white, but the resin is bright white, or if your teeth are very white and the resin is not. Some dentists may stock 6 shades and others stock 14 shades. Which dentist will probably give you a better match?

Resin is stain resistant but it is not the same as your tooth enamel and it may discolour over time. It can be touched up or replaced as needed.